Almost every parent out there already knows how difficult things are when the little one has colic. In order to treat them properly, you must first know a little bit about them – what are they, what factors they cause or how do you get rid of colic in babies.
Table of Contents
- 1 What Are Baby Colic?
- 2 What Is the Difference between Colic & Ordinary Crying?
- 3 Can Milk Formula Cause Colic?
- 4 Baby Colic Signs
- 5 What Are the Causes of Colic in Infants?
- 6 Coping with Colic
- 7 When to Call the Doctor?
- 8 How Do You Get Rid of Colic in Babies?
What Are Baby Colic?
Colic in babies isn`t an illness, but rather simply a process of their digestive system adapting to the new way of eating. The most important cause why this happens is represented by food and the way is done. It`s not really about the fact that the baby has a specific intolerance or that the mother doesn`t eat right. The theory goes that colic ends when the little one learns how to filter out some of the environmental stimuli out there and, therefore avoid a sensory overload.
Abdominal colic is usually a nightmare for most parents. The little one is always agitated, he cannot ret and he refuses to eat. The only thing he does is to cry all the time. According to a study by the Tripler Army Medical Center in the U.S., colic affects around 10% to 40% of babies all over the world.
There`s no specific moment when colic occur. They may appear around the 6th week of the child and disappear completely around 3 to 6 month.
Even if it isn`t a severe medical condition or a problem faced on the long run, it`s still a situation which puts a lot of parents under additional stress after childbirth. Colic deprives babies and parents alike of sleep, and can even trigger depression in mothers.
What Is the Difference between Colic & Ordinary Crying?
There is no straight-forward definition of what really colic is or how is different than ordinary crying. However, specialists normally agree that the real difference is that the baby looks inconsolable, crying soon changes into screaming, and all this might last for 2 -3 hours, even longer at times. Most commonly, colicky periods repeat on a daily basis, though of the babies out there take a night off.
Can Milk Formula Cause Colic?
Generally speaking, no! Still, if your little one has folic and you`re exclusively feeding him with formula, it`s best to first ask for the advice of the pediatrician and ask him to recommend you a type of powder milk that doesn`t contain cow`s milk (implicitly, those types of proteins that can disturb the baby`s digestive system).
Baby Colic Signs
Are you aware of the rule of 3? Well, it goes like this. If your baby cries for 3 hours per day, 3 days per week for 3 consecutive weeks, the little one has colic.
Other signs to look for are:
- Intense episodes of crying (occasionally with daily patterns that are predictable).
- Inconsolable episodes of crying for no apparent reason.
- Recoiling to touch, arching of back or clenching of fists
There`s no doubt about this. Lots of parents sometimes struggle with feelings of frustration and helplessness when the little one has these signs. Still, there`s a reason for the extreme fussiness of the baby and there`re lots of natural ways of treating it.
What Are the Causes of Colic in Infants?
Colic represents one of the great mysteries of being a parent. Their causes aren`t completely known, but as mentioned above, it`s believed to be related to the baby`s digestive system. Around 20% of babies have colic, no matter if they were breastfed or fed with formula. Also, there are situation in which parents don`t have such issues with their first child, but they confront with colic with their second child (or the first one). It isn`t really known why some babies are more prone to colic than other ones, but specialists have a few theories regarding their occurrence, which include changes in the normal bacteria that can be found in the little one`s digestive system, allergies, anxious parents, lactose intolerance, a digestive system which hasn`t been completely developed, and various differences in the manner a baby is comforted or fed.
Coping with Colic
Though we can safely assume that even if the little one cries for hours, it won`t hurt him, however, it does leave some marks on parents. It can become heartbreaking at some point to listen to a baby screaming, and can take an emotional and physical toll. Coping with colic will need the following:
It`s essential to answer to crying, which is the only way to communicate of the little one. But from time to time, you simply need some time off. Taking 10 or 15 minutes of break during a crying-marathon will definitely not hurt, and it may also help both of you get over this challenging babyhood phase.
Talk About It
Doing a bit of crying yourself will certainly do you more good than bad – on a willing shoulder, that is! Either we are talking about your husband, life partner, mother, best friend or pediatrician, just knowing you aren`t alone in this can help a lot.
