Q & A Library
Calming a Colicky Baby?
How can I treat my baby's colic?
Answer (Published 2/26/2003)
My colleague, pediatrician Russell Greenfield, M.D., co-author of Healthy Child, Whole Child, (Harper Resource), tells me that the first thing parents of a fussy newborn should do is exclude other explanations for the baby's crying. Make sure the infant isn't running a fever, isn't lethargic, is eating normally and isn't having any trouble breathing. Your pediatrician will also want to exclude GERD (gastroesophageal reflux disease), which can occur among babies although it is much more common among adults.
The good news about colic is that what you see is what you get - a fussy, crying but otherwise perfectly healthy baby. Some doctors think that this irritating phase may be part of normal development. Between five and 28 percent of infants develop colic, usually between the ages of two to six weeks. Most outgrow it by the time they're three to four months old.
Here are Dr. Greenfield's suggestions for dealing with colic - and with the frustration it can breed among parents:
Andrew Weil, M.D.
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