Complimentary And Alternative Medicine
No clear beneficial effect from spinal manipulation or massage has been shown. Further, as there is no evidence of safety for cervical manipulation for baby colic, it is not advised. There is a case of a three-month-old dying following manipulation of the neck area.
Little clinical evidence supports the efficacy of “gripe water” and caution in use is needed, especially in formulations that include alcohol or sugar. Evidence does not support lactase supplementation. The use of probiotics, specifically Lactobacillus reuteri, decreases crying time at three weeks by 46 minutes in breastfeed babies but has unclear effects in those who are formula fed.Fennel also appears effective.
Know When And How To Take A Break
- Hearing your baby continuously cry can be incredibly stressful. It can cause feelings of inadequacy, guilt, anxiety and frustration, so its very important to know your limits. The most common trigger for abusive head trauma is a crying baby, according to the American Academy of Pediatrics. If you need to blow off some steam, Dr. Donner recommends to first place your baby in a safe location, such as a crib. Put on headphones, call a friend, scroll your phone, have a snack and just breathe. Crying is not harmful to infants, even for an extended period of timeexperts note that its perfectly safe to let your baby cry while you take a break.
What’s The Surest Means To Make Colic Go Away
Alas, there’s no way to know if your sweet newborn will transform into a howler. It has nothing to do with how you parent or how much you love your baby. It is easy to lose your patience when your baby is crying for more than 2 hours every day and especially in the evening or at bed time. Try to give yourself a break. Have a partner watch the baby, use the help or support of a friend, family member. or neighbor if possible. Sometimes it may be even worth hiring a trustable babysitter so you can relax and take a break and be refreshed when you hold your baby again!
Because it’s stressful to have a baby with colic, it helps to let someone else take over care for a bit. It’s also OK to place your baby safely in their crib for a little while and step away.
Never shake a baby to get them to stop crying.
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How Colic Affects Babies
Some babies have colic, which is characterized by excessive crying and fussiness. This fussiness can range from mild to severe, and you might notice your babys belly is swollen or distended when he cries. He may also experience other symptoms like abdominal pain or constipation.
Depending on how severe your babys symptoms are, it could affect his sleep schedule, eating habits and even his development.
The good news is there are some things you can do to help treat your babys colic pain.
Heres what causes colic in babies and what you can do about it.
Colic isnt a specific condition but rather a description of symptoms that generally include excessive crying with no obvious cause
. While infants can present with all sorts of issues, colic is one of a few concerning behaviours that warrant further investigation
. Although theres no one single known cause for colic in babies, here are common causes that experts think play a role:
- Colicky babies tend to be born early and very small, meaning they have less developed nervous systems than full-term children who dont typically cry as much.
- Additionally, breastfed infants are more likely to suffer from colic than formula-fed babies because of differing amounts of lactose in each food
Mothers Diet And Breast Milk
The cause of colic may not be known, but many things are thought to contribute to the condition, including the maternal 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 possible foods that your baby may react to are 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.
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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.
Seeing Your Baby’s Health Care Provider
Your baby’s health care provider can often diagnose colic by asking you about the baby’s medical history, symptoms, and how long the crying lasts. The provider will perform a physical exam and may do some tests to check your baby.
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Diagnose Colic In Babies
In order to diagnose or rule out colic in babies, tell your pediatrician the following details about the babys symptoms:
- The frequency and duration of your babys crying jag
- Whether you have noticed any triggers for these symptoms
- Whether there is anything that can quickly calm down your baby
Doctors may also recommend blood and radiology tests to determine if the symptoms are an indication of any other disorder apart from colic in babies.
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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Is It Colic Or Something Else
Constant crying doesn’t always point to colic. Be sure to check with your pediatrician to rule out any medical issues that could be causing your baby’s crying. They might have an underlying medical condition that remains to be diagnoseda strong possibility if they’re still crying inconsolably after 4 months.
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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What Is The Treatment For Colic
This is the million dollar question! There is no very good evidence for ANY colic treatments used. Studies have been difficult because definitions of colic vary, because it is difficult to measure how effective treatment is, and because it gets better on its own anyway. Mostly, managing colic involves finding out what works best for you and your baby in a way that causes the minimum amount of stress.
Strategies which MAY be useful include:
- Checking with a health professional if you are in any doubt about the diagnosis. Worrying about the cause of your baby’s crying is likely to add stress to an already difficult situation.
- Holding your baby when they are crying to soothe them. However, this does not mean you have to continually hold a crying baby. As long as you are sure your baby is not too hot/too cold/hungry/unwell and does not need a nappy change, it is OK to lay them down for a short time.
- Movement sometimes helps. You could try rocking them gently or taking them out for a walk in a pram, sling or baby carrier. A drive sometimes helps too, but only if you were planning to do this anyway – you don’t want to find yourself driving round the neighbourhood for no good reason every time the baby cries.
- ‘White noise’ sometimes helps. Background noise, such as a vacuum cleaner, music, a washing machine or a hairdryer may in some cases be soothing.
