Background Infantile colic or excessive crying during the first months of life is common and causes concern among parents. Little is known about the health and development of children with a history of infantile colic. We evaluated whether these children have motor development impairments by the age of seven.
Method Data on crying symptoms in infancy and parental Developmental Coordination Disorder Questionnaire ‘07 (DCDQ’07) were avaliable for 27,940 singletons from the Danish National Birth Cohort. We fitted a linear regression comparing DCDQ’07 totl scores of children with and without a history of infantile colic. We moreover compared the risk (odds) for probable Developmental Coordination Disorder (DCD), defined as a DCDQ’07 total score < 46, for children with and without a history of infantile colic in a logistic regression model. All analyses were adjusted for a number of covariates.
Results Children with a history of infantile colic had slightly lower total DCDQ’07 scores (-0.5 [95% confidence interval: -0.9; -0.03]. The difference was larger among boys (-0.7 [-1.4; -0.1]) than among girls (-0.2 [-0.7; 0.3]). Children with a history of infantile colic had slightly higher risk for probable DCD (Odds ratio: 1.2 [1.0; 1.6]. This was more obvious among boys (1.3 [1.0; 1.7]) than among girls (1.0 [0.6; 1.7]). For both associations, the gender-specific estimates did not differ statistically.
Conclusion Boys with a history of infantile colic had a tendency to lower motor development scores. However, the associations were weak, and the clinical importance of these findings may be limitted.