Baby Colic! Help!

Wednesday, September 12, 2012
Colic: it is as old as the world, yet remains a true mystery. Although some doctors offer a few clues as to its causes, nothing is scientifically proven and there are no existing resolving cures. Nevertheless, when a colic makes its grand entrance 2 to 3 weeks following a baby's birth, to then only disappear roughly 3 months later (if not more!), and makes baby scream like there's no tomorrow for at least three hours a day, every day, oftentimes at the same hour in the evening, it is more often than not enough to make parents loose it! Stunningly, 25% of children suffer from colic.

What Is Colic?

Colic is defined by bouts where a baby curls up on himself by bringing his arms and hands over his body, cries incessantly, is tensed, is fussy, gets flushed or red in the face, or overall seems genuinely uncomfortable. There is an existing rule of thumb called the "3" pattern characterized by a healthy baby who cries more than 3 hours a day, more than 3 days a week for at least 3 weeks in a row.

Precautions To Be Taken

Before Concluding It Colic
You must make sure your baby hasn't lost any weight, is healthy, hence no fever, no vomiting, no diarrhea and that nothing in his usual behaviour (other than the crying) has changed. He eats well, sleeps as usual... If ever in doubt, never hesitate to consult your doctor or to call your local health line. Qualified nurses or personnel are there to lend a hand and are qualified to identify the various types of cries, or, with the proper questions, help you assess whether it's indeed a colic or a more serious condition.

When One Loses Patience
Serious or not for the baby, colic can be extremely irritating as well as exhausting for the parents who simply feel helpless and powerless towards their infant's vain outcries. Before losing your patience, don't sit on the fence about asking for help from a parent or a friend, or about putting your baby down in his bed just to allow you to catch your breath. The fact of crying will not kill your little one, but a small pause will be plenty to give you back the much needed energy to take care of your child and regain your calmness he so desperately needs.

Suggested Causes Behind Colic

Digestive System
Some experts say that children who fall victim to colic are babies whose digestive system is still not fully mature.

Could be that they are children who are particularly sensitive to their environment and noises.

Food Intolerance
Few claim that it's the animal protein notably contained in dairy products which the mother consumes that would account for the food intolerance in infants. To obtain certainty of it, it is suggested that the breastfeeding mommy ceases dairy products for 7 to 10 days, just in order to see if the child's condition improves. Some children may also be intolerant to broccoli, cauliflower, beans or nuts, which would result in a reaction to breast milk and finally, a colic. On the other hand, this hypothesis does not explain colic in infants who are fed with baby formula.

When navigating through parenting forums, it is not uncommon that moms and dads associate colic to anxiety suffered by their tots. Those whose child is now older and prone to anxiety spells describe colic as a manifestation of chronic insecurity, culminating into recurrent tears and cramps (or colic). Others believe that their own anxiety would be discerned by their children and, in return, become a source of anxiety thereupon manifested with colic. Although, isn't this anxiety alternatively a consequence of their own child's colic?

Ways To Relieve Colic

Accurately, the ways to soothe colicky children are subject to reflection on the possibility that there's somewhat of a need for reassurance within them. Furthermore, the fact of being snuggled up against mommy or daddy would have beneficial effects. Warmth and vibrations allegedly provide good results also.

 Hereafter are some of the most common ways to bring aid to your baby:
  • Wear your baby on you with the help of a baby carrier. 
  • Rock him. 
  • Gently massage your baby's stomach. 
  • Take him for a ride in the car or stroller. 
  • Place a warm hot-water bag or magic bag on your baby's stomach. Beware of burns! 
  • Wrap him in a soft, warm blanket. 
  • Give him a pacifier. 
  • Rest him down flat on his belly on a dryer (don't forget to turn it on!). Ensure you stay next to your child to supervise. Under no circumstances should you take your eyes off him when you proceed with this technique.
  • Lay baby with belly against your forearm, face down and his head towards the crook of your elbow. 
  • Turn on the vacuum cleaner and let it run for a little while. White noises tend to appease babies.
  • Softly sing a lullaby or put on some soft music. 
  • Make your baby listen to recordings that mimic a heartbeat. 
  • Refrain from overfeeding your child due to fear that hunger is the cause of his tears, otherwise this could quickly become a consequence of colic. 
  • Get your baby to burp more frequently during feedings and try to avoid rushing him. Your little one is sensitive to your stressful demeanour. 
  • If you aren't breastfeeding, try to use bottles equipped with an air intake reducer system or with slow flow nipples adapted to your baby's appetite (neither too small nor too large). 
  • Some parents have tried homeopathic remedies and were delighted with the result. According to scientific studies though, there is no evidence that homeopathy works, but it is also known that there are no adverse effects, other than money spent to purchase the product. So if you enjoy it, go ahead and use it. However, do not give your child any medication without asking your pharmacist or doctor's opinion first. 
  • Some parents have turned to acupuncture and have noticed a real difference. 
  • Herbs fans swear by fennel teas. 
  • Obviously, shaking a baby will not calm him down! Quite the contrary! So just take a deep breath, calm down and remind yourself that in a few weeks, colic will be a thing of the past!

11 Fabulous Comments:

Mom vs. the boys said...

oh I am feeling so blessed that my kiddos never had this!

Mudpiesandtiaras said...

We never had much colic. But maybe this one will!

Anonymous said...

Dinosaur had digestive issues as an infant, but thank God it wasn't colic. That is stressful for everyone. Thanks for sharing the info.

Happy Gardening, Kim said...

Brody didn't get this, but he did get RSV. Great article - I love your the way!!

SOS Mom said...

Awww! Thanks Kim! :) Super sweet and means a lot to me! :)

Honey + Lime said...

Thanks for the tips! Many parents have no idea what their baby is crying for. Many times, it can be prevented.

Unknown said...

I've never dealt with a colicey baby...but I HAVE dealt with Colicey horses. Sadly, it can kill in horses, so you have to stay with them and make sure they don't lay down or roll. Usually you have to walk them, and it takes hours, if not all night most times.

Amanda Tempel said...

I had never heard of Colic, but I feel pretty well informed now. Thank you for sharing.

LOVE MELISSA:) said...

My baby had colic and it was the WORST!! Good tips!

Allyson Bossie said...

My oldest son had colic SO bad! Back in the day, they only had soy or milk formula. I tried nursing but he screamed and threw up. Formula did the same. after 9 months of constant screaming they figured out he is lactose intolerant, but the soy milk also posed some sort of allergy causing pain. Once he went on regular soy milk, not the formula his tummy troubles cleared up. My youngest who is 3 and my 7 year old had it for a minute. Thank heavens there are great formulas now that cure colic. If baby has colic, doctor will prescribe a diff formula. When you find the right one, crying ceases with first feeding! So amazing.

Mama to 5 said...

Thankfully only my 2nd child had it mildly out of my 4, hoping our 5th doesn't have it at all. I have heard it's horrible.

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