If your baby won’t stop crying for hours on end, it might be a sign of colic. The constant crying can occur on a near-daily basis at similar times, usually beginning when your baby is around 2-4 weeks old. According to The Colic Report by Dr Brown’s, almost half of all babies in the UK develop colic, and from a carer’s point of view, it can be heartbreaking and overwhelming to deal with.

What are the signs of colic?

While we accept that all babies cry, NHS UK advises that “your baby may have colic if they cry more than 3 hours a day.” You may also be dealing with colic if your baby goes red in the face, clenches their fists and/or brings their knees up to their tummy in distress. Between these episodes, your baby will likely be entirely content.

What causes colic?

Nobody can quite agree on what causes colic, and the condition is often not well understood. Some medical experts have theories that it could be related to muscle spasms in a growing digestive system, hormones that cause stomach pain, or overstimulation, according to WebMD. Remember, colic isn’t your fault. There is nothing you could have done to prevent your baby from developing colic.

The good news is there are products that can help with the symptoms and signs of colic. If you decide to include bottle feeding as part of your feeding routine, specialist bottles, such as Dr Brown’s Options+ anti-colic bottles are specially designed to manage symptoms of colic. They’ll help reduce the amount of air swallowed during feeds, lessen gas bubbles in the stomach, and slow down food intake. In fact, 92% of UK Health Professionals recommend Dr. Brown’s Options+™ bottles for the relief of colicky symptoms**.

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Introducing Dr. Brown’s Options+ anti-colic bottles

The enhanced design of Dr. Brown’s Options+ Anti-Colic Bottles works by cleverly channelling air away from your baby’s feed. The unique 100% vacuum-free vent system is clinically proven to reduce windy colic, while the breast-like teat shape will ensure a proper latch and a natural bottle-feeding experience. This mum-like feel is ideal for those switching from breast to bottle and back again if you’re expressing!

Dr. Brown’s breast-shaped teat has a 93% acceptance rate*, so you won’t have to worry about teat refusal, which can be a real issue when it comes to bottle-feeding baby. What’s more, the bottles can be used with or without the removable internal vent system, transforming it into a teat-vented bottle for more convenience.

Dr Brown’s Natural Flow®? Options+™ bottles are also available in glass with the same soft silicone teats and anti-colic vent system that’s both heat and shock resistant.

Is colic dangerous?

Even though it can be distressing to hear your baby crying constantly, colic is not dangerous and is a condition that should get better on its own. If your baby has any other symptoms, such as vomiting or not putting on weight, or something just doesn’t feel quite right don’t hesitate to contact your doctor or healthcare professional.

What are the best ways to treat colic?

There isn’t a simple cure for colic but there are some techniques and over-the-counter medications to soothe a colicky baby.

NHS UK advises:

• Comforting: holding or cuddle your baby when they’re crying a lot and gently rock your baby over your shoulder.
• Positioning: sit and hold baby upright during feeds to prevent them from swallowing air.
• Bathing: bath your baby in a warm bath.
• Soothing noise: white noise and or background sounds like TV and radio are proven to distract and soothe babies suffering from colic.
• Medications: while there is no evidence that medications are guaranteed to work for your baby, some parents have found anti-colic drops and herbal and probiotic supplements helpful. Get advice from your GP or pharmacist about the best one for your baby. Baby massage comes recommended, as does feeding your baby as upright as possible to prevent trapped wind.

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Getting help. Looking after a colicky baby is hard work, so enlist the help of your friends, family and partner so you can take a break to reset.

Babywearing is also a brilliant tip for coping with a colicky baby. Get out of the house for a walk, change up their environment, sometimes a circuit breaker can do the world of good.

Take your baby for a drive to soothe them into a peaceful sleep. Try a warm bath or a swing/rocker. Motion is a brilliant distraction.

Don’t always look to use feeding as a way of settling your baby, sometimes a baby can overfeed, and you’ll find yourself in a vicious circle of feeding and winding. It’s worth making sure there’s an interval between feeds, while you watch for signs that your baby is hungry, rather than just upset.

Seeking medical advice

Always seek medical advice if your baby has a temperature, vomiting, blood in their stools, a high pitch abnormal cry or feeding problems or symptoms other than just excessive crying. If signs of colic haven’t subsided within a few weeks, make a return trip to the doctor, just to be sure nothing has changed.

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References

* In a comprehensive study of 884 babies, 93% of babies accepted Dr. Brown’s™ Options+™ Wide-Neck Teat.
**Research carried out by Mustard Research Ltd amongst a sample of 200 UK Healthcare Professionals during May 2017

For more information about colic, visit

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