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Handling Fussy Babies And Colic: A Parent’s Guide

Parenting comes with multiple challenges, especially when faced with a fussy baby or colic (intense crying in a healthy baby). When you know why babies get fussy and colicky, and learn how to calm and comfort them, it can really help both parents and the baby feel better. This article will explore the causes of fussiness and colic, the signs to watch for, and tips to face this challenging phase with patience and love.

Parents can feel overwhelmed and anxious during these times of persistent crying and discomfort. Understanding the causes, symptoms, and strategies for handling fussy babies and colic is essential for maintaining your well-being and providing comfort to your little one. In this  article, we discuss infant fussiness and colic, offering information, expert advice, and practical techniques to face this with patience, empathy, and empowerment.

1. Understanding Fussiness and Colic

Understanding the nature of fussiness and colic helps parents respond with empathy and care.

a. Fussiness vs Colic

Distinguishing between common fussiness and colic, which involves excessive crying, helps you handle each situation more clearly..

b. Common Triggers

baby crying

Identifying common triggers for fussiness and colic, such as hunger, tiredness, or overstimulation, empowers parents to address the root cause.

c. Age and Developmental Factors

Understanding how age and developmental stages influence fussiness and colic helps set realistic expectations for a baby’s behaviour.

2. Signs of Fussiness and Colic

Recognizing the signs of fussiness and colic helps parents in providing appropriate care and comfort.

a. Crying Patterns

Understanding the duration and intensity of crying episodes can help you identify a particular type of fussiness or colic.

b. Abdominal Discomfort

Baby crying

Recognizing signs of abdominal discomfort, such as pulling legs to the chest or passing gas, may suggest colic.

c. Sleep Patterns

Observe changes in the baby’s sleep patterns, as fussiness and colic can disturb their regular sleep routines.

3. Soothing Strategies for Fussy Babies

Exploring effective soothing techniques ensures a calm and comforting environment for the baby.

a. Gentle Touch and Cuddling

Holding your fussy baby close and touching their skin can bring them comfort and solace.

b. Swaddling

mother putting baby to sleep

Swaddling can give the feeling of being in the womb by providing a sense of security for the baby.

c. White Noise and Music

Soft white noise or gentle lullabies can create a soothing environment and ease their fussiness.

4. Practical Tips for Handling Colic

Dealing with colic requires patience and understanding. These practical tips can help parents face this challenging phase.

a. Feeding Techniques

Go for smaller, more frequent feedings and ensure proper burping to minimise discomfort.

b. Calming Routines

couple with their baby

Create relaxing bedtime rituals to calm the infant and promote healthier sleep patterns..

c. Babywearing and Movement

Using baby carriers and gentle rocking motions can offer comfort to colicky babies. This will keep the fussiness in check.

5. Self-Care for Parents

Recognizing the importance of self-care in managing fussiness and colic prevents parental burnout.

a. Seeking support

Contact friends, family, or support groups to share experiences and receive advice.

b. Taking Breaks

Staying Hopeful

Take short breaks to recharge and reduce stress during challenging moments.

c. Communicating with Your Partner

Open communication with your partner ensures mutual support in handling fussy babies and colic.

6. Consulting Doctors

Knowing when to seek professional advice ensures the well-being of both the parent and baby.

a. Routine Checkups

Regular paediatric checkups can address concerns and ensure the baby’s overall health.

b. Communicating Symptoms


Be open and transparent with your doctors about the baby’s symptoms and behaviour from time to time.

c. Rule Out Medical Conditions

Talking to doctors can give you a clearer idea of any medical issues that might be causing your baby’s fussiness or colic.

Colic and irritable newborns can be difficult to manage, but with patience, empathy, and useful techniques, parents can comfort and support their children during this stage. Identifying signs, practising soothing techniques, and prioritising self-care ensure a positive environment for both parent and baby. Remember, seeking support from loved ones and doctors empower parents to face this challenging phase with love and compassion.

This article is approved by Dr. Archana Dhawan Bajaj, Gynecologist, Obstetrician and IVF Expert, Director – Nurture IVF Clinic.

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