- indigestion resulting from the newborn’s immature digestive system;
- digestive problems resulting from chemicals in breast milk;
- discomfort from excessive swallowing of air due to crying;
- imbalance in brain chemicals.
By Lisa Pecos Babies are supposed to cry. Some do it more than others, and all babies cry a lot from time to time, but up to a certain point we usually do not think of babies’ crying as a big deal. Most of the time, it just means that the baby is feeling hungry or tired, and these problems are relatively easy to fix. But there is a certain percentage of babies-estimated to be between 15 and 25 percent-whose crying goes beyond normal. They cry seemingly all the time and are inconsolable, even when they are rested, well-fed, not too hot, and not too cold. Pediatricians refer to babies like this as “colic.” There is no official diagnosis for colic in babies, and in fact it is more of a general term than an actual condition. It merely refers to the baby’s excessive crying when the crying is not rooted in any physical issue. Although any excessive crying in an otherwise healthy baby can be called colic, pediatricians generally use the rule of threes: if the crying starts after a baby is three weeks old, lasts for over three hours, happens at least three days a week, and goes on for at least three weeks, it is colic. Causes of colic Whenever a baby cries excessively, it is best to consult a pediatrician as soon as possible. It could be that the baby does have a serious issue that is not outwardly visible. However, colic itself is by definition not rooted in any serious physical cause. Theories abound regarding what might cause it, including: