Colic or “Colicky Baby” is probably the most overused term to define a crying baby. Even non-parents pull it out of their arsenal when trying to act “in the know”.

But what is it? 

The fact is, no one really knows. It’s one of life’s great mysteries. But now you know, that experts haven’t been able to clearly define it either. What we at Daddy’s Digest can do, is give you a framework to better understand what it might be.

Do remember that despite the outline of facts, it is important that your child is examined by a qualified medical professional or childcare expert to determine the cause of their cry.

So here is what we do know.

  1. Colic is used to define a healthy, well-fed infant who cries for more than three hours a day, more than three days a week for more than three weeks. It is important to look out for the pattern.
  2. It usually starts around the two-week mark (if your baby is full term & later if premature) and almost always goes away by month three or four. So, it’s unlikely that your one-year-old has it.
  3. With its causes unknown there are several theories of what may be causing the unexplained crying: A temperamental child, a developing digestive and/or nervous system, hormones or even an oversensitivity to external stimulation.
  4. Being of an unexplained nature, it is likely that you as a parent will experience the occasional sense of frustration and anger. Everyone does, and this doesn’t make you a bad parent. It is probably a good time to either take over from your partner or share the experience to make it seem less daunting.
  5. Be cautious before trying herbal remedies and other "no-no solutions" offered by non-medical professionals and online resources. Not only do they not help, but they could cause other health issues.
  6. Focus on relaxing your baby using sound, motion and other calming techniques.
  7. Do not ignore your babies' cry. Ensure that they are examined by a qualified medical professional at the earliest. Only your child’s paediatrician will be in a position to make a final judgement call on why your baby cries and is fussy.

Impress your partner with key facts, take better co-parenting decisions and be 'in the know'. Visit our Partners & Parents resource center for more.


How to Prepare Formula Milk A curated, simple outline to help dads take the lead in preparing a bottle.

How To Burp Your Baby Gas and bowel discomfort are a primary source of pain and angst for children in the early days.

How to Change a Diaper It’s an important part of bonding with your child and giving your partner a breather.


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