Crying, Development, Exhaustion, Infant colic, Intelligence, Parents



  1. Ellett, Marsha DNS, RN
  2. Schuff, Emilie BSN, RN
  3. Davis, Jennifer B. BSN, RN


Purpose: To describe the experience of families with previously colicky infants.


Study Design: This qualitative, descriptive study explored parents' perspectives of the lasting effects of infant colic on their children's development and on their family relationships.


Methods: Through in-depth interviews, the parents had the opportunity to share what they remembered most about this experience. Participants volunteered by accessing the Infant Colic Study Web site advertised on numerous search engines. Forty-four participants, all of whom had an infant with colic at some time in the past, answered open-ended questions regarding their feelings about the colicky period and how their children developed later. Data were analyzed from a phenomenologic perspective.


Results: The majority of participants reported no later problems in their previously colicky children. Some did believe, however, that family relationships had been affected by the colic experience, and that communication and support had been impaired. Most described feelings about the colic experience that were negative.


Clinical Implications: Continued support needs to be provided to families of colicky infants throughout their growth and development at a primary care level. Nurses need to recognize that the experience of infant colic may have residual effects on the entire family unit. These families need to be provided with the support and resources to enable them to successfully care for their children and to engage in nurturing relationships.