What Is Colic And How To Treat Colic In Babies
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All babies cry to communicate. However, when your baby is healthy, well-fed and lying in a peaceful environment yet it cries, theres something unusual. All babies cry, but when a baby cries in a systematic pattern over a period of time with no apparent issue, its time to check for colic in babies.
Generally, from birth till the fourth month, all babies suffer from colic. It is hard to understand for new parents, and the worst is that there is no particular treatment for colic. It is something you would never like your child to face. However, we have seen a lot of first time parents asking that how do I know if my baby has colic.
So, if you are a first-time parent having a colicky baby, first you need to learn that how to treat colic in babies? For this, the article will assist you a lot. Here, we will introduce you to the basics of colic in babies, some of the major symptoms and the treatment for a colicky baby.
Follow this draft religiously to find your solution.
Complications In Colic In Babies:
Though there are no long term consequences or risks, the scenario can get really draining for both parents and the baby itself. While the baby is unaware and is in a better place comparatively, there are chances that you, as parents could lose your temper or fall prey to other unfortunate conditions such as:
5.Excess visits to the doctor
What Else Could It Be
Babies can only tell us something is wrong by crying, so first consider the obvious things that might be making them uncomfortable:
- Are they too hot or too cold?
- Does their nappy need changing?
- Are they hungry?
- Are they unwell?
Other common conditions in babies which might cause crying include:
- Wind .
- Reflux. Babies with reflux tend to vomit or posset more than other babies. Feeding seems to cause discomfort, as does laying them on their back. See the separate leaflet called Childhood Gastro-oesophageal Reflux.
- Constipation. Poo tends to be hard and not passed very often. Babies may cry and go red in the face when trying to pass a hard poo.
- Cow’s milk allergy. There are usually other features, such as a rash or gut-related symptoms. See the separate leaflet called Cow’s Milk Protein Allergy.
Uncommon conditions which might cause crying include:
- A twisted testicle .
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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.
When To Call The Doctor
It is recommended that you seek medical attention if:
- The baby cries a lot.
- There is a sudden change in the behavior or the crying pattern of your baby.
- The baby is three months old and is still colicky.
- The baby is experiencing symptoms such as fever, bloody stools, diarrhea, forceful vomiting, and stomach issues.
It is best to seek medical advice in order to rule out the possibility of a more serious underlying issue.
In case you are feeling overwhelmed or unable to cope with the situation, seek help for yourself immediately.
Being a parent, you need to handle the situation with care, and just remember that the colic will disappear in a matter of weeks or months. In the meantime, you can try some simple home remedies to help alleviate your childâs discomfort and fussiness.
Here are the top 10 ways to relieve pain and discomfort of colic in babies.
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Take Your Baby On A Car Ride
Imagine yourself being kept in a small room when you are unwell. Certainly, it sounds weird. Then why on earth are you keeping your baby at home all day during the colic days? So, if you have tried all the other ways and your baby seems not to be relaxing, take them for a ride.
If you have witnessed, you will acknowledge that infants love exploring things. Sometimes they get so busy in the outside world that they even forget their pain and hunger. So, taking your baby for a car ride may not cure her colic issue, but it will certainly let her relax for some time.
How Common Is Colic
Colic seems to be very common. It is thought to affect one in five babies. So, if you have a baby with colic, you are not alone! It is most common in the first six weeks of a baby’s life. It is just as common in girls as it is in boys. It is just as common whether the baby is breast-fed or bottle-fed.
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What Are The Complications Of Colic
As such, colic does not cause any short-term or long-term medical problems for a child. Colic can be stressful for parents. Research has shown an association between colic and the following issues in relation to parental well-being:
- Increased chances of postpartum depression in mothers
- Early weaning of the child
- Feelings of guilt, exhaustion, and helplessness
In some cases, the stress of calming a crying baby may prompt the parents to shake or otherwise harm their child. Shaking a baby can have severe implications. It may damage their brain and even cause death.
When You Should See Your Gp
Non-urgent advice: Bring your baby to the GP if:
- you are not sure if your baby has colic or why they are crying
- they are vomiting green stuff
- they have projectile vomiting
- they are not feeding well
- their symptoms started after you introduced formula
- they are losing weight or not gaining weight
- they have a temperature greater than 38 degrees C
- you are concerned
- you are finding it hard to cope
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Change The Formula Milk Brand
If your baby is colicky all the time, changing the formula milk brand may help. Sometimes, the ingredients of a particular formula milk brand may be the cause of colic. If you have started giving formula milk to your baby along with breastfeeding or otherwise, and he suffers from colicky, try changing formula milk.
How Do I Know If The Crying Is Normal
Working out what could be causing the crying and how to make a difference is difficult. In most cases, no medical cause can be found but its always helpful to rule it out first. Its difficult to soothe a crying baby if youre worried about their health. If you suspect there is a medical reason that your baby is crying it might give you peace of mind to seek advice from your GP or maternal and child health nurse. Dont just assume its colic.
