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About Toddler Colic

By Kristeen Cherney ; Updated June 13, 2017

Colic is a condition in which a baby seemingly cries for no reason for a long length of time and cannot be consoled. The Mayo Clinic reports that colic affects 25 percent of babies. Colic in toddlers is not common. However, your toddler is more likely to have colic if he was colicky throughout infancy. Colic in toddlers can also be misinterpreted as other underlying health problems.

Causes

According to the Mayo Clinic, the precise cause of colic is unknown. Some speculated causes of colic include allergies, an undeveloped digestive system, lactose intolerance and maternal anxiety. Maternal smoking also increases the risk of colic. Kids Health explains that some colicky babies also have gas, but the gas is likely caused after excessive crying from colic. Colic that lingers past infancy is likely associated with an underlying health problem. According to Kids Health, gastroesophageal reflux disease, or GERD, is a common culprit.

Symptoms

Colic is characterized by high-pitched crying that lasts for two or more hours. According to the Mayo Clinic, colicky babies tend to cry at the same time of day for a few weeks or more. The frustrating side of colic for both baby and parent is that your baby cannot be comforted. The Mayo Clinic explains that your toddler might also clench her fists and her abdominal muscles might tense up.

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Time Frame

Generally, colic occurs during the first few months of life. The Mayo Clinic reports that 90 percent of babies outgrow colic by the age of nine months. Still, ten percent of babies have a chance of experiencing colic well into toddler-hood. In the case of toddler colic, the Mayo Clinic recommends that you record all crying spells and share that information with your pediatrician.

Prevention/Solution

The only form of treatment you can give your toddler is comfort. Try holding him, rocking him or taking him for a car ride. If he has frequent gas accompanying colic spells, the Mayo Clinic suggests asking your doctor for a probiotic to improve digestion. According to the Chiropractic Resource Organization, chiropractic adjustments can help relieve colic in toddlers as well as prevent the occurrence of nocturnal waking and temper tantrums. Chiropractic care is an alternative form of treatment for colic in toddlers and should be discussed with your pediatrician beforehand.

Considerations

Because colic in toddlers is uncommon, it is imperative that you watch for other signs of illness in your baby. Kids Health advises that you call your pediatrician immediately if your toddler has lethargy, vomiting, diarrhea and a temperature of 100.4 degrees Fahrenheit or greater. Although colic may be indicative or misinterpreted for another health problem, the Mayo Clinic reports that colic itself goes away in its own in time. Therefore, if colic persists well past infancy, you should take your toddler to the doctor for an evaluation.

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