What Is Colic In Newborns

What Are The Causes Of Colic Pain In Babies

How to Relieve Colic in Babies | Parents

The exact factors that lead to new-born colic are still unknown. However, experts have consensually agreed that it isnt due to anything during pregnancy and childbirth. It is also not influenced by genetics or anyones fault. Lets discuss some theories for factors leading to colic pain in babies which can help you calm and control it

Other Problems That Can Cause Crying

Learn ways to tell the difference between normal colic and signs of a medical problem. For example, a baby may cry more when he or she has a digestion problem such as milk protein intolerance or milk sugar intolerance. Some mothers also say they notice their baby’s crying gets worse after they have had certain foods or drinks and then breastfeed. Some foods may affect breast milk, such as garlic, broccoli, fresh fruits, and caffeine. They may contribute to intestinal gas or other digestive problems in the baby.

How To Soothe And Treat A Colicky Baby

Many parents feel helpless and confused about what to do to help soothe their colicky baby. Here are some remedies you could try to help limit or prevent colic in your baby, sometimes even before a bout of crying starts:

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 something else on the list.

You may find that by the time youâve tried most of these steps, your baby will have outgrown this colicky phase.

Also Check: How To Treat Newborn Baby Acne

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.

The provider needs to make sure your baby does not have other medical problems, such as reflux, a hernia, or intussusception.

How Can You Soothe A Baby With Colic

Colic Symptoms: How To Tell If Your Baby Has Colicky Pain

As you get to know your baby, you learn to check for the obvious causes of distress when they cry. Are they hungry? Are they hot or cold? Does their diaper need changing? Are they over-stimulated? A baby with colic might be crying for one of those reasons. Or they may be crying for a reason you cant understand.

Once youve checked on their possible physical needs and sources of discomfort, its time to go into comforting mode, using whatever technique helps to calm your baby. Every baby is different, and what works for one may not work for another.

With that in mind, here are some ways to soothe a baby with colic:

  • Hold and cuddle your baby.
  • Walk with your baby.
  • Swaddle your baby in a soft blanket.
  • Sing and talk softly to your baby.
  • Sway back and forth while you hold your baby, or find other ways to gently rock her. Some babies are calmed by a swing.
  • Gently rub your babys back.
  • Change your babys position: Sit them up if they have been lying down, or hold them face-out if they have been facing your chest.
  • Hold your baby near low, rhythmic noises, like the sound of the washing machine or a recording of a heartbeat. The steady hum of a fan or a white noise machine can also be soothing.
  • Go for a ride in the car. The motion and noise of a car ride helps to calm some babies.
  • Give your baby a pacifier. Many babies are calmed by sucking, and a pacifier can satisfy this need between feedings.

Also Check: How To Keep A Newborn Awake

How Long Does Colic Typically Last

Colic episodes can last for about 3 hours a day until your baby is about 6 weeks old then, these episodes may get shorter and last about 1 or 2 hours a day until your little one is about 3 or 4 months old.

In general, colicky crying tends to stop when your child is about 4 months old, but it can sometimes last until about 6 months of age.

How Common Is Newborn Colic

My daughter used to get bouts of colic so much so that some friends of ours started calling her the colic baby.

Although colic is common, yet it is not ordinary. Sometimes your newborn may become inconsolable at the same time each day and the condition can last as short as a few weeks or as long as a couple of months. Try the above mentioned methods of preventing or minimizing newborn colic and do your best to keep your baby comfortable.

Recommended Reading: How To Tell If Newborn Can Hear

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
  • Vomiting
  • 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

What Is Colic In Babies And What Are Its Causes

What Causes Colic Pain in Babies | Colic in Newborns

It can be a Herculean task to deal with an infant who goes on crying for hours at a stretch, putting all your efforts to soothe it in vain. If your house echoes with long and unpleasant wails every single night accompanied by clenched fists and a red and swollen face, you could very well be a member of the club of parents with colic babies. Lets understand the basics of new-born colic and how to address it.

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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.

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

Read Also: Can Newborn Babies Sleep With A Pacifier

What Causes Colic In Babies: An Evidence

What causes colic? According to a opens in a new windowpopular definition, colic is excessive crying or fussing in an otherwise healthy baby.

Its the catch-all term doctors use to describe intense, inconsolable crying when they arent immediately sure whats going on.

