Evening Fussiness Causes #: Theyre Overstimulated
Many experts believe overstimulation is one of the key factors in colic and infant fussiness. All day, your baby has been dealing with the sounds, sights and smells going on around them come 5pm, sensitive babies have had ENOUGH! .
In an attempt to recover from the stimulation of the day, these babies will cry, fuss and whine simply because their resources for coping are depleted. I have often wondered if these babies also cry in an attempt to drown out the stimulation around them.
According to Dr. Karp, fussy babies tend to have less state control meaning they arent so great at maintaining balance. This means they have a harder time falling asleep on their own, staying asleep, calming themselves, etc.
For this reason, it may be harder for them to naturally shut out the stimulation of the day.
The result? Lots of evening crying!
Remedies With Some Risks
- Elimination diet. If you breastfeed, you mayconsider eliminating certain foods from your diet, including potential allergens like dairy. Since strict elimination diets can be unhealthy and havent been shown to help with most cases of colic, talk with your doctor before making significant changes to your diet.
- Gripe water. Some people suggest giving your child gripe water, a liquid remedy containing herbs such as chamomile or lavender. As its not regulated, there is no way to know exactly what is in the gripe water you buy, and there are many different formulations. Gripe water doesnt have any proven benefits, and given the unregulated nature of its sale, there are some risks associated with it.
What Are The Symptoms Of Colic
Colicky babies are healthy infants who have recurrent periods of inconsolable cryingwithout apparent reason. These sometimes occur for hours without stopping. The baby can be difficult to comfort during these stretches of time. These periods of fussiness are not linked to hunger or discomfort, and the babies are otherwise normal. They may appear to be in pain. They might arch their backs, clench their fists, or pull their legs up to their tummies. In addition, the baby’s face might turn red after a long period of crying. Although the baby is fussy and cries, he or she continues to eat well and gain weight.
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Try A Different Formula
If baby is formula-fed, your child may be reacting to something in the specific variety youre using. Some moms find that changing formulas can make all the difference! Check out this post for the best baby formula, and consider trying this homemade formula recipeits alive, rich in bioavailable nutrients, and easier to digest than many powdered alternatives.
Is My Baby Crying Because Of Something They Ate Or Something I Ate
Colic happens in both breastfed and bottle-fed babies. Changing how you feed your baby probably wont help your babys crying.
There is not strong evidence that the crying is caused by gas, wind or food allergies.
If you think your baby may have a digestion problem, speak to your doctor about options. For most babies, what they eat does not affect how much they cry. Crying is more likely related to their current phase of development.
Talk to your doctor before using over-the-counter or natural products for colic. There is very little scientific evidence to show that these products help.
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When Should I Call My Child’s Healthcare Provider
Before assuming your child has colic, look for other signs of illness. These may include:
- Not sucking or drinking a bottle well
- Drinking less milk than usual
- Becoming more irritable when held or touched
- Having a strange-sounding cry
- Having a change in breathing rate or using extra effort to breathe
- Being more sleepy or sluggish than normal
- Fever of 100.4°F or higher, or as directed by your child’s healthcare provider
Feed A Little Longer On Each Breast
Ensure that your baby feeds longer on each breast rather than alternating between each breast. The hindmilk that comes out after the baby has sucked on a breast for a while is more nutritious than the foremilk that comes out at the beginning. Hindmilk contains more fat, which promotes digestion and soothes the stomach. Too much foremilk can cause digestive distress.
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Infantile Colic: Recognition And Treatment
JEREMY D. JOHNSON, MD, MPH KATHERINE COCKER, DO and ELISABETH CHANG, MD, Tripler Army Medical Center, Honolulu, Hawaii
Am Fam Physician. 2015 Oct 1 92:577-582.
Patient information: A handout on this topic is available at .
Infantile colic is a benign, self-limited process in which a healthy infant has paroxysms of inconsolable crying. The standard diagnostic criteriaknown as the rule of threeis crying more than three hours per day, more than three days per week, for longer than three weeks.1 Symptoms typically resolve by three to six months of age.
