31st Jul 2020

Coping with a distressed baby is something that every parent has endured at one point or another. But, no matter how often it happens, it doesn’t make the experience any more pleasant or easy to experience.

After all, no one likes to see their little one feeling poorly.

Characterised by excessive crying, medically diagnosed colic can be a particularly difficult experience for both parent and baby to encounter.

Keep reading to explore the common signs of medically diagnosed colic and how you may help to relieve them.

But, keep in mind that infant colic must be diagnosed by a health professional. If you have any concerns about your child health, take them to see your friendly GP.

What Is Medically Diagnosed Colic?

Colic is defined as excessive, frequent crying in a baby that is otherwise healthy and well-fed. It affects approximately one in five babies but its causes remain unknown (1).

What Are The Common Signs And Symptoms?

Although the cause of colic is shrouded in medical mystery, there are a few common signs and symptoms. If your baby is experiencing colic they may:

  • Frowning or grimacing (2)
  • Flushed face (2)
  • Pulling their legs up to their chest (2)
  • Loud tummy rumblings (2)
  • Crying stops around the time that baby passes wind or faeces (2)
  • Clenching fists (1)

Sometimes colicky babies bring their legs up to their chests.

Tips To Help Relieve Medically Diagnosed Colic

The important thing to remember with colic, is that it usually subsides on its own after a few weeks. But in the meantime, life with a colicky baby may be difficult for all involved. These tips may help you to manage your little one’s discomfort when they are experiencing colic.

  • Hold your baby curled in a C (or flexed) position (crying babies tend to arch their backs and stiffen their legs) (2)
  • Try techniques to calm your bub, such as baby massage, gentle rocking and patting, or a warm bath (1)
  • Use a baby sling to provide comfort and contact (2)
  • Try to remain calm and speak softly to your baby (3)

If you’ve found this article useful, you may also enjoy the following:

The Ultimate What, When, Why And How Guide To Colic


  1. Healthdirect (2018). Colic in babies. [online] Available at: [Accessed 25 Feb. 2020].
  2. Better Health Channel. (n.d.). Colic. [online] Available at: [Accessed 25 Feb. 2020].
  3. The Royal Children’s Hospital Melbourne. (n.d.). Crying and unsettled babies – colic. [online] Available at: [Accessed 28 Feb. 2020].