The new parent often wonders whether the mild discomfort that their baby displays is simply fussiness or whether they are starting to get colic. The answer is that they are actually variations of the same thing – it’s just that the longer a fussy baby is not helped, the more likely it is to become true colic.
The reality is that all babies are fussy at some point but this usually does not last for more than 1-3 days at a time. Colic on the other hand, is much more of a consistent pattern that can last for weeks and even months. And almost all babies with colic are fussy at first.
It doesn’t really matter what you call it. The question is really, what can you do to help, if anything.
In the early days it can be difficult to tell the difference. If symptoms don’t start to ease up within 3-4 days then you need to start thinking about one of the types of colic. But if your baby has a hard and even bloated abdominal region, you can be reasonably sure that they already have intestinal colic. The sooner you start to address the causes, the sooner you can break the cycle. Simply giving medication and remedies is not the best way to treat a fussy baby.