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All babies cry, especially when they are too hot, too cold, hungry or tired – or when their nappy needs changing. Sometimes, a baby will cry merely because they want a cuddle. Put simply, crying is their way of telling you that they need comfort and care.
If your infant seems to be crying a lot for no obvious reason, however, they could be suffering from colic. The NHS classes a baby to have colic if they cry more than three hours a day, three days a week for more than a week.
It may also be colic if it’s hard to soothe or settle your baby, or if they clench their fists and go red in the face. They might also bring their knees up to their tummy or arch their back while crying – all signs that they could have colic.
The cause of colic varies from case to case and isn’t known exactly. One of the theories is that it could be brought on by gastrointestinal discomfort, like intestinal cramping. Some babies diagnosed with colic cry a lot because they have problems with food allergies, such as a cow’s milk allergy.
If your baby cries a lot, first try holding or cuddling them. It is also a good idea to sit or hold your baby upright during feeding, to stop them swallowing air – and always remember to wind your baby after feeding.
Some babies settle down when they can sense movement – try gently rocking them in a Moses basket or crib, or push them in their pram. You could also try bathing your baby in a warm bath.
If you need a bit of extra help, try Infacol Oral Suspension, designed to relieve and calm infant colic and griping pain. It contains simeticone, a type of medicine called an antiflatulent and used to treat wind (flatulence). Another remedy to consider are Dentinox Infant Colic Drops, which are given with or after each feed.
While looking after a colicky baby can be upsetting – and lead to a feeling of not being able to cope – it’s usually nothing to worry about and will pass with time. But if nothing seems to work and you are still worried about a baby’s constant crying – especially if they are older than four months – don’t hesitate to get in touch with your GP.