Colicky Crying: When to Call the Doctor
Fortunately, most colicky babies aren’t sick babies, they’re more “homesick” than anything—they’re struggling to cope with life outside mama’s womb. That’s why using the 5 S’s method for soothing babies can be so helpful. But, what’s a parent to do if they aren’t doing the trick?
First, make sure you’re doing them correctly (review the Happiest Baby DVD/ streaming video be sure.) If you’re confident you’ve mastered the technique—it’s wise to have your child examined by a pediatrician to make sure your little one is not sick.
3 Questions Doctors Will Ask
When you speak with your doctor, she’ll 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 doctor will then ask how your baby acts when he isn’t crying. She’s 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’s important to have the perspective that they occur in less than 1% of fussy babies. Get your baby checked by a doctor to know for sure.
Did you know? Colicky babies are helped by a 4th trimester of recreating the soothing sensations of the womb. SNOO Smart Sleeper does just that, and promotes sleep for fussy babies. Learn more.