'Colicky' Babies: It Only Hurts A Little While

October 09, 1997

Parents whose babies are 'colicky' during the first few weeks after birth need not worry that their family lives will be disrupted by stress and conflict indefinitely.

At least that is the conclusion drawn by a team of researchers in Finland who studied 117 families, 59 of them with colicky infants and 58 with children of the same ages who cried less.

Infants defined as colicky were those who cried as though in pain for three hours or more a day on three or more days in any one week. Parents of such children typically fear that they will have a difficult child for life, and literature on temperament research has suggested that such infants tend to be more difficult over the long haul.

But in the October Journal of Developmental and Behavioral Pediatrics, Hannele Raiha, Ps.L. and colleagues from the University of Turku and Turku University Hospital in Finland bring reassuring news to parents whose infants have colic: although they may be more anxious and have more conflict during the first year after birth, three years later they are no different from other families and the "mood" of the family actually improves.

"It causes an exhausting and stressful three months to many families," the researchers write. "Parents clearly expect something else from the infant's first weeks."

They first interviewed the families when the infants were colicky, emphasizing the psychological characteristics of the family as well as the severity of the colic. A year later, they found that certain family characteristics, such as how emotions were expressed, had remained the same, but after three years the families could not be distinguished by those characteristics from other families.

The researchers caution, however, that their findings are limited because the analysis was based on the families' own reports of their characteristics rather than on independent observation.

The research was supported by grants from The Finnish Academy, Gyllenberg Foundation, and the Mannerheim League for Child Welfare. The Journal of Developmental and Behavioral Pediatrics is published bi-monthly by the Society for Developmental and Behavioral Pediatrics. Dr. Hannele Raiha may be contacted in Finland at 358-2-262-6370 or by e-mail: hannele.raiha@utu.fi

Release posted by the Center for the Advancement of Health http://www.cfah.org. For information about the Center, contact Richard Hebert at (202) 387-2829 or by e-mail: rhebert@cfah.org

Center for Advancing Health

Related Infants Articles from Brightsurf:

Most infants are well even when moms are infected by COVID-19
Infants born to women with COVID-19 showed few adverse outcomes, according to the first report in the country of infant outcomes through eight weeks of age.

Probiotic may help treat colic in infants
Probiotics -- or 'good bacteria' -- have been used to treat infant colic with varying success.

Deaf infants' gaze behavior more advanced than that of hearing infants
Deaf infants who have been exposed to American Sign Language are better at following an adult's gaze than their hearing peers, supporting the idea that social-cognitive development is sensitive to different kinds of life experiences.

Initiating breastfeeding in vulnerable infants
The benefits of breastfeeding for both mother and child are well-recognized, including for late preterm infants (LPI).

Young infants with fever may be more likely to develop infections
Infants with a high fever may be at increased risk for infections, according to research from Penn State College of Medicine.

Early term infants less likely to breastfeed
A new, prospective study provides evidence that 'early term' infants (those born at 37-38 weeks) are less likely than full-term infants to be breastfeed within the first hour and at one month after birth.

Infants are more likely to learn when with a peer
Researchers at the University of Connecticut and University of Washington looked at the mechanisms involved in language learning among nine-month-olds, the youngest population known to be studied in relation to on-screen learning.

Allergic reactions to foods are milder in infants
Majority of infants with food-induced anaphylaxis present with hives and vomiting, suggesting there is less concern for life-threatening response to early food introduction.

Non-dairy drinks can be dangerous for infants
A brief report published in Acta Paediatrica points to the dangers of replacing breast milk or infant formula with a non-dairy drink before one year of age.

Infants can't talk, but they know how to reason
A new study reveals that preverbal infants are able to make rational deductions, showing surprise when an outcome does not occur as expected.

Read More: Infants News and Infants Current Events
Brightsurf.com is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.