Colic icon

Colic is a condition that is characterized by excessive, often inconsolable crying in babies, typically seen in the first few weeks to months of life.1,2 

However, by 3 months the majority of infants with colic will have resolution of symptoms.3

Infantile colic is a common condition (reported to be 17–25% in infants ≤ 6 weeks of age4 and the reason for around 20% of pediatrician visits during the first weeks of life.5

A common definition used to describe colic is, when an otherwise healthy baby cries for more than 3 hours per day, more than 3 days in a week1,6 and for more than 3 weeks7 [Wessels rule of 3].8


What Causes
Colic in Infants?

Experts believe that the causes of excessive infant crying or infantile colic can be multifactorial. One hypothesis is that it is due to the immature development of the digestive and/or nervous system.1,9 

There is also some evidence linking colic with gut inflammation. In a study by Rhoads et al (2019) they reported that colic in infants was strongly linked to gut inflammation and dysbiosis, with fewer bifidobacteria.10 

It can also be caused by illnesses, such as reflux or by parental stress, as well as CMPA. However, an underlying illness is rarely the cause of inconsolable crying/infantile colic alone (only seen in less than 5% of babies).1,7

Crying is considered a normal, accepted part of a child’s development and should be clearly distinguished from inconsolable crying or infantile colic.

Could It Be a
Symptom of
Cow’s Milk
Protein Allergy?

Colic in infants has been shown to be linked to the ingestion of cow’s milk protein11, and is considered a potential symptom of CMPA in both formula-fed12-14 and breastfed infants.11,15

However, when considering the diagnosis of CMPA, it’s important to note that the majority of these infants have at least two symptoms affecting at least two different organ systems.16-18

Therefore, consider the individual child as well as the magnitude of their symptoms. This can be achieved using an awareness tool such as the Cow’s Milk Related Symptom Score (CoMiSS™) which will help you determine if CMPA might be indicated.19,20

Overview of Symptoms

Respiratory icon


Up to 30% of affected infants with CMPA have respiratory symptoms15,20

Anaphylaxis icon


Anaphylactic shock is a severe, immediate, allergic reaction, which can affect many organ/systems

Skin icon


Up to 75% of infants with CMPA can have skin-related symptoms21

General Symptoms icon


Inconsolable crying is very common in infants with CMPA associated with sleeping problems and food refusal