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Your baby has colic and you are tired, stressed, and feeling sleep deprived. Maybe you feel defeated because your baby just won’t stop crying, no matter what you do or what you try. Know that this is not your fault or your baby’s fault in any kind of way. Colic is still a medical mystery so it may be hard at first to find the information you can trust. I’m here to help you with this! Right here, right now. We are going to discuss the signs, causes, treatments and coping strategies.
What is Colic?
Some may think that this is just a crying baby that won’t stop but it is more than that. It is normal for babies to cry because that’s how they communicate with you. By crying they can let you know that they are wet, hungry, tired, sleepy, etc. Don’t self-diagnose your baby as having colic simply because they cry a lot during their beginning days. Babies often cry more during the newborn stage than any other stage.
It’s estimated that 40% of all infants have colic. Babies with colic may start crying suddenly for no apparent reason and no matter what you do to soothe them, it doesn’t work.
When a baby has this condition they often cry high-pitched. This is likely to happen several times a week during the evenings.
Colic is a condition that is defined as crying for more than 3 hours a day, for more than 3 days a week, for at least 3 weeks. According to the American Pregnancy Association, colic usually starts about 3-8 weeks after birth and improves by 3 months of age for 50% of cases and 9 months of age for 90% of cases.
I know what you’re probably thinking. “Are you telling me that I’m going to have to deal with this chaos for possibly 9 months?” I wish I had better news for you. Regardless, you should take your baby to a doctor to get her or him checked for other health problems. Your doctor will also be able to suggest other soothing techniques.
In most cases, colic is not a sign of a more serious health problem and usually goes away on its own. Remember, just because your baby has colic does not mean that they are unhealthy. Relax and read on.
What are the Signs and/or Symptoms?
You now have a better understanding of what colic is but you may still be unsure if your baby has this health condition. Here are some of the most common signs and symptoms of colic in babies:
- Intense, high-pitched crying that appears to be screaming or an expression of pain and discomfort
- Being inconsolable, meaning feeding, rocking, changing the diaper, nothing works
- Extreme fussiness even after crying has subsided
- Crying around the same time such as in the evenings
- Reddening of the face and pale around the mouth also known as facial discoloration
- Bodily Tension, such as pulled up or stiffened legs, stiffened arms, clenched fists, arched back, or tense abdomen
Symptoms are sometimes relieved when the baby passes gas or has a bowel movement. Gas is often the result of sucking large amounts of air during prolonged crying. If your baby needs help relieving gas you should definitely give the Fridababy Windi Gaspasser a serious try. This product has great reviews and has been proven by consumers to help relieve gas and decrease the symptoms of colic in babies.
What Are The Possible Causes of Colic?
The causes of colic are still unknown but researches do know that it has nothing to do with genetics or anything that happened during pregnancy or childbirth. As I said earlier, colic is not anyone’s fault.
Here are some possible causes:
- Overstimulated Senses – In their very first days, babies are able to shut out the stimuli around them such as lights and sounds. However, by the end of their first month, they lose this ability. Do to the many sensations that they are faced with, your baby may become overwhelmed. To relieve some of the stress, your baby may become fussy towards the end of the day and start crying (a lot). This lasts until he/she learns to shut some of the environmental stimuli out, again. Thus, avoiding sensory overload.
- An Immature Digestive System – Baby’s body is learning to properly digest food. In the process, food may not break down completely and pass so fast that pain is caused by gas in the intestines.
- Infant Acid Reflux – Many babies suffer from this health condition. Research has found that infant GERD (gastroesophageal reflux disease) is sometimes a colic trigger.
- Food Allergies or Sensitivity – In formula-fed babies, colic can be a result of an allergy to milk protein (lactose intolerance). In breastfed babies, colic can be a result of an allergy to something the mother is eating. This is something you can’t possibly predict when breastfeeding and it can be hard to pinpoint, so do not blame yourself. It is also rare that this would be the cause. These sensitivities can make babies tummy hurt and cause them to have colicky behavior.
What are the treatments?
There is no known cure for colic because the exact cause continues to be a mystery. However, there are treatments available that could diminish the symptoms and provide your baby with some relief.
First things first, do not try any treatment without consulting your doctor first.
