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COLIC

COLIC

Posted on  June 4, 2023

Experiencing continuous crying and fussiness from your baby? It’s a phase almost all parents go through. Colic, a name that might for sure fill new parents with anxiety.

 

What is Colic?

In simple terms, Colic is the intense, prolonged crying in an otherwise healthy baby, lasting for at least three hours a day, three days a week, for three weeks or more. It normally starts during the second or third week after birth, peaks at about six weeks, and then gradually decreases. They may show signs of discomfort, such as clenching their fists, arching their back, or pulling up their legs. It is a temporary phase and resides on its own and does not indicate any long-term health issue for babies.

Possible Causes?

The exact cause of colic is still unknown, but a number of factors may be involved.

  1. Digestive system that isn’t fully developed – In the first few weeks and months of life, a newborn’s digestive system goes through a considerable growth and maturation cycle. The digestive system may, however, be still growing and adjusting to the process of digesting and absorbing food in some babies. This delayed growth might cause problems with normal food digestion, which can cause pain and an abundance of gas in the baby’s tummy, leading to colicky behavior.
  2. Overfeeding – Overfeeding a baby, whether through larger amounts or more frequent feedings, can cause pain and increase the symptoms of colic. Gas, indigestion, and abdominal pain can occur when a baby consumes more milk or formula than their digestive system can handle. 
  3. Underfeeding – On the other hand, A baby may become hungry and frustrated if they don’t receive sufficient nutrition during feedings, which can result in more screaming and irritability in the baby.
  4. Infrequent burping – During or after feedings, a baby must burp to help release trapped air in the stomach. If a baby is not burped frequently, the built-up gas can result in discomfort, bloating, and symptoms that resemble colic. In order to avoid gas buildup during feedings, it’s crucial to burp your baby frequently.
  5. Sensitive to specific foods in breastmilk or formula – Certain food components or formula ingredients may be causing the baby’s discomfort or digestive problems, which might mimic colic symptoms. Cow’s milk protein, coffee, spicy foods, or some foods that cause allergies are common irritants. If you choose to breastfeed, you might need to change your diet by avoiding or consuming fewer foods that could act as allergens. It may be advised for formula-fed babies to switch to a formula that is better suited to their digestive system.
  6. Pain with gas – When a colic baby cries of pain and gas, this indicates that the buildup of gas in their digestive system is making them feel uneasy or distressed. For a variety of causes, including swallowing air while feeding or having trouble digesting specific nutrients, gas may build up in a baby’s stomach. The baby may feel bloated and experience stomach discomfort as a result of this. The baby may cry uncontrollably, bring their legs up to their tummy, or exhibit symptoms of discomfort like grimacing or squirming when they are in pain from gas. Parents can use a variety of approaches to treat a colicky baby who is experiencing gas pain, including gentle tummy massages, regular burping during and after feedings, assuring proper feeding procedures.

 

Soothing Strategies:

Although there is no known treatment for colic, there are methods that can help calm your baby and offer a little break for you both.

  • Establishing a peaceful environment.
  • Applying soft movements and white noise.
  • Giving a pacifier
  • Trying out various feeding methods.
  • Making sure to burp properly
  • Swaddling your baby in a soft blanket.
  • Gently rub your baby’s back.

 

Self-Care for Parents:

Parents who have a colicky baby may experience both emotional and physical exhaustion. Self-care is very important in this trying time. Remind yourself to rest whenever you can, ask your partner or loved ones for support, and don’t be afraid to ask for help when you need it. From anyone that’s willing to give a hand. 

 

When to Seek Professional Help?

Consult your pediatrician if your baby is crying along with other symptoms including fever, vomiting, or poor weight gain. They will be able to rule out any underlying medical concerns and offer advice based on your baby’s specific needs.

Although the initial stage of colic can be upsetting for both parents and babies, it’s crucial to keep in mind that it will pass. Understanding possible causes and setting calming strategies into practice will help you get through this trying time with more assurance and support. Keep in mind that you are not alone on this journey, and asking for assistance from medical professionals and your support system can make all the difference in the world. Remember that brighter days are ahead and continue to be patient and strong.

 

It can be hard, even close to impossible but always remember, our babies need us mamas. And we’re all they’ve got. One day, the tears will stop, and instead of crying, you’ll hear tiny feet racing toward you and laughing. Let’s embrace the chaos and cherish this beautiful journey.

Have you had a colicky baby? Share your experience with us.

 

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