When Does Colic Start?
Typically, colic starts when a baby is about three weeks old. If your baby begins crying so much that you think he or she might have colic, speak to your baby's healthcare provider. If a diagnosis of colic is confirmed, your healthcare provider might be able to shed some light as to the cause and offer suggestions on how you might be able to minimize your baby's colic symptoms.
Although there is no agreed-upon definition for colic, most healthcare providers consider a baby to have it when he or she cries for more than three hours straight at least three days per week for more than three weeks but has a clean bill of health otherwise. This is known as the "rule of three," or the Wessel criteria.
You can take comfort in knowing that colic will not last forever. Typically speaking, the condition peaks around six to eight weeks and then goes away around the baby's third month (symptoms get better in 60 percent of infants by month three and in 90 percent of infants by four months of age). Colic often stops as mysteriously as it started.
(Click Infant Colic to learn more about when colic starts. This article also discusses the differences between normal crying and crying in a colicky baby, describes possible risk factors, and explains how the condition is diagnosed.)