Colic or Gas?

Updated on November 18, 2015
K.F. asks from Sunbury, OH
11 answers

My daughter is almost 5 weeks old and has just recently started these crying fits where it seems like she's in pain and nothing makes her stop crying. She went for her 1 month check up last week and when I described this to her pediatrician he said it was colic. I always thought babies with colic cried all day long, so I never considered that I just thought it was gas. She is a gassy baby and sometimes it's difficult to get her to burp. The crying spells she has happen usually 3 times a day and can last up to an hour but never longer. She screams like she is in pain and her whole body tenses up as well. Nothing makes her stop crying, she just eventually falls asleep. I just don't want to assume that this is colic without looking into other things that could help her. She is formula fed, I'm wondering if I should try switching formulas? Does this sound like colic for those who have experienced it? Luckily these crying spells never happen in the middle of the night, only during the day and evening. Other than those few times a day she doesn't really cry, she just likes to be held a lot. So what could this be? Gas? Colic? Anything else I'm not thinking of? I realize how lucky I am that she doesn't cry constantly, I would just like to help her in any way I can especially if she is in pain. Thank you!!

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answers from Cincinnati on

Colic doesn't mean anything, actually, as a diagnosis. Colic is the diagnosis that doctors give to healthy babies who cry or seem to be in pain for no apparent reason. No one knows what causes colic (and theories vary from immature tummies to gas to an inability to process serotonin), and so it is kind of the easy way out for doctors who can't find anything wrong with your child and aren't really concerned.

Try noticing and then changing your diet to see if that makes a difference (for example, my baby gets gassy the day after I eat fried foods). Also, you might try some gripe water, which some parents say helps and others say doesn't (it may depend on the baby). You can buy it at the drug store. See if a heating pad or hot waterbottle on her tummy helps. You might check out "The Happiest Baby on the Block," which is a good book that gives advice about colicky babies, as well. Good luck.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Canton on

My daughter would scream in pain and her body would tense up and nothing helped. She was given a prescription which helped. I don't remember exactly what it was called, it was like prevacid for infants. It helped. I waited a month after having the prescription since I really didn't want to give her something like that, but once I did, it worked and then I felt terrible for making her suffer so long. My daughter couldn't lie on her stomach or she'd start crying. SHe would cry for hours at a time. Switching formulas didnt' help. Good luck. I know it's hard. My daughter outgrew it around 4 months of age. It is colic, gas. I think it's the same.



answers from Cleveland on

Harvey Karp's Happiest Baby on the Block is a wonderful book with tons of ideas. You can check it out at your library or look him up online!!!



answers from Cincinnati on

My goodness I FEEL YOUR PAIN..I was there. My mom told me what to do. She is and RN for the last 30 years and raised 5 kids. She told me that Colic is just another word for gas..and the little ones dont know how to pass it. I am TELLING you my mom saved mine and my kids life. Its easy. Take your babys temp in the butt and gently wiggle the thermometer around. That stimulation stimulations the gas to pass. Careful though my daughter sometimes pooped on my and it was an explosion. I had to do this at first abotu 3 times per day for about 3 days then it tapered off to once a day. SEnd me a personal message if you want to talk more. it sucks and yes its gas..... not colic. I think docs say colic if they dont know what else to say. but I am telling you the thermometer trick works...worked for my mom and her 5 kids, worked for my daughter and I told me BF about it and it worked for her.
Check your babys poo it hard??? my babys was always running and mustard seed but she was also breastfed. I dont want to rule out constipation but I can rule out colic.



answers from Toledo on

I believe that your little one could possible need a probiotic. My little grandson was in the same place and we started him on a product called "opti-flora" by Shaklee and a soothing stomach that we made into a tea and gave it to him with a dropper. Please check this out and let me know if I can help you. My daughters Ped has her number on file to send moms with babies to her for this issue. It works!!!
Good Luck S.



answers from Cleveland on

hey girl - my youngest was the same way, starting around 4 weeks (she is almost 5 mo now) - it was torture for the both of us :( we tried the mylicon drops, and they didn't seem to help, but we did switch her to the gentlease Enfamil formula, i'm sure similac has a similar product - it is basically still a milk based formula, but the proteins are half broken down, so the baby's body doesn't have to do ask much work (my middle son had to be put on soy when he was about 6 weeks, but they didn't have the gentlease formulas back then), and that really did wonders for her - she was a completly different baby after we switched her formula. She also started napping better since she didn't have quite as many burps. She was still gassy and burps a lot, but it really amazed me the difference in her. We also have her nap during the day on her stomach - it really helps her get burps out while she sleeps, and she is able to take at least one 3 hr nap a day, which does wonders for her demeanor as well. I know they recommend only letting babies sleep on their backs, but she just cannot get her burps out if she sleeps on her back, and wakes up screaming in pain after 20-30 min, and can't get herself back to sleep. At night she is always on her back & doesn't seem to have as many issues with gas.

anyway - hope this helps - hang in there - it does get better!
sending hugs!



answers from Cleveland on

The same thing happened to my youngest (who is 3 & 1/2 now). We thought it was gas & tried every trick in the book to help make the gas go away. We ended up giving her Similac Soy (I believe it had a pink label). I'm sure Enfamil ~ which is also great ~ has something similar. She had to be on soy until she was a year. Her dr. said sometimes baby's systems are sensitive & can't handle the regular stuff. She is able to eat dairy now with no problems. Good luck!



answers from Boston on

Poor little ones!! I'll suggest babies magic tea to soothe your LO. Gas pain is common in newborns and the best thing I ever found was this tea.



answers from Columbus on

Try probiotics. I had terrible fussy, gassy babies and with the second one, a friend suggested Culturelle for Kids, which is safe for newborns. I was skeptical but at a point where I would do just about anything. It worked really well though! It is available at and I saw it at Kroger's too. Good luck and hang in there. It doesn't last forever even though it feels like it might now.



answers from Tulsa on

gas and colic is the same thing. give her mylicon drops and if she is still crying warm peppermint water. and if that doesnt work insist she gets soy formula



answers from Mansfield on

Hi, I know exactly what you are going through!! My son is 7 weeks old and he does the same exact thing. I posted a question on here about ways to help colic and got a lot of great ideas and soothing can look up my question in the Q & A section and read through the answers. (so many I can't type them all) Anyways in addition to these I talked to my pediatrician about gripe water and she recommended Mylanta, regular strength instead of gripe water. She told us to give 1/2 tsp. every 6 hours as needed. It has worked wonders and has helped with my sanity! I was very hesitant on giving medicine like this but I'm telling you it is an INSTANT change with my son, most of the time he stops crying and will settle down and not hold his body as stiff as a board as soon as the medicine goes in his mouth! I figure that if I can help him feel better and not hurt, why not give him the medicine. We only give it to him when he is really unconsolable and out of control crying. We also switched from Similac Sensitive Soy to Similac Sensitive Formula for fussiness and gas, this has seemed to help a little too. Good luck, I know it's hard and that eventually everyone says it gets better!

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