For the past few days, it has been very difficult to get our three-month-old son to go to sleep. He cries and fusses for no readily apparant reason, and positively refuses to go down for naps longer than fifteen minutes and often does not go down for the night until eleven. Could he have colic, and how can we tell?

asked 30 Jan '10, 03:00

Matthew%20Jones's gravatar image

Matthew Jones
accept rate: 18%

I would guess probably not. Based on this article, colic usually appears in younger babies and starts to end around 3 months. It is also defined as "crying for 3 hours per day, more than 3 days per week for at least 3 weeks".

It could be that your little guy is now over-tired which is exacerbating the problem. As the Baby Whisperer likes to say "Sleep begets sleep", so the lack of substantial naps could be causing issue with bedtime.

As for the root cause: perhaps teething or a growth spurt making him hungrier than usual?

Good luck - keep trying, don't be over-eager to rescue him if he starts to fuss and most importantly be consistent with your routine.


answered 30 Jan '10, 03:33

Kate's gravatar image

accept rate: 20%

My oldest had colic from when he was about 5 weeks old until he was about 4 months old.
Man, did that suck.
He screamed, not fussed, screamed at the top of his lungs every day from 4 in the afternoon until 9 at night. Not a blessed thing wrong with him, he was just seriously pissed at the state of the world. It didn't matter if you cuddled him, walked with him, put him in the swing, put him in the bouncy, or left him in his crib (which I didn't have the heart to do, I did once or twice a week put him in his crib and go out on our front steps for 5 minutes for a good cry of my own!).

Heck of an introduction to motherhood.

So, I'd say that unless you're life has suddenly taken a swift descent into one of the nastier levels of hell, it's probably just a growth spurt or his teeth.
Unless he just learned something new, all 4 of my kids have had trouble sleeping when they were really small if they were trying to work out how to do something new. (My second oldest would "sleep-crawl" when he was 6 months old, lying flat on his back moving his arms and legs like he was crawling. Cute, but kinda strange.)


answered 31 Jan '10, 08:27

Neen's gravatar image

accept rate: 30%

+1 Our daughter also appeared to learn all her motor skills in her sleep, affecting her sleeping patterns. I remember her being able to roll over in her sleep (and get stuck on her stomach and cry) but not when she was awake.

(31 Jan '10, 13:20) Tammy ♦♦

Both my kids had a "witching hour" at around three months... we had to walk them around the house in the evenings, it was as if they knew that was when we needed to unwind :) They also had an uncanny ability to discern whether we were sitting or standing.

I wouldn't have called it colic though, just extra-fussy.


answered 30 Jan '10, 04:16

YMCbuzz's gravatar image

accept rate: 12%

+1 for the "witching hour" our daughter started this at around 3 months and has kept it up even now at 16 months

(30 Jan '10, 17:50) Tammy ♦♦

My son also had a preference for mommy over daddy. If I was an option, no one else could hold him. I found it helped to play the music I listened to the most while pregnant with both my kids (for my daughter it was Les Mis, for my son it was Josh Groban).

(31 Jan '10, 18:05) mkcoehoorn

I found once in a while I'd forget to check something obvious, so I had a mental checklist I'd go through... there were only 5 things:

  1. Diaper
  2. Hungry
  3. Gas
  4. Comfort (rocking, temperature, pain, etc.)
  5. Tired

Also, different rocking styles produced varying results. Rocking side to side sometimes seemed much more effective than rocking front to back. I had to keep reminding myself to try different things if whatever I was trying didn't work.

I don't remember there being many times when one of those 5 wouldn't solve the crying. My theory was, if you took care of these, if she still cried, it's out of my hands.


answered 31 Jan '10, 15:40

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Scott ♦♦
accept rate: 10%

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Asked: 30 Jan '10, 03:00

Seen: 5,744 times

Last updated: 31 Jan '10, 15:40