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Understanding the Symptoms of Colic

All babies cry.  When a baby cries, it is their way of telling you that they’re hungry, wet, or tired.  However, if your baby has colic, they may cry all the time.  So how can you tell the difference between your baby’s normal tears and colic? 
 
Colic is a term used to describe uncontrollable crying in an otherwise healthy baby.  If your baby is younger than 5 months old and cries for more than three hours in a row on three or more days a week for at least three weeks, chances are, he or she is colicky. Colic is not a disease and won’t cause your baby any long-term harm, but it is tough to go through for both babies and their parents.  By visiting your pediatrician, you can determine the best way to handle your colicky baby. 

Your Pediatrician Shares the Symptoms

When a baby is around two or three weeks old, colic most often shows up at this time.  While babies normally cry to let you know when they are wet, hungry, frightened or tired, a baby with colic cries inconsolably and excessively—often at the same time of day.  This can frequently occur in the late afternoon or evening. 
If your baby has colic, his or her belly may also look enlarged.  You may also notice that he or she alternately extends or pulls up their legs and passes gas as they cry.  
 
Other symptoms of a baby that is otherwise healthy, and well-fed, include:
  • Predictable crying episodes. 
  • Intense or inconsolable crying. 
  • Posture changes. 

When to Visit Your Pediatrician

It is important to seek immediate medical attention if your baby’s crying could be the result of a fall or injury. Please call our pediatrician if you baby stops gaining weight or begins to lose weight.  Also, please call our office if your baby:
  • Can’t be soothed, even for a few minutes
  • Doesn’t suck strongly at the bottle or breast
  • Doesn’t like to be held or touched
  • Has an unusual-sounding cry, or sounds like he or she is in pain
  • Has diarrhea or blood in the stool
  • Has trouble breathing
  • Is less alert or sleepier than usual
  • Is eating less than usual
  • Is running a fever of 100.4 degrees or more
  • Is throwing up
We understand that a colicky baby can take a lot out of your day, but, as your pediatrician, we are available to help you better care for your colicky baby.  
 

Questions or Comments?

At Harvest Pediatrics, we encourage you to contact us whenever you have a concern or question related to your care.
You can reach us at:


Napa: (707) 252-1076
St. Helena: (707) 963-0171

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Hours of Operation

Closed daily between 12:00 PM and 1:30 PM for lunch.

Napa Office

Monday:

8:30 am-6:00 pm

Tuesday:

8:30 am-6:00 pm

Wednesday:

8:30 am-6:00 pm

Thursday:

8:30 am-5:00 pm

Friday:

8:30 am-5:00 pm

Saturday:

8:30 am-12:00 pm

Sunday:

Closed

St. Helena Office

Monday:

8:30 am-5:00 pm

Tuesday:

8:30 am-5:00 pm

Wednesday:

8:30 am-5:00 pm

Thursday:

8:30 am-5:00 pm

Friday:

8:30 am-5:00 pm

Saturday:

Closed

Sunday:

Closed