SORT: KEY RECOMMENDATIONS FOR PRACTICE
Parents should be educated about the benign and self-limited nature of infantile colic.
The probiotic Lactobacillus reuteri may reduce crying in breastfeeding infants with colic.
L. reuteri DSM 17938 should not be given to formula-fed infants with colic.
Elimination of allergens from the diet of breastfeeding mothers may relieve colic symptoms.
Switching formula-fed infants to a hydrolyzed formula may improve colic symptoms.
A = consistent, good-quality patient-oriented evidence B = inconsistent or limited-quality patient-oriented evidence C = consensus, disease-oriented evidence, usual practice, expert opinion, or case series. For information about the SORT evidence rating system, go to .
SORT: KEY RECOMMENDATIONS FOR PRACTICE
How To Soothe A Colicky Baby
If your baby has colic, the never-ending crying can drive you nuts. Here are some expert strategies for soothing a colicky baby.
Does your baby have intense crying spells that last three hours or more? He might be suffering from colic. There’s no specific definition of colic, but it generally means excessive crying for no explainable reason, says Barry Lester, Ph.D., director of the colic clinic at the Brown University Center for Children at Women & Infants Hospital in Providence, and coauthor of Why Is My Baby Crying.
Pediatricians generally use the “rule of threes” to determine the condition: “when a baby cries intensely for three or more hours at a time on at least three days of the week, for longer than three weeks in a row for no apparent reason,” says Mary Ann LoFrumento, M.D., author of Simply Parenting: Understanding Your Newborn & Infant.
- RELATED: What is Colic in Babies?
Colic usually begins around week 2 or 3 of the baby’s life and peaks at around 6 to 8 weeks. Unlike with regular infant crying, attempts to stop colic-induced sessions by feeding, burping, rocking, or changing the diaper aren’t successful. The condition subsidies around 3 to 4 months of age.
Wondering what to do for a colic baby? According to experts, parents can try adopting the “Five S’s” strategy to mimic the womb environment. Read more about this strategy, plus other ways to try soothing a baby with colic.
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How To Help A Crying Baby
- Respond quickly if your baby is crying. This may mean that they will cry less later on.
- Crying babies tend to arch their backs and stiffen their legs. Holding them curled in a C position helps to calm them down.
- Check that your baby is not too hot or cold or uncomfortable in some way.
- Wrapping or swaddling in a cotton sheet can be calming.
- Many babies soothe themselves by sucking, so a dummy can be helpful, once your breast milk supply is going well.
- Patting can help soothe a baby.
- Soft lighting can also help some babies who may be distressed by harsh lights.
- Baby slings are great to provide comfort and contact if the baby needs to be held.
- Deep baths and gentle massage relax some babies, but they often dont help if your baby is already crying.
- Soft music or noise that has a beat or rhythm, such as a loud clock, may help.
- You may be trying too hard to calm the baby . Put your baby down somewhere safe for a while and see if they settle.
- Take the baby for a walk in a pram or a sling or for a ride in the car. You might find yourself going out for many rides in the car for a couple of weeks, but this will not last forever and many babies seem to find it helps them calm down. Dont drive if you are too stressed to drive safely.
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How To Get Rid Of Colic In Newborns
The content of the article
The digestive tract of a child who has recently been born is completely sterile. In the first year of life, the intestines are populated with good microbes. They actively multiply, causing bloating and increased gas formation. Pediatricians consider colic a natural process that does not require medical treatment. And in order to facilitate the well-being of the baby, mother is recommended to use non-traditional methods.
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Gassy Baby Signs And Symptoms
All babies, of course, pass a little gas. But look for these signs and symptoms of baby gas that’s more than just the usual:
- Your baby cries and is fussy for an hour or so a day. This can be a sign of a normal amount of newborn gassiness that comes with having a tiny, underdeveloped digestive system. But you should still check in with your pediatrician if it happens every day and doesn’t seem to be getting better.
- Your baby seems unhappy most of the time. This can indicate that you have an especially gassy baby who needs a bit more help. Gas that causes significant upset often indicates a problem beyond normal newborn gassiness.
