Preventing and Treating Colic

As any parent can attest, a colicky baby is an unhappy baby.

"Colic is a term we give to babies that are fussy and we usually don't know why," pediatrician Dr. Jim Sears say. "It can be a nightmare, your baby just cries and cries."

"Remember, you're not doing anything wrong," ER physician Dr. Travis Stork adds. "Babies are colicky because babies are colicky."

Colic usually peaks at about two months of age and often goes away on its own; however, it is recommended you speak to your pediatrician to ensure your baby's fussy tendencies aren't caused by underlying medical problems such as reflux, infections or food tolerance. Once you've deducted any medical conditions, you can try soothing your baby in a number of ways.

  • Baby hammocks stand near your bed and rock the baby in a comforting way. They also guard against SIDS and flat-head syndrome.
  • Another way to soothe both yourself and your baby, is through baby massage. Gentle massages reduce stress hormones in babies and also help them sleep better and cry less. Massages can also relieve ailments such as colic, constipation and teething in infants.
  • Dr. Sears recommends the "I Love You" technique: Position your baby on his or her back and trace the letter "I" across its belly, starting on the right side. From there, make an inverted “L” starting from the “I” across the top of the belly. Finally, complete the massage by making a “U” from the right side of the belly all the way across the top and down the left side. It will help calm the baby and move gas along through the body. Gently rubbing the baby’s arms and legs will also help him or her relax.

More tips to soothe a fussy baby