Dealing with colic LIVE webchat

We are joined today 12-1pm by Baby Sense author Megan Faure who is here to answer your questions about dealing with colic. If you're wondering how to spot the signs, prevent colic or simply ease the pain for your baby, please post your questions here. Megan will answer as many as she can during the hour-long webchat.


  • I am online now and am very pleased to be able to address and respond to some of your pressing questions on baby crying and colic. Its trying even for seasoned mums and dads! There are some easy ways to limit crying in the early days - so lets explore them through your questions!
  • Hi TallKatie
    Your 23 week old baby should really be passing through the 'normal' colic period now. The fact that she had reflux and is still uncomfortable when you feed her leads me to think the reflux is more of an issue than the 'colic' as it were. I suggest you go back to her doctor and ask for anti-reflux meds to help her be more comfortable at feeds. Feed her more upright than horizontal and raise the head of her crib when you put her down for a sleep.
  • Some simple things we may not realise about colic:
    1. 'Colic' is normal - most babies suffer from it to a degree. The crying usually starts at 2 weeks, peaks at 6 weeks and is decreasing by 12 weeks
    2. Most babies who exhibit 'colic' cry in the early evening between 5 and 9pm!
    3. 'Colic' is defined as crying more than 3 hours a day, more than 3 days a week and last for more than 3 weeks.

    [Modified by: MegFaure on March 09, 2009 12:20 PM]

  • Hi
    My first baby suffered from really bad colic and now I'm pregnant I'm really keen to try and avoid it next time round. Any ideas on prevention?
    thanks in advance
  • Hi Jbean
    Managing colic with other children in the home can be an enormous challenge! Firstly, if the other children are older, explain the situation to them and ask them to give you the space to settle LO. Make sure you spend good quality time with them in the afternoon or after settling your LO.
    If the other children are toddlers, try to elcit some help from a neightbour, dad, family or even a baby sitter while you settle your baby. If there is no help on hand use the next best baby sitter: TV - just while the pressure is on.

    To settle your little one try this little pre bed routine to prevent colic:
    1. Don't bath him at night as he may be too overstimulated to deal with extra stim at that time of day. Rather bath him in the morning until the colic abates.
    2. Swaddle him firmly as swaddling really helps to settle little ones.
    3. Feed him the last feed of the day in the dark.
    4. Burp him briefly - 5 min at the most- if a burp does not come up, leave it and don't 'chase' those winds
    5. Put him down to sleep after his feed and burping.
    6. If he starts to fuss, hold your hand on him and let him wriggle and fuss a little - NOT crying, just fussing. Often by not fussing with him and lifting and burping him further he is more likely to settle.
    7. If he cries, lift him and feed once more - a cluster feed before bed.
    8. Follow step 2 - 6 again.
    9. If he is really crying lift him up and place him in a sling to walk around with him until he falls asleep. A sling creates a womb space for soothing newborns.
  • Hi RubeyToo
    The good news is that no two babies are the same and so if your first was colicky, your second will be different and often this means less colicky. Also as an experienced mum, you will be more likely to read the warning signs next time. But since you ask - and it is a great question - how can we prevent colic:
    1. In pregnancy, avoid stress - this has been linked to stressed babies who cry more.
    2. Watch your baby's awake times. Babies that sleep regularly during the day generally have less colic. In Baby Sense and Sleep Sense we show you the awake times for each age band and you can use these to form a gentle baby centric routine for your LO. For a newborn - 45 min to an hour awake is enough and then its to sleep.
    3. Do not over stimulate your baby in the late afternoon - don't go on crazy outings, to shops or big social gatherings after 4pm. Button down the hatches for witching hour.
    4. Watch your baby for over stimulation, particularly in the late afternoon: watch for signs of looking away, suckin on hands and grizzling. These signals need to be heeded so you can calm your baby.
    5. Use movement to sooth your baby and don't worry about spoiling her - a sling is a great tool for preveting colic.
    6. Swaddle, swaddle swaddle - say no more!
  • hey,

    just a quick q - can breastfed babies suffer from colic? Or are bottle fed babies more likely too?
  • Hi Loopy Loo
    The research shows no correlation between what a baby is fed and colic. So breastfed babies are as likely to suffer as bottle fed babies. Do not be tempted to stop breastfeeding in an attempt to rule out allergies or intolerances or to see how much milk your baby is getting. The chances are there will be no affect on the colic.
    Likewise, breastfed babies are not immune to colic so don't berrate your self if you are bottlefeeding.

    Since colic has more to do with over stimulation, milk does not have a huge bearing on most cases of colic.

    Very rarely an intolerance may cause irritability or relux which will impact on crying levels. To rule this out, see your doctor.

    [Modified by: MegFaure on March 09, 2009 12:56 PM]

  • Hi Sarah
    It is great that you are swaddling. In general babies like to be swaddled until 9 - 14 weeks by which time they have found their hands and can self sooth better. It sounds like your little guy is close to being able to suck on his hands for pleasure.
    I would keep swaddling him for day and night sleeps. The best swaddle to contain those little reflexes is the Cuddlewrap - I think you can get them on Amazon or Kiddicare. They are specially shaped to keep LO's hands near their mouth and prevent the boxing out.

    Since your LO is 7 weeks old and colicky, I would try to keep up the swaddling if you can.
  • We've reached 1pm, so no new questions please. Many thanks to Megan for her advice today.
  • Thanks everyone! Good luck with your little ones. For more information go to

  • The 7 S's of calming are a great guideline:
    1. Sensory eyes - watch your baby for signs of overstimulation. Watch the environment and how much you stimulate your baby in the late afternoon
    2. Sling - soothing movement such as a sling or a pouch are ideal to sooth little ones
    3. Sleep - regular days sleeps are your best ammunition against colic - babies who sleep well during the day exhibit less colic in the evening.
    4. Sounds for calm - white noise such as the Womb to World CD and white noise machines or lullabies sooth fractious little ones
    5. Swaddling and other soothing touch such as massage - the deep pressure of a swaddle and a massage are great for calming fractious babies and releasing the endorphins that settle babies.
    6. Signals - get to know your baby's signals of enough and help her to suck on her hands of a dummy when she is colicky.
    7. Slow down and stick to one strategy for 5 minutes when soothing your baby. Limit burping to 5 minutes and don't frenetically burp her and change positions too often.
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