Skip to content


1 in 5 babies struggle with Colic.

1 in 5 babies struggle with Colic.

Colic..Why won’t my baby stop crying?

Our goal in writing this post is that it reaches all you mom’s (or soon to be mom’s) before you end up with the side effects associated with a colicky and fussy baby. Frustration and lack of sleep are the norm for a parent with a colicky baby. We have all heard a statement similar to this…”The first 6 months all little Johnny did was cry.” Or, “We couldn’t get little Suzy to stop fussing for the first year.” Maybe these statements aren’t verbatim, but you get the idea. As a parent, not only is it no fun to watch your little blessing cry, it’s mentally and physically exhausting on the parents. By the end of this reading, we will discuss WHAT colic is, WHY babies are colicky, and most importantly HOW you can go about finding a solution.

What is Colic?

Colic is simply defined as an unusual amount of crying and fussing among babies. Some chalk it up to abdominal discomfort due to excessive gas buildup, but to keep it simple it is a baby that cries more than one would expect. The most frustrating thing for parents is the fact that babies with colic won’t stop crying even after their “needs” are met (Eating, Sleeping, Pooping). Often times we see colicky babies also have trouble doing one of these functions of life, which can fuel the fire even more. Reflux, trouble nursing, constipation, and not sleeping an adequate amount are commonly associated with the diagnosis of Colic.

When babies cry, they cry for a reason. A “normal” trigger for crying in babies should be associated with the baby needing food, changed, or napping. The problem we find is that most kids that cry an excessive amount are simply given a “diagnosis” of colic and told that they will have to just ride out the storm. This storm on average turns out to be about 6 months! Any parent who has been through 6 months of sleep deprivation knows that this is the longest 6 months ever! To sum this up, a baby that is colicky is in a state of discomfort. Now it’s time to address why a baby would be in a state of discomfort. This explanation can be boiled down to 2 main reasons.

Top 2 Reasons that cause Colic

1. In-utero Constraint:

This occurs during the pregnancy as the baby is developing in the womb. Yes, a mothers pregnancy can effect the health and well being of the child even in a situation such as colic! The babies world is in the uterus, and if that environment is not optimal then things can get a bit “cramped” for the fetus. The uterus is suspended in the lumbopelvic region and is held up by many different muscles and ligaments. If there is an imbalance in the lumbopelvic structure this can create in-utero constraint of the developing baby. This would be the equivalent to an adult sitting or sleeping in a rather uncomfortable position for an extended period of time.

2. Birth Trauma

This is the most common cause of colic (discomfort) amongst infants. The birth process is a traumatic event for both mom and baby. Research shows that even a natural vaginal delivery is upwards of 40-60lbs of traction and pulling on the babies head and neck. Any type of intervention in the birth process (c-section, forceps delivery, vacuum extraction, induced birth etc.) can create 60-90lbs of axial traction of the neck. If you can picture hanging a 60 pound weight from a babies legs and picking them up by the head…that is what occurs during a delivery. By imagining this, it wouldn’t be hard to understand how this process could create an imbalance on the delicate head and neck (nervous system) of a baby. This imbalance or misalignment is almost always the biggest factor in creating tension and discomfort in the baby which makes them fussy.

What to look for?

How does a parent identify if their baby has an imbalance of their spine? The first step is thinking back to your pregnancy and the day your little bundle of joy entered the world. Did you spend most of your pregnancy in large amounts of pain and discomfort? Was the birth traumatic? Was there any form of intervention like we discussed earlier? Did mom spend a really really long time pushing? If you answered yes to any of these questions, then this is a good indication that at the very least the baby was under a more than normal amount of stress. Next we will cover the visual clues that you can look for right away, or you may have noticed in the past.

1. The baby had difficulty nursing on one side vs. the other, or they had trouble nursing in general.

2. The baby always favors having their head tilted or turned in the same direction while laying down or sleeping.

3. The baby is very tense and rigid when holding them or burping them. Babies should be a big ball of mush!

4. The baby arches their back a lot while attempting to burp them.

How can I help my child?

If you have read this far, this is the section of the blog that you have likely been waiting for.. the WHAT TO DO ABOUT IT part! We wish we had some parental hacking type of advice for you, but with colic is simply boils down to fixing the cause of their discomfort. Now that we know that the cause of this problem is very likely related to an imbalance in their spine and nervous system, the simplest solution is to take your child to a pediatric chiropractor. If you need assistance in finding one, go to the A pediatric chiropractor will be able to find the areas of stress and tension and then very gently remove any areas of imbalance in the spine and nervous system. This results in a CALMER, HAPPIER baby.

The most common response we get from parents after care in our office is simply they wish they would have known to bring them in earlier! If you’re interested in achieving a higher level of health and wellness with you child or family, contact us today!



Centra Family Chiropractic | (608) 352-7476