Could My Baby Have Colic?

Newborn babies cry a lot. Just because your baby cries and appears uncomfortable, or even miserable, doesn't mean she has colic.

Your newborn baby just came from the constant, unchanging environment of mom's uterus. Now she must adjust to being in the very different enviorment of the world. That adjustment takes most babies six to eight weeks. So, there will be times when she is miserable because she isn't used to being out here.

Colic is something different. Most pediatricians won't diagnose colic unless your baby is at least three weeks old. Part of the definition of colic is that the baby is comfortable and happy most of the time. Also, the baby must be eating well, gaining weight and have a normal physical exam. When a baby develops colic, she will cry inconsolably at very predictable times, usually in the afternoon or evening.

So, if your baby is under three weeks old, you and your baby's doctor need to consider other reasons for crying and misery. If you aren't sure, ask questions.

Thanks to Janelle Aby MD, Stanford School Of Medicine, Newborn Nursery, and Lucille Packard Children's Hospital for the use of occasional photographs.