Infantile colic.

So what IS colic?

Colic is the name given to the persistent and incontrollable crying in an otherwise healthy infant. Colic can start between two and four weeks after birth and typically lasts into the fourth month, however is can continue for the first year of the infant’s life. Typically a baby suffering with colic will have periods of crying at the same intervals during the day, such as in the mornings and evenings. These intervals can last around three hours at a time, for more than three days. (the rule of 3's) The infant is distressed and unable to be comforted. You may notice the infant drawing their knees up to their stomach and clenching their fists.


While the causes of colic are largely unknown there are several factors that seem to impact colic. Generally it is agreed that colic is associated with the digestive system. Some theories include that the digestive system is working too hard and results in painful cramps, where as another theory suggests that the bowel movement is too slow causing a build-up of gas being trapped in the gut. It is a topic that has much debate. There are some lovely articles on the theory of the missing fourth trimester (Harvey Karp 2004), that are worth a read.


Help is at hand, after a discussion of the symptoms and examining your baby, together we can develop a plan of action. This will include gentle osteopathic treatment as appropriate to your child and advice on ways to help reduce its occurrence. This may be an adjustment in feeding position or technique; advice on using a sling or some massage techniques.