All newborns cry and get fussy
sometimes. But when a baby who is otherwise healthy has several periods a week
of fussiness, high-pitched crying, and difficulty being comforted, it’s a sign
Colic is defined as crying for more than 3 hours a day, for more than 3 days a
week, for at least 3 weeks. But doctors may diagnose a baby as having colic before
Colic usually doesn't point to any health problems and eventually goes away on
More to Know
Colicky babies have a healthy sucking reflex and a good appetite and are otherwise
healthy and growing well.
Colicky babies may spit up from time to time just as non-colicky babies do. But
if your baby is actually vomiting
or losing weight, call the doctor. (Vomiting is a forceful throwing up of stomach
contents through the mouth, whereas spitting up is an easy flow of stomach contents
out of the mouth.) Vomiting repeatedly is not a sign of colic.
Colicky babies typically have normal stools (poop). If your baby has diarrhea or
blood in the stool, call your doctor.
Help ease colic by:
holding and rocking your baby
burping your baby more often
feeding your baby in an upright
playing soothing noises
putting the baby in a vibrating
swaddling your baby gently
Keep in Mind
Caring for a colicky baby can be frustrating, so be sure to take
care of yourself, too. Don't blame yourself or your baby for the constant crying
— colic is nobody's fault. Try to remember that colicky babies will eventually
outgrow this phase.
If your baby is crying a lot and shows other signs of illness (such as fever),
the cause is not colic. Schedule an appointment to see a doctor.
All A to Z dictionary entries are regularly reviewed by KidsHealth medical