Colic in Babies: Causes, Reliefs, and Facts
Colic is a very common problem that a baby (and his sleep deprived parents) has
to go through in his early days. It is a condition that starts and vanishes on
its own. Colic starts at around 6 weeks and vanishes at around 3 months for most
children. For some, it is an ordeal they go through till they are 1. Officially,
Colic is confirmed when an otherwise healthy baby cries continuously for more
than 3 hours a day and that too more than 3 times a week. Despite of all the
stress it gives the new parents, colic has not been classified as a disease.
Research shows that colic in babies increases the stress level of the parents
to a great level and makes them anxious and doubtful. The parents often start
with doubting their parenting skills and end up making all the wrong decisions.
The consistent crying of the baby, often takes the attention from any underlying
health problem that has gone unnoticed so far. The stress levels usually blur
the judgment capabilities of the parents and their anxiety in some cases adds up
to the discomfort of the baby. Hence, in many cases, this becomes a cyclic loop
where, the baby cries, then the parents cry and the babies cry some more,
without anyone knowing the reason.
Colic - Causes
Colicky babies often cry at a particular time in the day, mostly early in the
evening and take hours to settle down and get comfortable. This constant crying
causes a lot of distress to the parents and mostly leave new parents clue less
and frustrated. But what parents have to keep in mind is that colic is nobody’s
fault. It is a natural process and almost every baby goes through it.
Research suggests that in almost 90% of cases, the colic of the baby is not
related to the diet but 10% of it may be due to some allergy and lactose
intolerance. Studies often suggest that the babies who are not breastfed are
more likely to have colic than their counterparts. Some doctors also suggest
that the diet of the mother is also responsible for colic in the babies. Mothers
are generally advised to avoid cow’s milk, caffeine and onions. In general,
colic is believed to be caused by gas trapped in the baby’ stomach. So, most of
the traditional methods revolve around releasing the gas from the body.
Despite of all the research, the main reason for colic is still not known.
There are different notions and beliefs across the globe and are treated
differently. But nothing substantial is known to treat colic in a sure shot way.
Hence, during the infancy, almost all parents face the colic challenge and go
through a difficult phase of doubting their parenting skills. Also, it can cause
the parent to wonder if the child is picking up on problems between the parents
(non-existent), even though its not the reason at all.
Following are a few potential explanations behind colic:
- Lactose Intolerance
- Muscle Spasms in intestine
- Gas in the intestines
- Immature nervous system
- Stomach Ache
Colic – Relief
Colic does not have a medicine. But there are various things that frustrated
parents have tried world over and seem to work for them. Some of such relief
remedies that can be tried are:
- Using burp drops to release the gas entrapped in the intestinal tract.
Some babies like to be rocked and comforted. Holding the baby on a
rocking chair has proved to be helpful in a lot of cases.
- Vibrating chairs come in very handy when soothing a colicky baby.
Rhythmic motions tend to relax the baby and put them to sleep.
- Many parents have tried taking the baby for a car ride. The constant
noise and the motion of the car tends to soothe and relax the baby in a lot
- Colicky babies like the constant sound of machines and surprisingly calm
down to their noise so this option can be tried by putting the baby in the
same room with a washing machine or a vacuum cleaner.
Colic – Facts
Colicky babies are generally very healthy babies with a very good
- It is very common to spit up some curdled milk in babies. But if the
baby vomits, (large quantities of milk), it’s a signal to call a doctor
- Babies with colic have normal stools. Any sign of diarrhea or blood in
stool is a sign of some other illness.
In short, colicky babies are like any other babies, or we can safely say all
the babies are colicky in general. So, the parents should not worry about it as
a disease and concentrate on finding a relaxing technique that works for their
baby. Colic vanishes as fast as it arrives. So, best to hold on to those
parenting aprons and wait it out.
Colic in Babies: Causes, Reliefs, and Facts
How To Take Care of Your Baby Properly