- Your baby isn’t eating or sleeping well. Trouble with sleeping or eating can have a whole range of causes, but infant gas may be one of them, especially if there are other signs. Talk to your doctor for a proper diagnosis.
- Your baby gets red in the face when he cries and seems like he might be in pain.
- Your baby squirms as though he’s uncomfortable and pulls his legs up to his chest, especially during bouts of fussiness.
Infant gas has several possible causes:
- Swallowing air when feeding or crying, which is very common and normal among new babies
- An underdeveloped digestive system, which allows food to pass through too quickly so it doesnt break down completely
- Hypersensitivities to certain types of formula or foods in Moms diet, or possibly food allergies
What Are The Signs And Symptoms Of Colic
If you suspect you have a colicky baby, look out for the following possible signs and symptoms:
Give her a warm bath.
Play soft music, sing, or talk to her.
Wrap her securely in a large, thin blanket.
Unfortunately, there is no cure for colic. Remember that sometimes no matter what you do your baby will cry. So donât beat yourself up about it. Try any number of these different approaches. If one method doesnât work within a week, go with another treatment on the list.
You may find that by the time youâve tried most of these steps, your baby will have outgrown this colicky phase.
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Can Breastfeeding Make Baby Gassy
Some research has found that the foods in a mom’s diet might make breastfed babies gassy, but the evidence is far from conclusive. Before you completely revamp what you’re eating, see if there are other subtle ways you can help your baby swallow less air at mealtimes, including working on your latch, burping baby twice at each feeding and trying different nipples or bottles if you pump.
If your breastfed baby is still gassy, and you notice that every time you eat a certain food he seems gassier or fussier than usual, theres no harm in cutting that food from your diet to see if it helps. Work with your doctor to nail down foods that might make breastfed babies gassy, including:
- Cruciferous veggies like cabbage, Brussels sprouts and cauliflower
- Dairy and eggs
Where Can I Get Help
All Babies Cry is a program that helps people learn how to soothe a baby and cope with crying.
The program’s four parts are:
If you are worried you might hurt your baby or someone else will, call the national hotline 1-800-4-A-CHILD anytime for help.
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What To Do If Your Baby Has Colic
Unfortunately, theres no cure for colic and each baby responds differently to attempts to soothe them . But here weve put together some of the more common methods that people say might help soothe a baby with colic.
- Holding your baby, wrapping them snugly in a blanket or putting them in a baby sling.
- Holding your baby in different positions, such as on your shoulder, cradled in your arms, or lying with their tummy faced down along your forearm.
- Swaddling: some people say swaddling their baby wrapping them snugly in a blanket can make them feel safe and secure.
- Gently swaying your baby.
Take Heart Baby Colic Will Pass
Be patient with implementing these natural remediessome can take time to see the effects, particularly the diet/digestive-related ones. Know that your baby will get through this phase. For most, colic lasts for the first 3-4 months of life. You can look at it as growing pains, as baby makes the transition to life on the outside. You will get through it and get to the other side.
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When To Call The Doctor About Colic In Babies
While the odds are that your babys daily screaming sessions are due to colic, if it seems like your baby is crying excessively, start by seeing the pediatrician.
The doctor can examine your baby to rule out any other potential causes of excessive crying. And if they think you’re definitely dealing with colic? It’s good to get some reassurance and maybe a few extra soothing strategies.
Describing the crying will also help the doctor rule out any underlying medical condition that could be triggering the crying.
Keep in mind, too, that this shall pass: Just when you think you can’t take another night of it, the crying will let up and then it’s gone forever.
From the What to Expect editorial team and Heidi Murkoff, author of What to Expect When You’re Expecting. What to Expect follows strict reporting guidelines and uses only credible sources, such as peer-reviewed studies, academic research institutions and highly respected health organizations. Learn how we keep our content accurate and up-to-date by reading our medical review and editorial policy.
- What to Expect the First Year, 3rd edition, Heidi Murkoff.