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What If A Baby Won’t Stop Crying
Caring for a colicky baby can be hard. If your baby won’t stop crying:
- If nothing else works, put the baby on his or her back in a crib without loose blankets or stuffed animals, close the door, and check on the baby in 10 minutes. During that 10 minutes, do something to try to relax and calm down. Try washing your face, eating a snack, deep breathing, or listening to music.
Don’t blame yourself or your baby for the crying colic is nobody’s fault. Try to relax, and know that your baby will outgrow this phase.
If you ever feel like you might hurt yourself or the baby, put the baby down in the crib and call for help right away. Never shake a baby.
Tips For Parents On Coping With Colic
Though it can safely be said that even hours and hours of daily crying doesn’t seem to hurt a baby, it certainly does leave its mark on parents. Listening to a baby’s screams can be heartbreaking, upsetting and anxiety-provoking and can take a physical and emotional toll.
To cope with colicky crying that just won’t quit, try the following:
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When Should You Call A Doctor
You must consult your babys doctor in the following scenarios .
- The baby has colic after four months of age.
- Colic is accompanied by fever, vomiting, bloody stools, or diarrhea.
- You notice the baby becoming extremely weak and lethargic after colic episodes.
- The babys cries sound unusual.
- The baby has trouble breathing during colic episodes.
- The baby passes hard stools or noisy watery stools with a lot of gas.
- The baby has not passed stool for a few days.
Living With Colicky Baby
Having a colicky baby can be very stressful for parents. It can make you feel tired, guilty, and even depressed. Your baby’s healthcare provider can suggest some things to do that may help to calm your baby. Its important to know that colic is a common condition in young babies. It will go away on its own, often by age 3 months. In most cases it is gone by age 6 months.
If possible, have someone else watch your baby when you become stressed. If no one else is available, make sure your baby is safe and go into another room. Distract yourself from your baby’s cries. Crying will not hurt your baby. Some communities have free or low-cost care called respite nurseries. You can leave your baby there for short periods of time.
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How To Manage Your Own Distress
Caring for a screaming baby who cant be soothed is extremely distressing. If you feel that you are getting too upset, you need to take some time out to calm down. Suggestions include:
- Put your child in a safe place, such as a cot, and leave the room.
- Walk around the house or go outside.
- Relax your body by dropping your shoulders, clenching and unclenching your fists and stretching your back, arms and legs.
- Have a drink and something to eat, if you can manage it.
- Do something physical like running.
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
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Check In With A Lactation Consultant
If youre a breastfeeding mom, this is so essential. There are so many anatomical issues that could be causing your baby grief! Unfortunately, most pediatricians arent trained to spot these conditions, so be sure you find an IBCLC-certified lactation consultant. Your baby could have a bad latch. She could be tongue-tied. He could be lip-tied. All of these issues could cause some major colic symptoms!
You also want to be sure baby is getting enough hindmilk, which is higher in fat, calms the stomach, helps with digestion, and promotes satiety. If your babys poop is greenish, frothy or mucuosy, this is usually a sign that hes getting too much foremilk, which can cause digestive distress. This often happens when a breastfeeding mom has an overactive letdown or is having oversupply issues, which is very common in the first few months after giving birth.
Follow A Clean Nursing Diet
If youre a breastfeeding mama, you may also want to give up foods that can trigger baby colic symptoms. Dairy is a huge culprit, as are other common allergens like wheat/gluten, eggs, shellfish, citrus, caffeine, and spicy foods. While its certainly no fun to give up some of your favorite foods, its worth your effort. After eliminating these foods from your diet, give it a good 2-4 weeks to be sure they are cleared from your body and milk. Consider looking into paleo recipes, as these are often free from the most common allergens.
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Start With The Basics
- Change your baby’s diaper.
- Use a pacifier.
- Burp your baby.
- Hold and rock your baby, or use a swing or bouncer if your baby is old enough.
- Make sure your baby is not too hot or cold.
- If breastfeeding, can try to cut down on milk, spicy foods, citrus, and caffeine in your diet. However, colic is usually not related to anything mom has eaten.
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.
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Parent’s Diet And Breast Milk
The cause of colic may not be known, but many things are thought to contribute to the condition, including the breastfeeding parent’s diet.
The foods that you eat make their way to your baby through your breast milk. Some babies can have a reaction or an allergy to certain substances. Cows milk and dairy products are the most common offenders, and they can cause digestive problems leading to colic or colic-like symptoms.
You can try to remove dairy products from your diet to see if the colic improves. Other foods that your baby may react to include nuts, soy, eggs, caffeine, garlic, spicy foods, and shellfish.
Be patient as you eliminate items from your diet. It can take over a week to see results. Ask your doctor about probiotics, as well. Research on the probiotic Lactobacillus reuteri shows that it may help reduce colic in breastfed infants.
You do not need to stop nursing. Breastfeeding is not a cause of colic, and babies who take infant formula get colic, too. Switching to formula may not help and may even make the situation worse.