Do infants who had colic have more behavioral problems as toddlers?

December 1, 2018

A study conducted in Australia found that that the answer to this question is a resounding “no.” A comparison of behavioral outcomes in 124 children who had colic that had resolved by age 6 months (colic group) and 503 infants without problem crying at 1, 4, and 6 months (no colic group) found that the colic group did not manifest any adverse effects related to behavior, regulatory abilities, temperament, or family functioning when they were aged 2 to 3 years.

A study conducted in Australia found that that the answer to this question is a resounding “no.” A comparison of behavioral outcomes in 124 children who had colic that had resolved by age 6 months (colic group) and 503 infants without problem crying at 1, 4, and 6 months (no colic group) found that the colic group did not manifest any adverse effects related to behavior, regulatory abilities, temperament, or family functioning when they were aged 2 to 3 years.

Investigators based their findings largely on results of behavioral questionnaires completed by participants’ caregivers, including several validated measures of child behavior, family functioning, and maternal mental health. Even after adjusting for socioeconomic variables, investigators found no significant differences between the colic and no-colic groups in internalizing or externalizing behavior problems or parental perception of crying, feeding, sleeping, or family functioning.

Nonetheless, a far larger proportion of parents of children in the colic group than in the no-colic group rated their children as having a “difficult” or “very difficult” temperament, although this difference became statistically insignificant after adjusting for confounders (Bell G, et al. J Pediatr. 2018;201:154-159).

Thoughts from Dr Burke

 

Here’s evidence to confirm your experience that the infant with colic is going to be fine-eventually.

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