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Home > Condition & Ailment Index > 

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General Colic Information
Colic is excessive, unexplained crying in an otherwise healthy baby that is from 3 weeks to 3 months of age. Colic is a common problem in infants. Crying that is considered “excessive” offer differs from parent to parent; however, many health care professionals define excessive crying as crying that lasts for more than 3 hours a day, at least three days a week, for at least three weeks. The crying is often more intense than expected for a child that age and occurs for no apparent reason. The infant may experience abdominal cramps and excessive gas during the crying episodes. The crying usually occurs at the same every day, typically between 6 o’clock and 10 o’clock in the evening. Colic usually peaks at 6 to 8 weeks and gradually tapers off at 12 to 14 weeks of age.

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Possible Causes of Colic
Colic is thought to result from a baby’s sensitive temperament, environment and immature nervous system. Other factors that may contribute to the crying associated with colic including an immature digestive system; tiredness; food allergy; overly warm milk; overfeeding or underfeeding; stress in the home; loneliness and pain. Some breastfed infants experience allergic reactions to certain foods in the mother’s diet. Low blood sugar levels can also trigger inconsolable crying.

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Possible Symptoms of Colic
Colic is defined as crying that lasts for more than 3 hours a day, at least three days a week, for at least three weeks. The child is not sick or in pain, is well-fed and acts fine otherwise. The child is usually consoled when held or comforted.

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Possible Lifestyle Changes for Colic
It is hard to treat colic since its specific cause is unknown, so there is no foolproof advice. Some parents find that switching to a soy formula may ease the symptoms of colic. Infants who are sensitive to both milk and soy can be given a hypoallergenic formula. Mothers who breast feed should examine their diet to determine if her diet may be contributing to colic. Food and drinks that produce excessive gas include:

  • orange juice
  • vegetables, especially onions, cabbage, and beans
  • fruit, such as apples and plums
  • spicy foods
  • products containing caffeine, such as chocolate, coffee and tea.
Burp the infant after each ounce of formula; those who are breastfeeding should burp the baby every 5 minutes. Plastic nursing bottles with collapsible bags may minimize gas. Pacifiers may help. Attempt different feeding methods - Do not give a feeding every time the baby cries. Feed every two hours or on demand. Comfort a crying infant with soothing, gentle motions. Many children with colic calm down if they are rocked in a cradle, a rocking chair or on a parent's lap. Some children feel better if they are carried in a sling on the parent's stomach. Some children feel comforted when wrapped in a blanket or held tightly. Some parents find their baby is comforted by a car ride. Always remember that the child is healthy and will outgrow the colic in a few months' time. Contact a doctor if the baby seems to be in pain or acts sick, if the baby has been crying constantly for more than 3 hours or if the baby develops a high temperature.
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In accordance with FDA regulation, we do not make any therapeutic claims for any Dietary Supplements in accordance with the Dietary Supplement Health and Education Act.

Beneficial Dietary Supplements
Some herbs and supplements may be taken by the mother if she is breastfeading, while others may be taken by the infant, either alone or mixed with infant formula or juice.

Chamomile is a calming herb and can be used to ease intestinal cramping in colicky infants.

Licorice, Fennel, Peppermint and Lemon Balm can be used to treat colic when taken in tea form.

Yarrow, Garden Angelica and Cardamom can be taken in tea or tincture form to the infant or to the mother if she is breastfeeding.

Ginger is soothing to the stomach.

Acidophilus supports digestion and controls bad bacteria and fungus. An infant's acidophilus supplement can be helpful in improving the digestive function, particularly if he/she was given antibiotics at birth; many antibiotics destroy the flora in the intestines, leading to gas and diarrhea in adults and infants.

REFERENCES: Prescription for Nutritional Healing, 3rd Edition, Phyllis Balch, CNC; James F. Balch, M.D.




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Colic Supplements, Information & Products

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In accordance with FDA regulation, we do not make any therapeutic claims for any Dietary Supplements in accordance with the Dietary Supplement Health and Education Act.
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