|Crying Baby Less Than 3 Months Old|
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|Does this describe your child's symptoms?|
|When to Call Your Doctor|
|Call 911 Now (your child may need an ambulance) If|
|Call Your Doctor Now (night or day) If|
|Call Your Doctor Within 24 Hours (between 9 am and 4 pm) If|
|Call Your Doctor During Weekday Office Hours If|
|Parent Care at Home If|
|HOME CARE ADVICE FOR NORMAL CRYING OR COLIC|
- Normal Crying: All babies cry when they are hungry. In addition, the average baby has 1 to 2 hours of unexplained crying scattered throughout the day. As long as they are happy and content when they are not crying, this is normal.
- Colic: Some babies cry excessively (over 3 hours/day) or are very difficult to comfort. If they are growing normally and have a normal medical exam, the crying is called colic. Remind yourself that colic is due to brain immaturity and has nothing to do with your parenting or any medical disease.
- Hold and Comfort: Hold and soothe your baby whenever he cries without a reason. The horizontal position is best for helping a baby relax, settle down, and go to sleep.
- Provide a gentle rocking motion in a cradle or rocking chair
- Dance with your baby to some slow music
- Place in a front pack or sling (which frees up your hands)
- Place in a wind-up swing or a vibrating chair
- Give a stroller (or buggy) ride - outdoors or indoors
- Sucking on a pacifier (if breastfeeding is well-established)
- Warm Bath: If crying continues, take a warm bath with your baby.
- Feedings: Feed your baby, if more than 2 hours since the last feeding (1Â½ hours for breast fed).
- Sleep and Swaddling:
- Put your baby down to sleep, if more than 3 hours have passed since the last nap and you have tried quiet holding for more than 30 minutes. Some overtired infants need to cry themselves to sleep.
- Swaddling often helps. Wrap your child in a light blanket with the arms tucked close to the body. Place on the back in the crib.
- Warning: Never shake a baby. It can cause bleeding on the brain and severe brain damage. Also never leave your baby with anyone who is immature or has a bad temper. If you are frustrated, put your baby down in a safe place and get help.
- Expected Course: Once you find the right technique, the crying should decrease to 1 hour per day. Colic improves after 2 months of age and is usually gone by 3 months.
- Call Your Doctor If:
- Your baby starts to look or act sick
- Cries constantly over 2 hours using this advice
- Cannot be comforted using this advice
- Your child becomes worse
And remember, contact your doctor if your child develops any of the "Call Your Doctor" symptoms.
Disclaimer: This information is not intended be a substitute for professional medical advice. It is provided for educational purposes only. You assume full responsibility for how you choose to use this information.
Author and Senior Reviewer: Barton D. Schmitt, M.D.
Last Reviewed: 1/19/2009
Last Revised: 9/4/2007
Content Set: Pediatric HouseCalls Online
Copyright 1994-2009 Barton D. Schmitt, M.D.