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Colic is diagnosed by its symptoms, rather than by a cause. Generally, a colicky baby will have periods of uncontrollable crying, lasting more than three hours per day, and more than three days of any given week. The crying will tend to happen at around the same time most days, often in the late afternoon. A colicky baby may also become quite upset after a feed. The baby will otherwise appear to be medically fit, and well fed. Colic affects approximately 10-20% of babies.
Though many theories exist, nobody knows the cause of colic. Some medical professionals suggest that it is because the baby's digestive system is immature. Other studies suggest that mothers who have been anxious, stressed or depressed during pregnancy, may have babies who are more likely to have colic.
 Signs and symptoms
Typically, a baby with colic will have a loud, high pitched cry, go red in the face, and clench their fists while they are having an episode. They may also draw up their knees, and arch their back. Often the baby will pass wind or a bowel motion when the crying has ceased, and this will provide temporary relief. Other symptoms may include constipation, unusual colour of bowel movements or changes in the consistency of the stool.
 Who gets it
Colic occurs in both breast and bottlefed babies, but there is a higher incidence of it among babies who are sensitive to cow's milk, or who have had a difficult or traumatic birth. For an unknown reason, colic also tends to be more common in male babies than in female babies.
 Calming a colicky baby
Some babies respond to a natural approach. Homeopathy can be safe and effective at treating your baby's colic. Always consult a trained homeopathic practitioner before trying any of these remedies yourself. Some commonly used remedies include:
Many parents have also reported that other natural therapies have been affective in soothing their baby’s colic. Reflexology, chiropractic, craniosacral therapy, cranial osteopathy and acupuncture have often had good results.
 Breastfeeding moms
If you are breastfeeding, you may need to eliminate some foods from your diet. There are some foods which seem to aggravate colic. Often keeping a food diary for a few weeks, and noting the effect of certain foods on your baby, will help you to recognize possible suspects. Such foods may include:
Often the addition of herbal tea to a breastfeeding mother’s diet can help to calm a baby's colic. There are many good choices, but amongst the most common are dill, fennel seed, peppermint, chamomile and liquorice.