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What is Normal Fussing vs. Colic: Myth Versus Truth

What is Normal Fussing vs. Colic: Myth Versus Truth

Is colic an issue for your baby? We’re debunking the myths about colic and fussiness in babies.

All newborn babies cry and show hints of fussiness because they’re still getting used to their new world outside the womb and they’re trying to communicate with you. Patience and a little knowledge can go a long way toward calming your fussy little one.

1. Babies who fuss or cry a lot are not as healthy as other babies.

MYTH. It’s normal for babies to cry and fuss. In fact, even if your little one has colic (crying for more than 3 hours a day, more than 3 days a week, for at least 3 weeks), they are just as healthy as their non-colicky counterparts. As long as your baby has a healthy appetite, good sucking muscles, and appears to be growing and developing normally, then there’s likely no need to worry— they may outgrow this phase.

2. Sometimes the best thing to do with crying, fussy or colicky babies is just hold them.

TRUTH. Babies, like everyone, love human contact. Your little one likes to be snuggled, cuddled, hugged, and kissed – and you probably love doing that, so win-win. Sometimes when you can’t figure out what’s causing your baby to be uncomfortable—they’ve just been fed, don’t need a diaper change, aren’t too cold or too hot—maybe they just need a little TLC. It’s a great first step in calming them down.

3. Changes in diet can help crying and colic.

TRUTH. If your baby is on formula, try one that’s easy on developing digestive systems. If the doctor suspects a food allergy, a hypoallergenic formula may be recommended.

4. Colicky, fussy, crying babies have problems with bowel movements.

MYTH. Some people think that if their baby is crying, fussy, or seems colicky, it’s likely linked with a bowel issue. This may not be true. But if they have diarrhea or blood in their poop, see your pediatrician, as these problems are not associated with common fussiness.

5. If your baby seems uncomfortable—crying and fussing—feeding will help.

MYTH. If your baby is not hungry (they’re not making the rooting reflex or smacking their lips—the universal sign for hunger), then you shouldn’t try to feed them. Over-feeding your baby is never a good idea. Instead, try a few other techniques:

  • Swaddle baby
  • Turn on the vacuum cleaner or a white noise machine
  • Take a walk with them
  • Try an infant swing or vibrating chair

Now that you’ve got some clarity around crying, fussiness and colic, see what science is telling doctors about colic and how this new information could help calm your crying and fussy baby.