Understanding Colic: Causes, Symptoms and Expert Advice.
Colic, frustrating for babies and parents alike, marks a period where an otherwise healthy baby shows signs of significant distress through crying. Babies show symptoms of colic when they cry more than three hours a day, three days a week, and for three weeks or more. Colic does not always occur after feeding; babies might cry non-stop for many hours during the day. However, colic is generally temporary and short-lived. It is important to understand that all fussy babies don’t necessarily have colic. Specific signs of colic include:
Predictable crying episodes.
High-pitched or inconsolable crying.
Crying for no clear reason.
Changes in posture or hand movements.
Pediatrician Dr. Lawerence Kagan explains: “When it occurs, you have afternoon and early evening crying caused by an immature intestinal system’s inability to manage gas. So as children get older and they start to eat less and less at night, they are comfortable in the morning, but the meals that they have during the day, the gas builds up and by the afternoon they are ... Read more
Normally babies develop colic when they are just a few weeks old and it begins to improve as they turn three or four months old. If symptoms do not lessen or you feel like your babies’ crying is extremely out of character, contact your pediatrician. Blue lips or severe changes in your babies’ behavior or habits are key to watch out for. Seek medical help if necessary.
The cause of colic are still unknown. There are a few probable reasons for why babies experience these symptoms, such as allergies, lactose intolerance, or changes in the digestive system. Besides these physiological problems, anxious parents or the way that newborns are comforted can effect colic symptoms. Don’t let this information worry you, especially as a new parent. Babies with colic grow out of it and develop normally.
Most Effective Remedies for Colic:
Pediatricians and experts still have not found the most effective remedy for colic, yet there are a couple different options that could offer some relief. Dr. Kagan shares, “The thing that I have found to be the most effective management for colic is actually a probiotic, specifically the bacteria is lactobacilli ruteri. And if it is given in proper form and consistently, it can decrease total crying time in children up to 50%.”
Other remedies include colic calm gripe water, which is a mixture of sugar water, fennel root, and ginger. Some parents have tried using anti-acid or gas relief mediations. Some pediatricians say that about half a teaspoon of liquid antacid three or four times a day could be useful. As with any medications, consult your pediatrician before giving anything to your baby.
Mothers who with babies who had colic also shared another valuable piece of advice. Ask for help. Take care of your baby in shifts. Let others help you by relieving you for a short period of time. Since colic can be a source of frustration for both you and your baby, know that it is ok to ask for help and find some sources of relief. Debi Cox, an expert and stay-at-home mom, recalls putting on the vacuum and playing the same song on repeat to soothe her son, even if it worked for just a couple of minutes.
“So what helps a bit is to do a little bit less rather than more,” Joshua Sparrow, MD, a child psychologist offers more helpful and unconventional advice for parents. “So what helps a bit is to do a little bit less rather than more. First check your baby for all the things that you already know might typically cause crying, make sure your baby is comfortable, not hungry, not wet. And once you’ve done all of those things, you can do a little bit of rocking and soothing, but don’t do too much, because it turns out that that probably wears the baby out… So if you do a little bit less, you actually may not be wearing the baby down as much,” he says.
Sensitivity to Foods Transferred Via Breastmilk:
Although the exact cause of colic is still undetermined, one possible link to colic is intolerance to cow’s milk proteins in the breastfeeding diet of a mother or in the formula. Babies who have an intolerance to milk and dairy might display similar symptoms to those of colic. It can be hard to isolate this issue from colic, but stay-at-home mom an expert Juli Schneiderman knew something else was wrong with her baby besides colic. “The only thing I could do to console him was bounce him in this chair. He basically was in a catatonic state. He had a distended stomach that was very hard and gassy. He had mucus in his stool. He had a rash on his cheek.” From these key signs, she could tell that her child was reacting to something in the breastmilk. She cut out dairy from her diet and soon found that her baby was back to his cheerful self.
If you are supplementing with formula because a food intolerance was found, ask your doctor about hypoallergenic formula. According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, the prevalence of a milk protein allergy in infancy is very low, with only about two or three babies out of every hundred affected. Therefore, the use of hypoallergenic labeled infant formulas should solely be given to infants with diagnosed clinical symptoms.
To learn more about dealing with colic and other tips, hear from our experts:
Jay Gordon, MD
For more information on baby health and development, please visit: http://www.kidsinthehouse.com/ar-baby-development