Colic in newborns [video]

Video author: Streaming Well
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Video Transcript

Streaming Well

Baby Care: coping with colic

Dr. Carol Cooper, General Practitioner: I've seen enough crying babies to be convinced that colic does exist, and it can be extremely distressing for parents.

The main symptom is crying, crying non-stop for anywhere from 15 minutes to a few hours. It tends to recur night after night. It usually starts when your baby is just a few weeks old. The bouts of crying tend to be every evening, and when he cries, he may pull his legs up as if in pain.

The best thing parents can do is to keep calm. Winding your baby after every feed can help, but this alone is unlikely to stop symptoms. A change of position can work, so holding your baby facedown over an arm and rubbing his back often helps the symptoms. Parents may also want to try colic medications, which you can buy in most supermarkets and pharmacies. But there's not actually much evidence that they work.

Excessive crying can be very stressful for a parent, but it will usually stop within 10-12 weeks. Meanwhile, it's important for parents to know that they're not to blame for their baby's crying. If your baby is feeding and thriving, it's unlikely to be anything serious. But many parents do take their baby to the doctor initially, just to be sure.

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