Colic Report



In 2017, and Central Medical Supplies Ltd, Dr. Brown’s exclusive distributor in the UK, commissioned a specialist market research company, Mustard Research Ltd, to conduct a research study amongst Healthcare Professionals (HCPs) into the prevalence, causes and treatment of colic symptoms in the UK.

How the research was conducted

  • Research took place at the NEC Primary Care Exhibition (17th/18th May 2017)
  • 200 x 15-20 minute face-to-face interviews were conducted with HCPs who have regular contact with new mothers/parents/guardians and their babies.
  • Screening questions were asked to ensure respondents met the target criteria.
  • The research questionnaire was designed by Mustard and approved by CMS/Dr Brown’s prior to commencement of fieldwork.

Key findings from the research

  • Although there is some variation around the perceived likelihood of babies (0-6 months) developing colic, its prevalence is unquestionable; the results suggests that the condition affects at least 4 in 10 new babies.
  • Essentially, there is no single agreed cause of colic in young babies. Health professionals believe that digestive and feeding problems tend to be at the root cause. There are some differences by Profession, with Health Visitors (HVs) tending to cite incorrect feeding techniques, while GPs frequently mention reflux.
  • As with the cause of colic, opinions around whether young babies should be given medicine to ease their colicky symptoms also differ by Profession. GPs express least concern about prescribing a medicinal solution, while Midwives are more likely than most to question such an approach, suggesting  that Mums can be a little hasty in reaching for ‘non-natural’ cures.
  • For bottle-fed babies, changes in bottle and teat are the most frequently suggested solutions for symptoms of colic.
  • When asked about changing bottles as a method of relieving symptoms, 92% of Healthcare Professionals would recommend Dr. Brown’s Options for the relief of colicky symptoms.
  • Furthermore, 64% of Midwives state that it is the unique air vent system feature of Dr Brown’s Options bottles which is key to relieving the symptoms of colic.


In 2010, Handi-Craft Company, the maker of Dr. Brown’s Natural Flow products, and Central Medical Supplies Ltd, Dr. Brown’s exclusive distributor in the UK, commissioned a third party agency, Consumer Analysis Limited, to research the prevalence, cause and treatment of colic symptoms in the UK. The study involved talking to mothers and health professionals about this issue. Preferred treatments were divided with giving medicine, using massage and changing feeding bottles as top choices. When asked about changing feeding bottles as a method of relieving symptoms, 9 out of 10 healthcare professionals recommended Dr. Brown’s Natural Flow for colic relief, and 3 out of 4 mothers who changed their baby’s bottle to Dr. Brown’s reported an improvement in their baby’s colicky symptoms.