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Quiz: Baby Colic and Gas

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It’s normal for babies to cry more than 2 hours a day.

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It’s normal for babies to cry more than 2 hours a day.

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Some healthy babies cry -- a lot. It's common for babies with colic to cry for a total of 2 hours a day.


Crying is called colic when it:

  • Lasts up to 3 hours a day
  • Seems to have no cause
  • Is hard to soothe no matter what you do
  • Revs up in the evening mainly (but can happen any time)
  • Has a clear start and finish
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Who gets colic more?

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Who gets colic more?

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Colic usually has to do with age. It peaks when a baby is around 6 weeks old. By 3 months, it's over in 60% of babies who have it. Only 1 in 10 still have colic at 4 months.

 

Otherwise, colic has no known cause. Boys get it as much as girls. Full-term babies are as likely to have it as preemies. Breastfeeding (or not) and birth order don’t affect it, either.

When do babies with colic cry most?

When do babies with colic cry most?

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Some babies with colic fuss and cry off and on all day. Most save their really intense wails for the evening hours and at night.

Which causes the most colic?

Which causes the most colic?

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If your baby has colic, it likely means she isn't yet able to self-calm. That changes as she matures.

 

A baby with colic can burp or pass a lot of gas. But doctors aren't sure if gas is the cause of the crying or the result of it.

 

If you breastfeed, something you eat may set off colic in your baby, but this is rare. You could try cutting out caffeine, onions, or cabbage. But if there's no change in a few days, your diet isn't the cause of colic-like cries.

What's the surest means to make colic go away?

What's the surest means to make colic go away?

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Mostly, colic can only be endured, not cured. Tell your doctor if major crying persists after 4 months.

Probiotics may help digestion, so they could help colic, too.

Probiotics may help digestion, so they could help colic, too.

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Probiotics work to balance bacteria in the gut. But research is mixed on whether they can ease colic. And some types of probiotics seem to work better than others.

 

Don't give your baby probiotics without talking to the doctor first. Also, ask before you try any other colic "cures," like gripe water or herbs such as chamomile and fennel.

Put a colicky baby on the clothes dryer to calm her.

Put a colicky baby on the clothes dryer to calm her.

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The steady sound of a fan, vacuum, or dryer running in the next room may calm your baby and help bring on sleep. Don't ever put her in a bed or baby seat atop the dryer.

 

Other soothers that may help:

  • Swaddling -- but never allow your baby to sleep swaddled
  • Riding in car
  • A warm bath
  • An infant swing
  • A white noise machine
  • A pacifier to suck on
  • Being held while you walk or rock her

If you or your partner had colic, your baby is more likely to have it.

If you or your partner had colic, your baby is more likely to have it.

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Colic doesn't run in families. Up to one-third of all babies will get colic, whether their parents had it or not.

How do you know if crying is a sign of a problem?

How do you know if crying is a sign of a problem?

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Colic is hard for parents to listen to, but harmless for your baby. Sometimes colic-like crying is caused by a hernia or other problem. Don't wait until the colic age is over to talk with your doctor. Get input if you're worried or if you're having a hard time coping with the crying.

 

Also tell your doctor if your baby:

  • Runs a fever
  • Seems to be in pain (has a strange cry, doesn't want to be held)
  • Eats less than usual
  • Vomits or has diarrhea

You can prevent colic.

You can prevent colic.

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Alas, there's no way to know if your sweet newborn will transform into a howler. It has nothing to do with how you parent or how much you love your baby.

 

Because it's stressful to have a baby with colic, it helps to let someone else take over care for a bit. It's also OK to place your baby safely in her crib for a little while and step away.

 

Never shake a baby to get her to stop crying.

Your Score:     You correctly answered   out of   questions.
Your Score:     You correctly answered   out of   questions.

You have nothing to cry about. Colic may be stressful, but your know-how is a dream!

Don't be cranky, but your colic know-how is only so-so. Read up on it and try again.

Waaah! Your colic know-how is a nightmare. Read up on it and try again.