Sorry, you need to enable JavaScript to visit this website.
Share this Article

Why is my baby crying?


Did you know? Around 25% of healthy babies may cry inconsolably during their first weeks of life. This is often called ‘colic’.

Tuesday, January 5th, 2021

If your baby is healthy but cries excessively for more than three hours a day on three or more days a week, she may be suffering from colic.

Most parents notice symptoms of colic when their baby is between two and four weeks old and it peaks at about six weeks. Colic is often described as excessive crying in an otherwise healthy baby. Colic is particularly challenging to caregivers, who seem unable to help their babies stop crying. In addition, if your baby has colic this can lead to you feeling anxiety, frustration, and exhaustion. The good news is that babies tend to outgrow colic within several weeks.

Causes of colic

The exact causes of colic are not known. Since colic is not diagnosed in older babies, it could be related to the immaturity of a young baby’s digestive system. Her gut will naturally mature as she gets older. Some experts have also suggested that the excessive crying because of colic is related to the amount and types of friendly bacteria in a baby’s intestines.

In fact, multiple studies have shown that babies who were given a specific probiotic supplement, Lactobacillus reuteri, had reduced crying time compared with babies that did not take the probiotic. There’s no need to stop breastfeeding as Lactobacillus reuteri is actually found in breast milk!

If you suspect your baby has colic, ask your healthcare provider for advice.

Sources (Accessed December 29 2016)

Benninga MA, Nurko S, Faure C et al. Childhood functional gastrointestinal disorders: Neonate/toddler. Gatroenterology 2016; 150:1443-55.

Camilleri M, Park, SY, Scarpato E et al. Exploring hypotheses and rationale for causes of infantile colic. Neurogastroenterol Motil 2017; 29(2): doi: 10.1111/nmo.12943

Chau K, Lau E, Greenberg S et al. Probiotics for infantile colic: a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial investigating Lactobacillus reuteri DSM 17938. J Pediatr 2015; 166(1):74–8.

Indrio F, Di Mauro A, Riezzo G et al. Prophylactic use of a probiotic in the prevention of colic, regurgitation, and functional constipation. A randomized clinical trial. JAMA Pediatr 2014; 168(3):228-33.

Johnson J, Cocker K, Chang E. Infantile Colic: Recognition and treatment. Am Fam Physician 2015; 92(7):577-82.

Savino F, Ceratto S, Poggi E et al. Preventive effects of oral probiotic on infantile colic: a prospective, randomised, blinded, controlled trial using Lactobacillus reuteri DSM 17938. Benef Microbes 2015; 6(3):245-51.

Szajewska H, Gyrczuk E, Horvath A. Lactobacillus reuteri DSM 17938 for the management of infantile colic in breastfed infants: a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial. J Pediatr 2013; 162(2):257–62.

Vandenplas Y, Huysentruyt K. Early nutrition and its effect on the development of functional GI disorders.

Early Nutrition and Long-Term Health 2017.

Zeevenhooven J, Koppen IJ and Benninga MA. The new rome IV criteria for functional gastrointestinal disorders in infants and toddlers. Pediatr Gastroenterol Hepatol Nutr 2017; 20(1):1-13.

Read more

Join Nestlé Baby Club

Parenting peace of mind, just a click away. Get your personal weekly advice and solutions via email.

  • Learn about nutrition & parentingLearn about nutrition & parenting
  • Enjoy samples, gifts and great dealsEnjoy samples, gifts and great deals
  • Get help & answers you need in no timeGet help & answers you need in no time
  • Get rewarded as you spendGet rewarded as you spend
Related Content

Still haven't found
what you are looking for?

Try our new smart question engine. We'll always have something for you.