This fussy baby time can feel like torture, but doesn’t usually last too long. Often peaking around 6 weeks old. If the crying subsides within a few hours and baby is calm and consolable the rest of the day, there is not usually any cause for worry.
If baby does not stop crying, the crying intensifies, or lasts throughout the day and night, then this crying may be caused by Colic. One-fifth of babies develop colic, usually between 2 and 4 weeks old. Babies cry inconsolably, kick and pull their legs, their tummy may be distended with gas, and though the crying can be around the clock it is often worse in the early evening.
There is no definite reason for why this happens and the term colic simply means that baby is unusually sensitive the stimulation and cannot self soothe. As baby matures, she will be able to self sooth and colic usually subsides within 3-6 months.
Your pediatrician can help you determine if there is a medical problem as the cause, such as an illness or hernia.
Though we often have to just wait it out, there are some things you can try.
· If you are breastfeeding, eliminate milk, caffeine and other potentially irritating foods from your diet. If you are formula feeding discuss with your pediatrician trying a protein hydrolysate formula. If food sensitivities are the culprit, the colic should subside within a few days.
· Walk or rock your baby. Rhythmic motion and body contact can reassure and comfort her.
· Introduce a pacifier.
· Lay baby on his tummy across your knees and rub his back. The pressure on the tummy can help him to feel better.
· Ask for help if you are feeling tense or frustrated. It can be a real challenge to have a baby screaming at you for hours. If you need a break, take a break, never shake your baby.