Dietary management of infantile colic: a systematic review

Matern Child Health J. 2012 Aug;16(6):1319-31. doi: 10.1007/s10995-011-0842-5.


Infantile colic, the cause of 10-20% of all early paediatrician visits, can lead to parental exhaustion and stress. A systematic review was conducted to examine whether dietary change provides an effective therapy for infantile colic. Six databases were searched from 1960, and 24 studies selected for inclusion. In breastfed infants, evidence suggests that a hypoallergenic maternal diet may be beneficial for reducing symptoms of colic. In formula-fed infants, colic may improve after changing from a standard cow's milk formula to either a hydrolysed protein formula or a soy-based formula. Fibre-supplemented formulae had no effect. Removal of poorly digested carbohydrates from the infant's diet has promise, but additional clinical studies must be conducted before a recommendation can be made. Use of a universal definition to measure symptoms of infantile colic and consistent analysis of urine and faecal samples would improve the evidence in this area.

Publication types

  • Review
  • Systematic Review

MeSH terms

  • Breast Feeding*
  • Colic / diagnosis
  • Colic / diet therapy*
  • Colic / etiology*
  • Crying
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Infant Formula*
  • Milk Hypersensitivity / prevention & control
  • Milk, Human