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Excessive crying – is it colic?


posted November 12th 2018

We’ve all been there, our lovely new born just starts to cry and doesn’t stop – uh, oh, is it colic?

Did you know that 1 in 3 British mums were unaware of infant colic? Did you know it affects 1 in 5 newborns suffered from colic*. With statistics like that it got us wondering about what we could do to help out our children and our grandchildren.

Share with them the signs of Colic

I know it sounds obvious but given the statistic shared above, there’s no harm in mentioning them. To clarify these are stated to be:

 Intense crying bouts
 Crying in the late afternoon or evening that lasts several hours
 The baby’s face is red and flushed when they cry
 The baby clenches their fists, draws their knees up or arches their back while crying

Offer some tips

Charity Cry-sis and Infacol recently shared out some research, looking at the inventive ways to soothe a crying baby, and we thought it was worth sharing…

Whilst some people might try to soothe a crying baby with lullabies and background noise, much like many of us would have done, did you know you can now get technology to help? A new app has been developed which claims to be able to interpret an infant’s cry. Using acoustics of cries from thousands of babies, ‘Chatterbaby” claims that it can help a parent decipher a cry of hunger, pain, tiredness, or if a baby is simply fed-up**.

The survey also revealed that 95% of parents have sung or hummed to calm their baby. Around 88% have tried taking their infant for a drive and 67% have switched on the TV or radio. Interestingly, current affairs, documentaries and dramas are the most popular programmes used to help babies drift off.

It’s about finding what works for your grandchild.

Extra support

Did you know that new parents get an average of 4 hours sleep a night, and a baby who is crying excessively can be extremely stressful for mums and dads alike***. If your child has an infant that excessively cries, then they could get one-on-one phone support from Cry-sis. Cry-sis is a national charity that provides help and support to families with excessively crying, sleepless and demanding babies. Cry-sis runs a national telephone helpline that is available to callers every day of the year between 9am and 10pm. Callers are referred to a trained volunteer member of Cry-sis who has personal experience of crying or sleep problems within their own family. ​Visit for more details.

Think you might be able to help some more

Jan Bullen, CEO of Cry – sis shares with us how you could get more involved.

“ When we set up the charity in 1981, we brought together a group of parents who were experiencing problems with their crying and sleepless infants and found that talking to other parents was helpful and reassuring. This is as important today as it was then but with parents leading increasingly busy lives we’re hoping that grandparents might step in and help with our phone-lines. It’s such an important job and a very fulfilling one too.”

Dee, mum to one and grandma to three, from Dunster said,

“I’ve been a Cry-sis volunteer for 22 years and loved every minute. It’s a very rewarding job and doesn’t impact on my life because the responsibility is shared with other volunteers. The most important skill is being able to listen and put yourself back in the situation of being a parent”.

If you’re a grandparent or a parent with grown up children and some free time on your hands, then get in touch. Cry-sis will provide training for anyone who can give a few hours per week to take calls from mums or dads who are struggling with babies who don’t seem to be sleeping or crying incessantly. No health professional experience is required and you will not be expected to provide advice of this nature. Take a look at for more information.

* All statistics (unless otherwise stated) are taken from the ‘Helping Baby to Sleep’ survey. The survey, carried out by ID Consulting on
behalf of Infacol, analysed responses from 500 parents in the UK with children under 2 years old.

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