Crying and colic


All babies cry, some more than others. It is normal for your baby to cry up to four hours a day, which is usually broken into short crying spells. Crying is her way of communicating. You will soon recognize her different cries for hunger, fatigue, pain and overstimulation. Responding quickly to your newborn’s cry is by no means spoiling her; it’s showing her that the world is a safe place.

Tips for comforting your baby:

  • Feed and burp her.
  • Change her diaper.
  • Check to see if she is too warm or too cold.
  • Hold her skin to skin on your chest.
  • Swaddle her in a blanket.
  • Gently rock, bounce, walk, or swing her.
  • Walk her outside.
  • Talk, sing, shush her quietly.
  • Provide white noise like a fan or the sound of your dryer.
  • Gently massage her back, tummy and legs.


Colic is an intense form of crying that often begins around 2 to 3 weeks of life, peaks at 5 to 6 weeks of age, and then subsides by 3 to 4 months.

This crying is difficult to console, often occurs late in the day (but can be any time of day), and is not accompanied by other signs of illness or physical distress. Colicky babies often become gassy and pull their legs up.

The cause of colic is not known, but Dr. Bradshaw (whose first child was terribly colicky) adheres to the theory that colic is a neurological phenomenon. Some babies – those who are particularly “plugged in” to the world – become overwhelmed by all the sights, smells, sounds, and touches of daily life, and they cry to blow off steam.

Unfortunately, your baby’s method of relieving stress makes parents very stressed out! Please contact us if you believe your baby has colic, so we can give you more advice on soothing a colicky infant.

Newborn care

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Crying Baby – Before 3 Months Old

A baby less than 3 months old is crying and you don’t know why. Crying is the only symptom. The type of frequent crying called colic is included. For crying with an illness or other symptom, go to that care guide.