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Identifying & Managing Colic in Your Baby

Colic can be incredibly hard on both bubs and the family. Learn the key symptoms and ways of caring for both your baby and yourself.

Colic is incredibly common in babies. It’s also incredibly upsetting for both the baby and the parents. Usually starting when an infant is a couple of weeks old, it can last for months before it resolves itself. We’re discussing the key symptoms it presents with, along with ways you can manage your child’s distress.

What is Colic?

Colic shows as inconsolable crying which lasts for hours, where there doesn’t seem to be an obvious reason why the baby is so upset. This usually happens in the late afternoon to early evening, also known as the witching hours. Other symptoms of colic can include:

  • Screwed up hands
  • Highly tense body
  • Pulled up legs
  • Stiffened abdomen
  • Arched back
  • Highly fussy

It’s difficult to identify the specific causes of colic, but contributing factors can include:

  • Family history
  • Food allergy or intolerance
  • Over or under feeding
  • Undeveloped digestive system

If you feel that there is a chance that your baby is suffering from colic, your first ports of call should be Plunket or your GP. They will be able to make a diagnosis and offer personalised recommendations for your baby.

Helping Manage Your Baby’s Colic 

Pictured: Warm-ease Anti Colic Baby Belt


Soothing a baby with colic can be immensely challenging for both bubs as well as Mum and Dad. Plunket suggests that as well as caring for your baby, it is very important to also look after yourself. This could be by calling someone or reaching out for help, putting your baby down in a safe place and taking a break for a short while, or even heading out with bubs for a walk. Your mental health is important too!

To help your baby with colic, you can try:

  • Holding bubs upright after feeding and burping well
  • Keeping the lights dim and playing soothing sounds like White noise or Heartbeat.
  • A warm bath
  • Holding bubs and swaying
  • Pushing baby in a pram

Also take note after breastfeeding if bubs seems to be worse if you have eaten certain foods. Or if bottle fed, that the formula is prepared correctly. Discuss with your Plunket nurse about possibilities of food intolerances before changing your diet or bub’s formula though.

Here at Sleepytot, we do offer products which may help a colicky baby. Kids Calm by Kiwiherb can help sooth colic and upset tummies, Artemis Baby Gripe Tea to use when bottle feeding and the Warm-Ease Anti Colic Heated Baby Belt by Moose. Remember that we’re here to help, so please reach out for personalised support.

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