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When to Call the Pediatrician

Colic or Fussiness

Colic isn't really an illness, and you don't need to call your doctor for a colicky baby, yet "colic is one of the toughest things some parents will have to deal with," says Tolcher. And parents sometimes do need guidance through it.

"With colic (or anything else), if you don't know what to do, just call your doctor," he suggests. "Don't wait for a meltdown in yourself, ask for help, come in and have a meeting with your doctor, because one, you can make sure it is colic -- it could be a sensitivity, an allergy to formula, or GERD instead, for example -- and two, you can then find out what to do."

Luckily, colic happens only in 5%-10% of babies, and there are techniques that can help soothe a fussy, colicky infant, including:

  • Swaddling
  • Rocking
  • Humming
  • White noise
  • Putting them on their side (while they're awake only)
  • Home treatments

While most over-the-counter home remedies may not help all babies, "they generally won't hurt either," Tolcher says, adding that recent studies suggest probiotics may help with colic, too.

Whether it's colic, vomiting, tummy upsets, or just something that's worrying you, "just call your doctor and get some guidance and a plan of action," Tolcher says. Your pediatrician is there to help, so give them a call -- and let them help!

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Reviewed on September 24, 2013

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