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Colic, Infantile

Daniel T. Lee, MD, MA and Arthur Ohannessian, MD Reviewed 06/2019
 


BASICS

DESCRIPTION

  • Colic is defined as excessive crying in an otherwise healthy baby.

  • A commonly used criteria is the Wessel criteria or the Rule of Three, when crying lasts for:

    • >3 hr/day

    • >3 days/w...

DIAGNOSIS

HISTORY

  • Evaluation for Wessel criteria: Crying lasts for >3 hr/day, >3 days/week, and persists >3 weeks.

  • Episodes usually have a clear beginning and end.

  • The crying is generally sponta...

TREATMENT

GENERAL MEASURES

  • Soothe by holding and rocking the baby (1)[B].

  • Use a pacifier (1)[B].

  • Use of gentle rhythmic motion (e.g., strollers, infant swings, car rides) (1)[B]

  • Place near white noise (e....

ONGOING CARE

FOLLOW-UP RECOMMENDATIONS

Frequent outpatient visits as needed for parental reassurance, education, and monitoring and to ensure the health of the infant and parents 

Patient Monitoring

Foll...

REFERENCES

1
Johnson JD, Cocker K, Chang E. Infantile colic: recognition and treatment. Am Fam Physician.  2015;92(7):577–582. [View Abstract on OvidMedline]
2
van Sleuwen BE, L’hoir MP, Engelberts ...

ADDITIONAL READING

  • Anabrees J, Indrio F, Paes B, et al. Probiotics for infantile colic: a systematic review. BMC Pediatr.  2013;13:186. [View Abstract on OvidMedline]

  • Gelfand AA, Thomas KC, Goadsb...

CODES

ICD10

R10.83 Colic 

ICD9

789.7 Colic 

SNOMED

35363006 Infantile colic (finding) 

CLINICAL PEARLS

  • Colic is defined as excessive crying in an otherwise healthy baby (3 hr/day, 3 day/week, persists >3 weeks).

  • Excessive crying may be a risk factor for shaken baby syndrome or other f...

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