My Baby Goes Stiff as a Board

One of your primary duties as a parent is ensuring that your baby is fine. You feed them, ensure that they have a clean diaper, and check on their health to make sure they are okay. For this reason, it is so frustrating to see the baby crying after all the effort you have put in. What is even more hurtful is seeing the baby cry so much that they are not interested in any attention you try to show them. Such behaviors can cause stress for you as a parent. 

However, if this is the stage that you are currently going through with your kid, worry not since you are not alone. This is a condition called colic and is common to most babies. Read on to understand more about colic and how you can manage it.

What Is Colic?

Colic is a condition when your child cries uncontrollably for a long time without any apparent reason. The crying is intense and prolonged and could make the parent think the child is in real pain. However, the baby cries for about several hours a day without any physical or emotional distress. More often than not, colic episodes happen at night when the parent is tired. The condition presents itself when the baby is between four and six weeks old.

They will later grow out of the condition when they are about three or four months. When your baby is dealing with colic, you need to take care of yourself since it is stressful.

What Are the Causes of Colic?

Causes of colic remain a mystery, and doctors have no specific answer as to what causes it. However, several theories are trying to define the causes of colic. For instance, there is a theory that colic results from fear, excitement, and frustrations. Other theories say that it is a childhood form of migraine, and others blame hormones that cause belly pain. It is also possible that colic is caused by underfeeding or overfeeding, food allergies, stress and anxiety, and an imbalance of healthy bacteria in the body.

What Is the Difference Between Normal Crying and Colic?

Generally, babies cry, especially as a way of communication. However, there are some differences between normal crying and colic. For instance, if a baby is crying for no reason, this is a colic sign. You can also identify colic if the baby is difficult to soothe and becomes stiff around the arms, back, and fists. High-pitched screaming and red or pale skin are also signs of a colic spell.

Diagnosis for Colic

There is no test that your doctor can perform to identify whether or not your baby has colic. However, they perform health exams to rule out the possibility of other health conditions. If everything is okay, then they can tell that your baby has colic.

How Do You Manage Colic?

Ideally, there is no treatment that you can give your child to stop colic. However, you can manage the situation and help them calm down. One of the ways through which you can achieve this is by ensuring that the baby is fine. Check their diaper and try feeding them in case you suspect they are hungry. If colic is a recurring behavior in your baby, try changing what you are eating for better breast milk. For instance, you can consider cutting dietary products like caffeine or dairy products. If your baby is still in the colic condition, try singing or talking to the baby. Walking around and taking the baby for a ride in the stroller will also work.

No matter how tricky it is, try methods to comfort the baby. For instance, give skin-to-skin contact and try swaddling the baby. You can also give them a warm bath or try massaging them. Such comforts will help the baby relax and end the colic condition.

When to Get Medical Help

Although colic is stressful, it is likely to come to an end without causing any damage to your baby. However, you should contact your doctor if you realize decreased movement with your baby. Additionally, vomiting, fever, and bloody stools are also alarming. You can also consult your doctor for advice on how to handle the baby and how to manage the stress.


The condition where your child cries and becomes stiff and uncontrollable is called colic. Though colic is stressful and frustrating, especially to new parents, your child will grow out of it with time. For the time being, use the information above to help you reduce the stress you have when your baby starts crying at the top of their voice for no reason.