Break It Up
A new set of arms will always induce ca state of calm when it comes to a crying infant. If there`re 2 parents around, be certain colic duty is equally split in two. You may not notice it at first, but when it comes to your health, this is a necessary step.
Ask for Help
If you are not at the rope`s end, why hesitate to ask around for help? It can either be your life partner or babysitter, it doesn`t matter.
When to Call the Doctor?
Don`t hesitate to talk to your pediatrician if your little one has colic. The doctor may recommend you some tips how to calm him down and can also make him a consultation to get rid of some of the hypothesis about the possible causes of colic. For instance, he`ll tell you if the infant has an intestinal or urinary infection, which may accentuate his discomfort. Still, keep in mind that you don`t have real reasons of concern when it comes to baby`s colic.
The only cases when it`s mandatory to call your doctor is when you notice other types of signs, such as vomiting, bloody stools, fever and constant diarrhea. These signs aren`t caused by colic, which means that the little one has a medical problem!
How Do You Get Rid of Colic in Babies?
Check the Nutritional Process of the Baby
The proper feeding process in order to avoid colic for your baby is practically kind of the same no matter whether you`re breastfeeding him or feeding him with the bottle, because in the very first minute of feeding, the little one will swallow a significant air amount.
The baby needs to be fed if more than 2 hours have passed from the last meal. You should feed him in smaller amounts and more frequently.
If you feed him with formula, talk to a doctor first about changing his milk. It may also help to heat the milk until it reaches the room`s temperature.
Try to choose a milk bottle with a smaller hole, if the little one empties the bottle in less than 20 minutes. You should avoid fast feeding! – Read this!
If you are breastfeeding him, you should check your diet: you transmit every you eat to the baby through your breast milk. So, try to avoid some beans, dairy cabbage or cauliflower.
Make Sure the Little One Has Taken the Air Out after Feeding Him
Feed your little one for 1 minute, meaning literally 60 seconds with the clock in front of you.
Stop the breastfeeding session and put him in bed. Don`t feed him again until he has take all the air out through a strong burp. Without a doubt, your baby won`t be too happy that you`ll interrupt him, but you can be sure he`ll a lot more upset later when he`ll try to take all that air out without being able. The very first expulsion of that air will come from his stomach and will perhaps be so noisy that you`ll never think it can come from such a small human being like him.
More related content: Probiotics: A Possible Remedy for Baby Colic!
Once your baby has burp, he`s ready to eat some more now that all the air is out and he`ll have more space for milk.
Make a Warm Bath – A Natural Remedy
Another really simply remedy for a baby experiencing colic is a warm bath, which will provide your baby`s stomach warmth. However, be careful that too much warm can burn the little one, so pay attention! It may seem incredible, but warm water usually relaxes the intestines to allow the little one to remove the gas more easily and, therefore, experience a discomfort sensation.
Massage Is a Reliever of Pains Caused by Colic
Massage is another very simple remedy that may help in relieving pains caused by colic. There are several massage techniques, which may help in eliminating gas and reducing discomfort. They can be performed by the mother in a warm bath or by a therapist.
Most such techniques are really easy to learn and don`t require any previous experience. Massage the little one`s stomach with circular and gentle movements. Besides the fact that massage helps in relieving pains, your voice and gentle touch will most certainly calm him down. Also, try after massage to talk to him and swing him gently. This will make him sleep more easily.
Herbal Tea – A Special Remedy for Babies Who Experience Colic
Another remedy for colic is represented by herbal teas: mint, chamomile or ginger. Tea, warm not hot, given to the little one in small amounts, can help alleviate abdominal pain. A couple of teaspoons of herbal tea each day aid improve his digestive system. Most experts out there believe it`s safe to administer up to 4 teaspoons of herbal tea for a child on a daily basis.
First of all, you need to talk to your pediatrician about what kind of tea to give to the little one. However, keep in mind that you should stick to a regular meals program when giving herbal teas to your baby, because they also require consistent nutrients that herbal teas don`t offer them.