Colic timeline

Pediatrician Dr. Lawrence Kagan, MD, explains when colic usually occurs and how long it can be expected to last, as well as what he has found effective in his experience for easing colic symptoms and helping parents combat the stress of a constantly crying baby.
Colic in Babies - Symptoms and Treatment Advice
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Colic timeline

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Colic is a very unfortunate phenomenon that occurs in newborns usually around the age of six weeks of age, and it can last as long as 16 weeks of age. When it occurs, you have afternoon and early evening crying caused by an immature intestinal system´s inability to manage gas. So as children get older and they start to eat less and less at night, they are comfortable in the mornings but the meals that they have during the day, the gas builds up and by the afternoon they are screaming. It is an absolutely heartwrenching experience for parents because basically for 10 weeks of your child´s life they may scream for up to five hours a day and they are clearly uncomfortable and inconsolable. It can be hard on the parents. It can be hard on the marriage. It is a very traumatic experience. Traditionally we didn´t have any great remedies for it. We used gripe water, which is basically a mixture of three traditional remedies, which is sugar water, fennel root and ginger, not a very effective combination. And sometimes I joke that I think pediatricians try to pacify parents by trying these different modalities that don´t really work. Another one is milicon, which is basically Gas-x for babies and it can help. Most parents say it doesn´t. The thing that I have found to be the most effective management for colic is actually a probiotic, specifically the bacteria is lactobacillic ruteri. And if it is given in the proper form and consistently, it can decrease total crying time in children up to 50%. I encourage all of my patients in my practice to use it preemptively to try to avoid what is a very, very challenging situation.

Pediatrician Dr. Lawrence Kagan, MD, explains when colic usually occurs and how long it can be expected to last, as well as what he has found effective in his experience for easing colic symptoms and helping parents combat the stress of a constantly crying baby.

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Lawrence Kagan, MD

Pediatrician

Lawrence Kagan, MD, FAAP, is a UCLA honors graduate, with a Bachelor of Science in Biochemistry. He received medical training at USC Keck School of Medicine, and completed his internship and residency in Pediatrics at Children's Hospital Los Angeles. In addition to passionately studying neonatal, general pediatric and adolescent medicine at CHLA, he had the opportunity to train under some of the greatest minds in subspecialty pediatrics, diagnosing and managing the rarest and most complicated childhood ailments. Prior to opening Westside Pediatrics, he worked as an attending physician at the CHLA Emergency Department as well as at Cedars Sinai Urgent Care. Dr. Kagan is a native of Los Angeles and is happily married with two children.

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