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Colic and crying

  • Alternative Names

    Infantile colic


    Symptoms

    Colic frequently, but not always, begins at about the same time every day. For most infants the most intense fussiness is in the evening. The attack often begins suddenly. The legs may be drawn up and the belly distended. The hands may be clenched. The episode may last for minutes or hours. It often winds down when the baby is exhausted, or when gas or stool is passed.

    In spite of apparent abdominal pain, colicky infants eat well and gain weight normally.


    Signs and tests

    Colic is usually diagnosed by the parent's description of the crying. A careful physical exam is wise to be sure the baby does not have a hernia, intussusception, a hair tourniquet, a hair in the eye, or another medical problem that needs attention. If the diagnosis isn't clear, further testing may be needed.