- Bathing the baby in a warm bath.
- Make sure you ‘wind’ your baby after feeding.
Southern Cross Medical Library
The purpose of the Southern Cross Medical Library is to provide information of a general nature to help you better understand certain medical conditions. Always seek specific medical advice for treatment appropriate to you. This information is not intended to relate specifically to insurance or healthcare services provided by Southern Cross. For more articles go to the Medical Library index page.
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How Long Does Colic Last
Thankfully, there’s a light at the end of the tunnel. Colic tends to peak around 6 weeks, and then improves significantly between 3 and 4 months. By 4 months of age, 80 to 90 percent of infants are over colic. The remaining small percentage might take another month.
Yes, that’s a long tunnel. But in the meantime, learn how to comfort your baby as best you can and ask for help whenever you need it. Caring for a colicky baby can be very stressful, and you’ll need to take regular breaks to maintain your own well-being. Have your partner or a friend or relative take over while you go for a walk, take a nap, or let loose with a good cry yourself.
Look After Yourself Too
Having a baby who cries a lot can be very wearing and stressful for parents. Make sure you keep yourself sane. Discuss your worries about your baby with your health visitor or doctor. Seek help from them if you feel very down or anxious. Take up offers from family or friends to help so you can take time out for rests and time for yourself. You and your partner will need to support each other, and take it in turns to spend time consoling a crying baby. Talking with others who have babies with colic may help, or contact a support group such as Cry-sis. Remember that colic does go away, and it is a phase your baby will come through.
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What’s The Difference Between Colic And Normal Crying
There isn’t a clear definition of exactly what colic is or how it differs from other types of crying.
But doctors typically agree that colic crying is louder, more intense and higher-pitched than normal crying sometimes almost like screaming.
Colicky babies also seem inconsolable, and tend to cry more throughout the day than babies without colic.
Most often, colicky periods recur daily, though some babies take an occasional night off.
What If Its Not Colic
Babies cry for other reasons that are not colic. The first step is to make sure a baby doesnt have a health reason to be crying.
- has a fever of 100.4°F or higher
- is less alert or active than usual
- isnt feeding well
- isnt sucking strongly when taking the bottle or breast
- has loose stools or blood in the stool
- is losing weight or not gaining weight
- cant calm down no matter what you do
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Alternative Therapies Acupuncture For Colic In Babies Pains
Alternative Therapies Acupuncture has been used for thousands of years in China and other parts of Asia to alleviate pain. Oftentimes, people believe acupuncture stimulates nerves in babies that affect pain levels but there hasnt been much medical research done on it yet, making experts skeptical whether acupuncture really works or not.
Nonetheless, several mothers swear by acupuncturists helping cure their newborns suffering from colic. If you want to try alternative treatments for your babys colic problems, consult a holistic practitioner near you first.
Exercise One of my personal favourite natural therapies for colic is exercise because it increases endorphins in new moms and helps ease stress that builds up during pregnancy and the postpartum period. Getting regular exercise helps you stay healthy and energized, giving you more strength to cope with all of lifes daily stressors.
Both of these medications use mild herbal extracts to coat your babys stomach and intestinal walls. This can provide temporary relief from colic in babies symptoms like nausea and painful gas, but only if your baby takes in enough of it for long enough for it to work.
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Why Is Colic A Concern
Colic may become a concern due to the following reasons:
- Frustrating and stressful to parents
- Parents and infant lose sleep
- Infant may be overfed in an attempt to stop the crying
Babies with colic usually grow and gain weight appropriately, despite being fussy or irritable, being gassy, and losing sleep.
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When You Think Your Baby Has Colic: What To Do
There are many things you can do to soothe a crying baby. But if its very hard or even impossible to comfort your baby, its a very good idea to get help from your GP, paediatrician or child and family health nurse.
Have a check-up with your GP or paediatrician Your GP or paediatrician can assess your baby and rule out any medical causes for the crying, including:
- gastro-oesophageal reflux disease a rare but possible cause of crying
- infection for example, ear infections or urinary tract infections
- hernia for example, inguinal or umbilical hernias
- allergy for example, to cow or soy milk protein, which can be in breastmilk or some baby formulas
- nappy rash or other source of irritation.
You should definitely see the GP if your baby:
- seems listless or pale
- isnt feeding well or gaining much weight
- has persistent vomiting or diarrhoea.
You should also see the GP if you feel you might hurt your baby or youre worried for any other reason.
Get advice from your child and family health nurse Your child and family health nurse can help you by:
- checking your feeding technique and letting you know whether theres anything you might be able to adjust
- letting you know about settling programs and early parenting centres in your area.
Its a good idea to talk with your GP, a lactation consultant or your child and family health nurse if youd like to try these drops.
Should I Take My Baby To The Doctor For Colic
Yes, it’s a good idea to see the doctor about your baby’s excessive crying. The doctor can rule out potential causes such as intestinal problems or urinary infections, and will check to see if your baby is feeding and growing normally. The doctor will also help you determine the best course of action for your baby if they do have colic.
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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.