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Usually identified by an infant crying loudly over a period of more than three hours a day for more than three days a week over a period of more than three weeks.
History and examination should include the:
Colic is usually indicated, if no red flags by crying bouts that start when a baby is about 3 weeks old (usually late in the day, although they can occur anytime), lasting for more than three hours a day, on more than three days a week, for more than three weeks in a row. It typically peaks at 6 to 8 weeks and subsides by 3 to 4 months.
The most useful intervention is advice and support for parents/carers and reassurance that their baby is well, they are not doing something wrong, the baby is not rejecting them, and that colic is a common phase that will pass within a few months. If parents/carers aren't coping refer to the health visitor for support.
No treatment has been shown to be of substantial benefit; only consider trying medical treatments if parents/carers feel unable to cope despite advice and reassurance. The preparations below are available to purchase over the counter from supermarkets and pharmacies. If there is no response to the trial of treatment stop it.
A full clinical review by GP should be carried out if persistent and associated with:
If the family requires emotional support or support with feeding, refer them to the health visitor. If you are concerned about the mothers mental health consider 2gether and call the Contact Centre on 0800 0151 499 (9am-5pm, Monday-Friday) for advice. Please also see perinatal mental health pathway.
Advice from a paediatrician is required if there is diagnostic doubt.
Use Paediatric Advice and Guidance in the first instance if there are no urgent concerns.
If there are urgent concerns contact the Consultant Advice Line on 0300 422 5800.
Ongoing care and emotional support is provided by the health visitor.
Stop any treatment for colic after the age of 3-4 months (and by 6 months of age at the latest), weaning the child off treatment over the period of about one week.