Colic and Babies

Is your baby crying every evening for hours? Do you feel guilty? Do you feel depressed by just listening to his cries? Your baby is having colic. 40% of all infants may develop colic. Colic is the condition where your healthy baby cries loudly for two or three hours, usually in early evening and cannot be comforted. It gets over by the time your baby reaches three months old.

As a first time parent, colic may be depressing, frustrating and leading to exhaustion. It can trigger serious problems as post partum depression, breastfeeding failure, shaken baby syndrome and contribute to sudden infant death syndrome.

Knowing the symptoms and the ways to ease colic may help parents a lot to cope with the situation and enjoy their parenthood with their new baby.

What are the symptoms of Colic?
-          Your baby cries vigorously for long periods
-          Symptoms occur at the same time everyday
-          Inconsolable cries
-          Presence of gas
-          Irritability and sleeping disorder
-          Your baby pulls his legs up to his tummy and arches his back when crying

What causes colic?

There is no specific cause for infant colic, but the combination of some factors may lead to it:
-          Food ingested by mothers contains some chemicals that are disturbing for the baby’s tummy causing discomfort, bloating and gas.
-          Infants who are fed by bottles swallow air which increases the risk of bloating and formation of gas.
-          The babies’ immature digestive system may result in a slow digestion and moving food efficiently.

How to treat colic?

Here are some tips to follow if you suspect that your baby is suffering from colic:
-          Most babies are calmed down if they are rocked in a cradle, rocking chair or on your lap.
-          You can gently massage your baby’s tummy in a circle way. This will help the baby to eliminate the gas and sooth the pain.
-          Sometimes if you take your baby in a car ride, he will feel comforted and fell asleep.
-          You can also put your baby in his chair next to a washing machine that is on. The vibration may help to sooth your baby and eliminate the irritability. Do not put your child on the washing machine.
-          Make your child drink his milk slowly and let him burp after each bottle. Do not over feed your baby.
-          Put soft music and soft light which will help to ease the distress.
-          Consult your pediatrician before administering any medicine. There are lots of drugs in stores. The best is to use herbal treatment made of mint which is the most effective one as the “Gripe Water”.

The most important part is to manage your own distress. Take turns with your partner. Have some rest. Walk around the house or in the garden. If you cannot cope with the crying, put your child in his bed and leave the room. Do not shake or shout on your baby. It will make you feel worse and puts the baby in danger. Ask your friends for support, talk to your doctor and seek for advice from other parents. Just remember that colic goes away after your baby reaches his 3rd month.