Colic in babies. What is it they and how to soothe it?
It makes no difference if you’ve come here because your baby is crying uncontrollably and you suspect he’s suffering from infant colic, or if you’ve heard about this feared condition and want all the information you can get to prevent it.
In this article, we are going to share with you what it is, what causes it, how to soothe it and what false myths and beliefs there are around it.
Do you want to learn more? So, come along with us.
What infant colic is?
If you have a baby or are expecting one, surely you have heard about colic, or you may even be suffering from it already at home.
The signs, in fact, do not go unnoticed: your infant cries uncontrollably and for no apparent cause.
Besides from it, there are other indicators that can help you figure out what’s going on:
- When he screams, he tucks his legs in.
- His fists are clenched.
- He is symptom-free; no fever or vomiting.
- Everything returns to normal after the episode.
Does it sound familiar to you? Maybe your baby is suffering from colic.
Infant colic is a condition that affects a child’s stomach area and first emerges around the age of two or three weeks. It is more common in the afternoon and at night. But don’t worry, daddies; it normally only lasts 3 to 4 months.
If you’re still not sure if your infant is suffering from colic, remember Wessel’s rule of three:
- The baby is between the ages of 3 weeks and 3 months.
- He cries for more than three hours per day, three days per week.
As you can see, it’s a desperate scenario for parents because the “symptom” is mainly crying, but keep in mind that it is his only way to communicate with you.
Although it may appear difficult, it is best to remain calm because the baby can perceive your emotions and grows more anxious as a result.
Below, we share some of the causes of colic.
What causes infant colic?
Even though many professionals have studied the subject to determine the reasons and treatment options, the truth is that sometimes they are a real mystery. That is why it is critical that we do not place guilt on ourselves for believing we have done something wrong.
Infant colic can occur for a variety of causes, regardless of whether your baby is breastfed or formula-fed:
- His digestive system is immature. Some premature babies may have trouble digesting food, resulting in stomachache.
- Food allergies and intolerances. Lactose or cow protein intolerance in your infant can cause uncomfortable colic.
- Gases. Gas is caused by not properly releasing gas after eating, or by eating too quickly or anxiously. The gas causes discomfort and anguish.
- Emotions.According to certain research, infant colic can be induced by an emotional component, such as fear, anguish, or even anxiousness, which we can transmit.
But don’t worry; as said before, this is a phase that normally lasts 3 to 4 months.
Even yet, we understand that hearing your baby cry almost inconsolably for four months can be exhausting, we’ve put together some ways to help you.
Infant colic; possible solutions
Because the specific reason of infant colic is unknown, you can experiment with different treatments and therapies during the first few days to see what works best for you.
The most popular are listed below:
- After each meal, pass gas. We may overlook this step, yet it is an effective strategy to avoid colic.
- A warm bath with calming essential oils like lavender is a fantastic way to start a nighttime anti-colic routine.
- Belly massages. After the bath, gently massage his stomach to help him empty the gases that are giving him so much discomfort.
- Go for a ride in a backpack. We all know that little ones enjoy being outside, and much more if they are in a backpack; the contact with the mother or father, combined with the gently swaying, calms them and helps them expel gas.
- Try a different milk. Consult with your doctor or pharmacist for a colic treatment recommendation.
- Take turns with other people. Because we aren’t built of stone, don’t blame yourself; you’re doing a fantastic job. As explained previously, babies can feel our emotions so take your time to relax and disconnect for a moment.
Whether you have colic or not, you can utilize the recommendations above to establish a routine, because prevention is always better than cure,
It’s crucial to remember, as we often say, that only a professional doctor can diagnose our child, and we should never do it ourselves. During the first case, we should contact a pediatrician to rule out any other illnesses that our child may be dealing with.
False myths about colic
Like most topics related to parenting, there are many false myths. Here are a few:
- Colic is more common in formula-fed newborns. This myth stems from the misconception that when a newborn eats from a nipple, he absorbs more air than when he eats from his mother’s breast, however this is not totally accurate.
Ciconea supports and believes in breastfeeding, but we also work hard every day to develop high-quality formulas for those who may need it.
The fact that the baby “swallows” air is due to him eating too quickly and with a lot of anxiety. To avoid this, don’t let him cry for long periods of time if he’s hungry.
- Gas-producing foods are passed on to the infant if the mother consumes them. This assertion is totally untrue. There is no proof that the mother’s diet has anything to do with it.
- If your baby cries a lot, he may be suffering from colic. As previously said, one of the indications of newborn colic is crying. However, just because your baby cries a lot does not guarantee he is suffering from it.
Before self-diagnosing, make sure he is not hungry, chilly, or overheated, as well as clean.
- Babies with colic will grow up to be nervous youngsters. Colic is a painful and uncomfortable condition, and it is normal for the infant to wail uncontrollably. However, this does not mean that he will grow up to be a restless and nervous youngster.
We hope that this article has provided you with a better understanding of colic and the treatments that can be used to relieve the symptoms.
See you in the next article,