COLIC Fact Vs Fiction

Colic, a term that is still used to describe an unsettled baby. But what if there is something causing your baby’s upset? And what if there’s something you can do about it?


Colic is a term that has been used for decades to describe a baby who cries and is distressed, without any obvious cause. A sort of umbrella term to give parents so that they have a “reason” why their little one is so upset.

But is that enough? Is it ok to say a baby has colic and tell a parent that they must just get on with it? We don’t think it is. 

In our experience if a baby is distressed, there is always a reason. It may be digestive, physical or maybe the result of a stressed nervous system following a difficult labour or delivery. So many reasons, all of which have to be looked at carefully and treated if necessary.

We see babies who have all the symptoms associated with “colic” in our clinic every day. Some have an allergy, some have a sluggish gut. Some may have a tongue tie, others may be premature. Some have had an assisted delivery after a very long labour, others have been born in 20 minutes. But they all have a reason for their distress, and that’s the important thing. 

So, if your baby is diagnosed with colic, consider these alternatives.

  • Could this be a digestive issue?
  • Could baby have an allergy?
  • Has baby got a tongue tie?
  • Is baby’s gut immature?
  • Have you or baby had antibiotics?
  • Did you have a very long or very fast labour?
  • Did baby need assistance at delivery, a vacuum or forceps for example?

These are questions we ask all mums attending our clinic with a newborn baby. This information is so important in determining why baby is distressed and directs our treatment plan for baby.


Every baby is different, and our aim is to make them as content as possible. We listen to parents, allowing them to voice their concerns and give them reassurance. Sometimes just understanding why baby is upset can help parents cope better.

So, let’s start looking at Colic in a different way. Let’s start looking for the cause and treat that. Only then will we see happier babies and parents.


Frank Kelleher Paediatric Osteopath

To book an appointment with Frank, just give us a call at the clinic on (021) 4348918.



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