Colic occurs in the first few months of a baby's life. Most babies cry because they are hungry or have a dirty nappy, but if your baby has suddenly started crying more in in the afternoon or night, it could be colic. It usually occurs between 3 weeks and 3 months of age.

Here are some tips to settle a colicky baby:

Hold your baby and try comfort techniques such as:

- rocking in a rocking chair
- holding baby over your arm, face down, and gently rubbing their back
- play soft, rhythmic music
- putting baby in a baby sling and going for a walk
- whisper to divert their attention from crying
- soothing sounds, such as “rainmaker” toys
- if your baby just won't stop crying and it's making you more anxious, hand your baby to your partner (or other support person). This can sometimes calm a baby because they can pick up on your anxious energy and the change of person holding them can calm them down.
- If the crying happens regularly at the same time of day/night, make sure that you are prepared with help at hand or dinner finished already so that you can relax and just spend time with your baby, if needed
- Baby massage – particular massage techniques on the stomach area in particular, can help calm baby down and remove any discomfort. Ask your doctor or other health professional for advice to get the technique correct. You can also find guides online, but seeing a professional is usually best.

- Feeding – some people think that colic is caused by air being taken in during feeding – check your breastfeeding technique or, if you are bottlefeeding baby, try an anti-colic bottle.

- If you are breastfeeding, review your own diet - in particular, caffeine in coffee, tea, cola drinks, and energy drinks or some babies may even react to dairy products in your diet.

- Try herbal ‘colic relief’ preparations or ‘gripe water’ available from pharmacies. These products are generally based on the assumption that colic is the result of gut issues and these preparations seek to calm down gut irritations and trapped wind (always discuss the symptoms with your pharmacist before giving any remedy and ensure that you follow the manufacturers’ usage instructions).

We'd love to hear from you! How do you sooth a baby with colic?