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What is colic?

Author Philippa Murphy

What is colic?

Colic is better known as Digestive Overload as this is the cause of colic which can be mild, or extreme and is brought about by:

  • unbalanced feeding practices
  • retained air (wind)
  • newborns not receiving their natural balance of enzymes
  • tongue tie

This aspect of Digestive Overload behaviour can happen at any time of the day and night but it is known to be more prominent in the evening because of the daily cycle many parents fall into providing. When the majority of behaviours listed below happen every day, perhaps twice, or every second day, then the newborn is generally exhibiting colic. This may be apparent from Day One but is more often seen when a newborn becomes more aware of themselves at around two to three weeks following the birth.  Digestive Overload can occur for the first year and sometimes beyond.  This depends on how overloaded the digestive system has been earlier in life and how much overloading and imbalance continues.

This aspect of Digestive Overload has these behaviour's...

an excerpt from Philippa's book - BabyCues

  • Irritability, grizzling, inconsolable crying, screaming.
  • Bloating, cramps, excessive gas.
  • Heightened communication around times of bowel motions from excessive wind passing through the intestines.
  • Frequent frothy and/or explosive bowel motions, constipation.
  • Weight gains that are consistently at the upper regions or beyond recommended levels, or, as colic has been described by Morris Wessel, your baby will ‘look to otherwise be thriving.'
  • Wakefulness from discomfort with episodes of longer periods of sleep, but the latter is often from exhaustion through crying and lack of sleep rather than because the newborn feels comfortable.
  • Frequent searching for something to suck (exhibiting the ‘root reflex’).
  • Arching backwards or sideways, writhing, wriggling.
  • Pedalling legs.
  • Gulping their milk, seeming very hungry while being restless - sometimes refusing to feed, pulling off the nipple or when bottle-fed, having flailing arms, legs and much turning of the head because of digestive discomfort.
  • Hiccups - a newborn's natural reflex for releasing ingested air. The more overloaded they are by wind, the more hiccups they experience.
  • Blueness or darkness around the mouth, which will come and go.  This can be visible above the top lip, under the bottom lip, or both simultaneously and can sometimes spread as far as the bridge of the nose between the eyes.  This sign of wind is present for all newborns because all experience natural levels of ingested air.  It becomes more prominent as wind accumulates to overload levels.

Read more about the common daily cycle that creates 'colic' issues


Last Updated: 12 August 2016