Baby won't stop crying? Here's how to handle colic.
By Health Promotion Board in collaboration with Dr. Yvonne Ng, Senior Consultant, Department of Neonatology, National University Hospital.
It's really hard on mummies and daddies when babies won't stop crying. Babies cry a lot even when mummy and daddy have been doing a wonderful job. They cry when they are hungry, sleepy, frustrated and irritated. It's how they get your attention and communicate with the world.
If your little one cries a lot and you have already ruled out other causes such as sickness or a dirty diaper, he may have colic (or excessive crying behaviour), which is a common condition. Up to 1 in 4 babies may have colic.
Colic starts in babies around 2-3 weeks old, and may last till 3-4 months old.
Help Your Baby Develop
He cries more than 3 hours a day for more than 3 days a week.
The crying begins suddenly for no clear reason, and the crying is intense.
The crying bouts happen at the same time every day, usually in the late afternoon or evening.
He curls up his legs, clenches his fists and stiffens his abdominal muscles during the crying bouts.
He experiences a bowel movement or passes gas near the end of a crying episode.
Helping Baby Sleep
Here are some ways to help calm your baby down:
Take him to see a doctor if you suspect he is sick.
If nothing soothes your baby, or his crying is too intense and doesn’t ease up, take your baby to see a doctor.
If you feel overwhelmed at times, it is important to take some time out to care for yourself, and seek help from your family members or friends to take care of the baby for a few hours. There is no embarrassment in asking for help.
Colic is a poorly understood condition without clear known causes. Some experts feel that this is a perfectly normal developmental milestone, although in some very rare cases—less than 1%—colic may be caused by milk allergies and immature digestive systems.
Talk to your pediatrician if you're concerned about his crying behaviour.
Don't forget to take care of yourself if you've got a colicky baby! Mummies and daddies experience high levels of stress when they hear their baby crying. Don’t worry: babies usually outgrow their colic by the time they turn 3-4 months old.
Visit Parent Hub, for more useful tips and guides to give your baby a healthy start.
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This article was last reviewed on
Wednesday, December 21, 2022
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