Colic: gas or fatigue?

Updated: Sep 23, 2020

Colic, a great concern of every new parent. The inconsolable crying and despair that parents often describe as very difficult to manage. What is it about? We talk about colic when there is the "rule of three" coined back in 1954 by Dr. Wessel. The baby must cry for more than three hours a day, for more than three days a week and for at least three consecutive weeks. In addition, the crying from colic tends to appear in the late afternoon and last until late in the evening, tending to disappear around three months of life (here's another three). In these hours of the day the baby begins to cry inconsolably, turns purple in the face, pulls up his arms and legs and contracts. The easiest thing is to attribute this behavior to colic, or pains caused by an excessive accumulation of intestinal gas. But isn't it strange that these colic always occur at the same time and almost always in the evening? In reality, air is always present in the digestive tract and there are few occasions when the latter can cause pain (in the case of infections or inflammation of the abdominal wall). In most cases, colic is just a crying baby, for a variety of reasons. Only in a few children is crying due to a real abdominal discomfort. The baby's crying is something very complex, being the only way the baby has to communicate. For this reason, when the baby cries, he does so with his whole body, writhing and kicking. And intestinal gas is not the main cause. Probably in the evening the tiredness and irritability at the end of the day begins to be felt (just as it happens to us adults) and the child needs the closeness of his mom and dad. In these cases, it is therefore necessary to remain calm, even if a newborn who cries for many hours in a row can put a strain on the parents. The remedies are there, but they are not drops or antispasmodic drugs that we would immediately think of. These children need calm and calm parents who can welcome and reassure them. Try a headband, go for walks or massage, sing a song or talk to him and reduce external stimulation to provide him with a peaceful environment.


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