No matter how you look at it, colic isn’t fun. A parent can feel extremely helpless when their little one seems so distressed and yet nothing they do to try to calm her seems to make any difference at all. Still, by being informed and understanding some things about colic, you can be better prepared to deal with it.

Here are some key facts about colic that you should know:

  • All newborns will cry and be fussy. However, when a baby who is otherwise in good health cries for over three hours a day, more than three days a week for more than three weeks, it’s colic.
  • Colic is normal for some babies, and doesn’t cause any long-term damage to your child’s development or happiness.
  • Some estimates suggest that as many as 40 percent of babies hav colic.
  • Colic usually begins sometimes between week three and six after your baby is born, and it usually goes away on its own by the time your baby turns three months old.
  • Even if a baby has colic, she is likely to have a strong sucking reflex as well as a healthy appetite. In addition, she will be healthy otherwise and growth should be steady and regular. If your baby isn’t feeding well, there may be a different reason she’s crying and you should talk to your doctor.
  • A baby with colic likes to be held and cuddled, much like other babies. If your baby doesn’t like to be held or cuddled, talk to your doctor as this is a sign of a different problem.
  • Your baby with colic may have gas, spit up or a bowel movement toward the end of a crying session. Your colicky baby’s stool should be normal, and he’s not any more likely than another baby to have diarrhea or blood in his stool. If he does, talk to your doctor.