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A colicky baby adds anxiety and additional trips to the doctor or hospital during a time in a parent’s life that should be joyous.

Italian investigators asked whether supplementation with a strain of Lactobacillus reuteri in the first 3 months of an infant’s life could reduce the inconsolable crying of colic.

Almost 600 bambini at 9 hospitals in Italy received either the probiotic or the placebo. Parents monitored duration of crying among other events including feeding changes and health care visits.


At 3 months of age, the probioticized infants cried less (38 minutes vs.  71 minutes) than those getting standard feedings. Any parent who has ever had a colicky baby will vouch that every minute counts.

In conclusion, the authors suggest that probiotics may relieve the onset of colic and other digestive disorders as well as reducing costs in treatments and lost parental workdays. Read the study here in the Journal of American Medical Association Pediatrics.