Colicky Crying: When to Call the Doctor
Fortunately, most colicky babies are not sick babies, they are more “homesick” than anything—they are struggling to cope with life outside mums womb. That is why using the 5 S’s method for soothing babies can be so helpful. But, what is a parent to do if they are not doing the trick?
First, make sure you are doing them correctly (review the Happiest Baby DVD/ streaming video be sure.) If you are confident you have mastered the technique—it is wise to have your child examined by a paediatrician to make sure your little one is not sick.
3 Questions a Healthcare Provider Will Ask
When you speak with your healthcare provider, they will likely ask the following questions to figure out if your child just has colic, or something more serious:
- Is your baby growing well?
- Is your child normal in all other ways?
- Is your baby content and alert for long periods of the day?
If you answered no to any of these questions, your healthcare provider will then ask how your baby acts when he is not crying. She is checking for the following symptoms:
Ten Red-Flags: Signs of a Problem
- Persistent moaning (frequent groans and weak cries)
- Shrill cry (high pitched and sharp, unlike your baby’s usual cry sound)
- Vomiting (more than 1 ounce per episode; more than 5 episodes a day; or any green or yellow vomit)
- Change in stool (constipation or diarrhea, especially with blood)
- Fussing during eating (twisting, arching, crying that begins during or shortly after a feed)
- Abnormal temperature (a rectal temperature over 100.4°F or under 97.5°F)
- Irritability (persistent crying with almost no calm periods)
- Lethargy (a baby sleeping twice as long as usual, acting “out of it,” or not sucking well over an 8- to 12-hour period)
- Bulging soft spot on the head (even when your baby is sitting up)
- Poor weight gain (gaining less than a half ounce a day)
Note: Food allergy/sensitivity is the only common medical cause of colic. While some more serious problems are possible, it is important to have the perspective that they occur in less than 1% of fussy babies. Get your baby checked by a healthcare provider to know for sure.
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Disclaimer: The information on our site is NOT medical advice for any specific person or condition. It is only meant as general information. If you have any medical questions and concerns about your child or yourself, please contact your health provider. Breastmilk is the best source of nutrition for babies. It is important that, in preparation for and during breastfeeding, mothers eat a healthy, balanced diet. Combined breast- and bottle-feeding in the first weeks of life may reduce the supply of a mother's breastmilk and reversing the decision not to breastfeed is difficult. If you do decide to use infant formula, you should follow instructions carefully.