A natural and instant way to relieve gas and colic is by using the Windi Gaspasser by Fridababy, click here to check it out. Use this with caution and DO NOT use before consulting your doctor.
Ask your doctor about probiotics.
- Mommy’s Bliss Gripe Water Nighttime for Colic or Mommy’s Bliss Gripe Water for Babies with Gas, Colic, or Stomach Discomfort
- Little Remedies Day & Night Gripe Water Value Pack
- Mylicon Baby Colic Treatment
- Gerber Soothe Probiotic Drops
- Culturelle Baby Calm + Comfort, Probiotic + Chamomile Drops
- Babies’ Sleep Tea
- Happi Tummi All-Natural Herbal Baby Warmer for Colic and Gas Relief
- Enfamil NeuroPro Gentlease Infant – Talk with your doctor before giving this to your baby.
- Colic Carry – Hold the baby so that his/her stomach rests on your forearm and his head is supported in the palm of your hand or the crook of your arm.
- Walk him/her kangaroo style around the house or outdoors if the weather permits. Click here to check out the Ergobaby Cool Air Mesh Carrier. This is a great tool to help you walk the baby around, comfortably. It’s also really great for taking walks outside because of the cool air mesh material.
- Hold and rock him/her or put them in a swing or stroller. Click here to check out the 4moms Mamaroo Bluetooth Enabled High-tech Baby Swing.
- Use Sound to calm your baby. White-noise, vacuum, fan and clothes dryer ( do not sit baby on top of it. Period.)
- Have him/her suck on a pacifier
- Quietly Sing a Song
- Pedal his/her legs
- Give a message
There are dozens of other home remedies that are effective at relieving the symptoms of colic. A simple internet search will give you even more great options. WebMD has a great article on remedies for colic, click here to check it out.
How to Cope?
- Relax – You cannot be of assistance to your baby if you are overwhelmed and ready to break down and cry, too.
- Rest – Sleep when your baby is sleeping so you can be energized when the fussiness starts.
- Reach Out – Ask loved ones for help. Most times, your family and friends are eager to take the baby off your hand for a while.
- Be Patient – You may be at your wits end with all the crying but remember that this is not something your baby is doing on purpose. Also, remember that it won’t last forever.
- Do something you enjoy – Go for a walk, a ride, read a book, bake a cake.
- Deep breathing exercises – this will help to relax you even more and help you to remain calm.
If you feel the urge to harm your baby or feel like you’re losing control, put him/her down in a safe place such as their crib or a swing and call for help. This can be a relative, friend, partner, local crisis intervention service, healthcare provider, or a mental health line for support.
Your baby may have colic but don’t fret. There are many remedies and treatments that can help decrease the discomfort your baby is feeling, in more ways than one. As hard as it may be to care for your baby at this time, note the many coping strategies that you can implement. When it’s all said and done, remember that it is not anyone’s fault and this won’t last forever.
Never attempt any treatments, over-the-counter or otherwise, without consulting your babies pediatrician first.
This information was compiled using the resources below:
American Pregnancy Association. Colic. Retrieved from https://americanpregnancy.org/first-year-of-life/colic/
Brennan, D. (2017). Colic Treatment: Feeding tips, Diet, White Noise, and More. Retrieved from https://www.webmd.com/parenting/baby/colic-treatments#1
Gupta, R. C. Colic. Retrieved from https://kidshealth.org/en/parents/colic.html
Mayo Clinic Staff (2018). Crying baby: What to do When Your Newborn Cries. Retrieved from https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/infant-and-toddler-health/in-depth/healthy-baby/art-20043859
Mayo Clinic Staff. Colic. Retrieved from https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/colic/symptoms-causes/syc-20371074
Parents. How to Soothe a Colicky Baby. Retrieved from https://www.parents.com/baby/care/colic/how-to-soothe-a-colicky-baby/
What to Expect Editors (2017). Colic in Babies: Signs, Causes, and Tips for Parents. Retrieved from https://www.whattoexpect.com/first-year/health-and-safety/what-is-colic/#causes
What to Expect Editors (2018). 12 Ways to Soothe a Crying Baby. Retrieved from https://www.whattoexpect.com/first-year/photo-gallery/soothing-a-crying-baby.aspx
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