Management of infantile colic
Infantile colic causes significant suffering, to more than just baby. Parents and carers are usually stressed and sleep deprived, their relationships with each other and their baby may be affected. Breastfeeding may be stopped earlier or infant formula frequently changed and weaning on to solid foods may begin sooner than originally planned1. These babies are also at increased risk of physical abuse and may demonstrate longer term behavioural problems such as temper tantrums, hyperactivity and academic difficulties. Many babies tend to suffer from a period of discomfort at some point during the day, which is often attributed to colic. True infantile colic however, which was first defined in 19545, is considered to be “inconsolable crying with limb flexure, lasting for at least 3 hours a day (often in the evening), at least 3 days a week, in otherwise healthy, thriving infants, starting in the first weeks of life and ceasing between 3–6 months of age”. There appears to be no association with feeding method, gender, ocioeconomic status or family history of food allergy or atopy. Colic is perceived by mothers to be one of the most common problems of infancy and is thought to affect up to 28% of babies.
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