The reality is, all infants cry: It’s the best (and just) way for them to communicate their requirements at this tender age. And as parents, we’re biologically programmed to react so those needs get met. However in babies with colic, the weeping starts all of a sudden for no evident reason … and has no evident cure.
Colic is not a disease or diagnosis but a mix of baffling behaviors. The term is actually just a catch-all term for issue sobbing in otherwise healthy babies– the problem being, there’s no solution to it besides the passing of time. And it’s typical, occurring in one in 5 babies. Episodes can go on for hours at a time, in some cases late into the night. Worst of all, try as you might– and try you will– it’s incredibly difficult to soothe a colicky baby, which just substances your aggravation and exhaustion.
The true meaning of colic follows the “guideline of three.” Baby’s sobbing:
- Begins at around 3 weeks old
- Lasts more than three hours at a stretch
- Occurs at least 3 days a week
- Persists for a minimum of three weeks in a row
Of course some children are colic overachievers, crying much more hours and days and weeks.
Fortunately is that colic doesn’t last. Most bouts peak at around 6 weeks and after that end as quickly as they started, around the time a baby strikes the 3 months old (later in preterm babies). In the meantime, a little knowledge and a lot of patience will help you survive until the storm subsides.
What are the symptoms of colic?
Colic frequently shows up when a baby is 2 or 3 weeks old (or more or three weeks after his due date if he’s a preemie).
Infants usually cry when they’re damp, hungry, scared, or tired, however a baby with colic sobs exceedingly, often at the exact same time of day (generally in the late afternoon or night). If your baby is colicky, you may see that his sobs at this time are louder and higher pitched than his typical crying which the episodes begin and end all of a sudden.
Your colicky baby might likewise show signs of a gassy belly. Gas does not cause colic, however he might be extra gassy because a baby with colic frequently swallows air when he sobs. You may discover that your colicky baby clenches his fingers, arches his back, becomes flushed, and alternately extends or pulls up his legs and passes gas as he sobs. He may sometimes feel better after passing gas or having a bowel movement.
The length of time does colic last?
Luckily, there’s a light at the end of the tunnel. Colic has the tendency to peak around 6 weeks, then improves considerably in between 3 and 4 months. By 4 months of age, 80 to 90 percent of infants are over colic. The remaining little portion might take another month.
Yes, that’s a long tunnel. In the meantime, find out how to comfort your baby as best you can and request for help when you require it. Taking care of a colicky baby can be really demanding, and you have to take regular breaks to preserve your own wellness. Have your partner or a pal or relative take over while you go for a walk or let loose with a great cry yourself when you need to.
Why are some babies colicky?
Colic is among the excellent mysteries of baby life. Experts approximate that between 8 and 40 percent of infants become colicky. The condition is equally typical amongst firstborn and later-born infants, among kids and women, and among breastfed and formula-fed babies. No one understands why some infants are more prone to it than others, but theories abound. And there may well be more than one cause.
We do know that children born to moms who smoked during pregnancy or postpartum are at increased risk of colic (though this risk is decreased if the baby is breastfed).
Some professionals believe that long bouts of colicky weeping are a physical release for sensitive children. By the time night rolls around, they say, these children simply cannot handle anymore sights, sounds, or feelings, therefore they end up being troubled and cry.
Another theory is that colic is in some cases brought on by an imbalance of healthy bacteria in the intestines. Studies have revealed that babies with colic have different digestive tract microflora than babies who don’t struggle with colic. Treatment with probiotics (specifically Lactobacillus reuteri) has been revealed to assist with colic symptoms in some babies. Ask your doctor for a specific probiotic suggestion.
Should I take my baby to the doctor if I think he has colic?
Yes, it’s a good idea to talk with a doctor about your baby’s crying. She can dismiss other possible causes, like intestinal issues or urinary infections, and she’ll wish to examine that your baby is feeding and growing usually. She’ll also help you identify the best course of action for your baby if he does have colic.
And if your baby has other symptoms– like fever, vomiting, or bloody stools— call his doctor instantly. These symptoms are not due to colic.
Can a food allergic reaction cause colic?
One of the important things the doctor may think about is whether your baby may have an intolerance for or an allergic reaction to cow’s milk protein. Although it doesn’t cause colic, it is one of the culprits of belly trouble that simulates colic. If this holds true for your formula-fed baby, his doctor may recommend switching to a hydrolysated formula (one in which the protein has been broken down). If cow’s milk protein is a problem for your baby, his symptoms will probably improve a week or two after the modification in formula.
If your baby is breastfed, following a nondairy diet may be worth a try, despite the fact that there’s no definitive proof that it helps. If you’re breastfeeding, speak to your doctor about cutting down on milk, cheese, and yogurt for a number of weeks to see whether it makes a difference. (Cow’s milk protein can remain in breast milk that long, so this dietary experiment takes some persistence.).
If you’re breastfeeding, it’s likewise possible that your baby is delicate to something in your diet aside from dairy products. There’s lots of debate about which foods are problematic (and the data is conflicting), but the prime suspects seem to be wheat, eggs, nuts, fruit, caffeine, and chocolate.
To see whether one of these foods is making your baby uneasy, prevent them all for a few days. If your baby seems much better, reintroduce one food at a time, enabling a couple of days in between reintroductions. If your baby starts fussing once again after you start eating a certain food, you might have discovered the offending substance. Talk with your doctor if you see a certain food makes your baby fussy.
Can gripe water help with colic?
Numerous parents recommend gripe water or antigas (simethicone/mylicon) drops, which are offered over the counter, to soothe your baby’s pain– though neither has actually been shown efficient.