While colic is a very common condition in infants, it can also be extremely disruptive and distressing to parents and families. Colic and its symptoms usually disappear, or at least drastically improve, around the age of five or five months. There is no known “cure” for the condition, and its cause isn’t even agreed upon by medical professions.
What is Colic?
Colic is a common condition that is marked by intense crying at specific periods of the day or night. With colic, the crying occurs for no apparent reason, and the baby does not need to be changed and is not hungry.
If your baby has colic, he or she will frequently cry for more than three hours each day for three days per week. This will continue for a period of three weeks or longer. When a baby is crying because of colic, it will seem like nothing you do helps your baby calm down or feel better.
Colic crying episodes most frequently take place in the late afternoon or evening. You will find that your infant has his or her episodes at around the same time each day. It is possible that your baby will experience a bowel movement or perhaps pass gas when he or she nears the end of an episode of colic crying.
Crying caused by colic tends to be inconsolable and intense in nature. It is also frequently high-pitched. It is common for a baby with colic crying to have a flushed face during episodes. During colic crying episodes, infants often have tensed abdominal muscles, clenched fists, and curled up legs.
It is critically important that you get medical attention for your baby if here is a bluish-cash to his or her lips during colic crying, or if you are worried about your baby’s crying for any other reason (this is especially important if you see changes in your child’s sleeping or eating behavior).
It can be helpful to medical professionals for you to keep a diary of your baby’s crying. Make sure to write down how long each episode lasts. You should also keep records of your infant’s eating and sleeping habits.
Other information that you can gather for your doctor include the ways you have tried to soothe your baby and the results of these efforts.
Possible Causes of Colic
Medical professionals have not yet determined a definite cause of colic. Many different theories have been proposed. Some of these possibilities include alternations in the normal bacteria situated in the digestive system, lactose intolerance, allergies, problems with digestive system development, differences in the way babies feel comforted, and even anxiety in parents. It has been found that babies born to mothers who smoke while pregnant or after they deliver the baby, have a higher risk of developing colic.
How To Soothe A Colicky Baby
You must consult with your doctor and get his or her permission before you undertake any sort of treatment (natural or otherwise) for your baby’s colic. This is essential, as it has been found that some substances promoted as remedies might contain toxic substances.
Some babies find the following treatments useful. Remember to ask for your doctor’s permission before trying any of these. Even if your doctor says that the treatment is safe, you still need instruction on how you can safely administer it to your infant.
Probiotics: It is believed that probiotics can help infants with their colic symptoms. You will need instructions from your doctor as what kinds of probiotics to use and how to safely administer them to your infant. Probiotics help to restore and maintain “good” bacteria in the digestive tract. It has been found that Lactobacillus reuteri, a specific probiotic, can help alleviate the symptoms of colic in some babies.
Other Tips You Can Do
There are a number of things you do when it comes to feeding time that may help with your baby’s colic.
Use a different bottle
If you use a bottle to feed your baby, try a different one. Also try a different nipple. You might find that changing the bottle and/or nipple will alleviate your baby’s colic symptoms. Try a bottle that has a collapsible and disposable bag, as it might reduce the amount of air that your infant will swallow during feeding.
Keep your infant as upright as you can while feeding
Try to keep your baby as upright as possible while you feed him or her. Also, take regular breaks during feeding to properly burp your baby.
If you’re breastfeeding, take a look at your diet
It is possible that something you are eating could be contributing to your child’s colic symptoms. Does your family have a history of allergies? If it does, think about eliminating any potential allergens in your diet. It is important to talk to your doctor first before making any changes to your diet.
Change your baby’s formula
If you are using formula to feed your baby, try changing it (after consulting with your doctor).
Try singing to your baby
Try singing a soft tune to your infant. If that doesn’t work, perhaps try soothing recorded music.
Cuddle your baby more
Try cuddling your baby more. This is helpful with many infants.
Try a steady background noise
This may seem counterintuitive, but the problem might be that your baby’s environment is too quiet. A steady background noise might be helpful in these circumstances. Examples of potentially helpful sounds can include recordings of a human heartbeat, gentle rain, a waterfall, or ocean waves.
Try a warm bath
Many babies find a simple warm bath to be helpful in soothing their symptoms.
Rub your baby’s belly
It might be helpful to softly rub your infant’s belly. This can be very soothing.
Put your baby in motion by using an infant swing or gently rocking your baby in your arms.
Colic can be a frustrating condition but after a few months at the most you will notice the symptoms subsiding. In the meantime, you can use the information in this article for help.