So there isnt any single answer or remedy. Different babies cry for different reasons.

In some cases, there may be a feedback loop, ratcheting stress back and forth between infants and parents. Babies cry and distress their parents. Then they sense their parents stressed out vibes and become even more upset.

In other cases, babies might be especially cranky because their hormonal rhythms arent in sync with the natural, 24-hour day. They might need better circadian cues more exposure to sunlight during the day, and less exposure to artificial light at night.

Its also likely that some babies simply have a more difficult time calming down after something disturbs them. With sensitive, responsive care and patience, these babies will eventually develop the more mature nervous systems and learn to settle down.

But as many parents know, colicky babies often give the impression that they are in pain, and research supports the idea that some babies are suffering from painful medication conditions, including cows milk protein intolerance and migraine.

Moreover, there is mounting evidence that infantile colic is linked with a distinctive physical profile:

Here are the details.

How To Soothe A Baby With Colic

Baby Colic: Causes, Symptoms And Tips To Soothe

You had just settled into a comfortable routine with your new baby when, at about 3 weeks old, they start fussing and crying for hours each evening. Welcome to one of the most challenging aspects of parenting a baby: colic.

While colic sounds like a disease, its simply the name for excessive crying during a babys first few months. The good news about colic is that it typically lasts until the baby is about 3 months old, then magically disappears, says Catherine Bonita, MD, FAAP, a pediatrician with expertise in newborn care and nutrition at CHOPs Primary Care location in Flourtown, PA.

Thats also the bad news. A few months of trying to soothe a colicky baby through the evening can seem like a very long time.

Recommended Reading: How To Teach Newborn To Sleep At Night

What Causes Colic: Factors That Are Unrelated Pain Illness Or Disease

For centuries people assumed that infantile colic was caused by abdominal pain. But this assumption became controversial in the 20th century, so the medical profession adopted new definitions of colic that made no reference to causation.

For instance, some doctors follow the rule of three. A baby is considered colicky if he is otherwise healthy and well-fed but cries for more than 3 hours each day, for more than 3 days each week, for at least 3 consecutive weeks .

Under this definition, colic is really just another label for excessive crying, which could be caused by a wide variety of things, including conditions completely unrelated to abdominal pain .

In fact, by specifying that the baby be otherwise healthy, this definition essentially rules out diseases and ailments as causes of colic. Were left with other possibilities, like these:

The last is probably the most straightforward to remedy: Parents simply need to carry their babies more, and make sure they are responding promptly when babies need soothing.

But opens in a new windowits not clear how often this really is the problem. Many parents are desperate precisely because their babies are crying despite a lot of highly responsive care!

What should parents do if one of the other factors is to blame?

It also makes sense to review your own stress levels.

As I opens in a new windowexplain here, your mental health should be a top priority.

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.

Also Check: How To Help Newborn Sleep At Night

What If It’s Not Colic

Babies cry for other reasons that are not colic. The first step is to make sure a baby doesn’t have a health reason to be crying.

  • has a fever of 100.4°F or higher
  • is less alert or active than usual
  • isn’t feeding well
  • isn’t sucking strongly when taking the bottle or breast
  • has loose stools or blood in the stool
  • is throwing up
  • is losing weight or not gaining weight
  • can’t calm down no matter what you do

Southern Cross Medical Library

Parents in Action: Soothing a colicky baby

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.

Read Also: How Long A Newborn Should Sleep

Take Care Of Yourself

Taking care of a baby with colic is hard and its OK, even necessary, to think of your own needs as a parent during this time. If you dont take care of yourself, you cant take care of your baby. Take the following steps to manage your stress and exhaustion:

  • Take turns: If possible, take turns soothing your baby with your partner or trusted family member or friend.
  • Maintain your health: Eating healthy foods and exercising and sleeping whenever possible will help you feel more rested and refueled for caring for a colicky baby.
  • Place your baby in their crib: If youre overwhelmed, put your baby safely in their crib for a short break. Its OK to let them cry while you collect yourself and take some deep breaths.
  • Be kind to yourself: Colic isnt something you can prevent or cause. Know that your babys crying doesnt reflect your ability as a parent and colic is temporary.
  • Talk about your feelings: Tell your partner, family, friends or other members of your support system about how youre feeling. Being frustrated, sad, tired or guilty is normal for parents of colicky babies, and it can help to talk about it with those close to you.

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