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What Is Colic?

"What Is Colic?" If your baby is going through a colic episode, believe me you already know the difference between a "fussy" baby and one with colic because it is completely obvious. The screams of agony coming from your poor baby are enough to know, and the body language make it more than obvious. Here are a few of the signs...

A colicky baby is one who screams from intense physical discomfort, drawing his legs up onto a gas-filled abdomen (but seems completely well between colicky episodes).

The paroxysmic nature of the colicky baby's cry, occurring in sudden and unexpected outbursts, is in contrast to the cries of fussy babies, who fuss all day.

In contrast to the cries of fussy babies, who may be difficult to handle most of the day, most colicky babies are relatively easy to handle when they are not having colicky periods.

Colicky babies tend to eat more and grow faster than non-colicky babies and usually appear to be thriving pictures of health.

Colicky spells may last a few minutes to a few hours, with occasional pauses before the next storm breaks.

Colicky spells usually occur in late afternoons or early evenings (when parental reserves are lowest) which suggests that baby has been storing up bodily tension all day long and then relieves this tension in his evening blast.

The picture of a colic episode may look something like this:

When you look at the baby's face and whole body, the most disturbing feature of the colic cry is the total body language that accompanies it: flinging of arms and legs, clenched fists, facial grimaces, a wide-open mouth, furrowed brow, anger, tenseness and a hard tummy. The baby's arms are clenched tightly close to his chest and his knees are drawn up so tightly they nearly bump is bloated abdomen. Periodically during these attacks the infant may throw out his arms, stiffen his back, arch his neck and dart out his legs, a move resembling a frantically executed back dive. Babies often fall into a deep sleep after the colicky episode is over. (Click here to view pictures)
Doctors have come up with a uniform description of colic to determine if a baby truly is colicky using the following criteria: These are arbitrary figures and vary widely from baby to baby and from day to day in the same baby. What causes colic? Let's explode a few myths and explore a few possibilities...

Page 1   |   What Is Colic?   |   What Causes Colic?   | Hormones?
Medical Causes of Colic   |   Coping With Colic   |   More Coping Help   |   Getting Doctor's Help
Resources For Colic

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