It's a period every parent dreads, but one that unfortunately affects a large percent of babies — colic. Your baby was only born a few weeks ago, and it seems they spend the majority of their time crying in pain. Despite your best efforts to comfort or nurse them, they're inconsolable. As ambiguous as colic is, there are several ways your baby is trying to tell you they have colic that you definitely shouldn't ignore.
According to Parents, colic is somewhat of a "five letter word for 'I don't know'" meaning most pediatricians don't know the exact cause of your baby's internal pain. As hard as it is to handle, you can take a bit of comfort in the fact that around 15 to 25 percent of newborns experience colic, according to Parenting.
The good news, according to Kids Health, is that colic generally goes away before your baby turns three or four months old and typically peaks at six to eight weeks. Meaning it won't last forever. But that doesn't make it any easier to deal with though, so doing your best to find the cause of what's causing your baby's colic will ease the pain sooner rather than later.
These tell-tale signs of colic are what most pediatricians will use to "diagnose" your child with the somewhat confusing sickness that is colic.
1. They Cry At About The Same Time Everyday
According to What to Expect, most colicky babies will cry in the late afternoon or evening each day. If possible, try to track your baby's cries in a journal and see if you spot a pattern.
2. Their Crying Sessions Last Around Three Hours
Baby Center noted the "rule of three" where colicky babies will cry for around three hours for at least three days a week. If you can't make it through three episodes of Orange Is The New Black without tears, then you may have a problem.
3. They're About Three Weeks Old Or Older
Colic usually begins around the time your baby turns three weeks old, according to Dr. Sears. In much older or much younger babies, excessive crying is likely a sign of something else.
4. It's Closer To Screaming Than Crying
Their crying won't be simple fussiness — What To Expect explained it as sounding closer to screaming than crying, and it's terrible as in real life as it sounds.
5. They Tense Up Their Muscles When They Cry
According to Parenting, your baby will be in obvious pain when they cry, showing signs of muscle tenseness, clenched fists, curled up legs, or closed eyes.
6. They're Inconsolable During Crying Sessions
No matter what you do — nurse, cuddle, swaddle, give them a bottle — you likely won't be able to calm your baby down until the pain passes, according to Parents.
7. Gassiness, Bowel Movements, Or Spitting Up Increases In Frequency
Your baby may be extra gassy, have more poopy diapers or spit up a lot after feedings, according to the same article from Parents.