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February 1996

Infantile Colic: Seasonal Incidence and Crying Profiles

Arch Pediatr Adolesc Med. 1996;150(2):228-229. doi:10.1001/archpedi.1996.02170270110024

I wish to protest the publication of the article by Lehtonen and Korvenranta1 on infantile colic in which no attempt was made to determine if the crying infants were simply hungry!

The definition of colic used in that article stated that colic is paroxysms of crying more than 3 hours a day, occurring on more than 3 days per week. That is entirely inadequate! True colic is pain from entero spasm so severe that an infant has prolonged inconsolable crying that cannot be relieved by feeding, suckling, holding, rhythmic sounds, rhythmic motions, or medicinal tea.

In my experience, at least 50% of suspected colic cases are due to simple hunger. Somehow, many parents and doctors have gotten the fixed idea that babies should never eat more often than every 3 hours. This is wrong! I have found that when babies are sleeping through the night, they rarely wake up