Does Your Baby Have Colic?




When to seek medical advice

Contact your baby’s doctor if you’re concerned about your baby’s crying — especially if your baby isn’t eating, sleeping or behaving like usual. You can help your baby’s doctor by noting in a diary what times your baby cries. Also record your baby’s sleeping and eating patterns.

Seek medical attention right away if you think your baby’s crying might be the result of a fall or injury.

Tests and diagnosis

Your baby’s doctor will do a physical exam to identify any possible causes for your baby’s distress, such as an intestinal obstruction. If your baby is otherwise healthy, he or she may be diagnosed with colic. Lab tests, X-rays and other diagnostic tests aren’t usually needed.

Complications

Although colic often takes a toll on the entire family, it doesn’t appear to have any lasting medical consequences. Babies who have colic grow and develop normally.

Treatments and drugs

Colic improves on its own, often by age 3 months. In the meantime, there are few treatment options. Prescription medications such as simethicone (Mylicon) haven’t proved very helpful for colic, and others can have serious side effects.

A study published in January 2007 suggests that treatment with probiotics — substances that help maintain the natural balance of “good” bacteria in the digestive tract — can soothe colic. More research is needed, however, to determine the effects of probiotics on colic.

Consult your baby’s doctor before giving your baby any medication to treat colic.