Category : Baby Care
Colic is one of those things you can’t possibly understand unless you’ve experienced it.
While colic symptoms usually subside around 4 months of age, the impact it can have on the parents and family can last much longer.
The crying, the screaming, the sleeplessness, the difficulties with feeding…these aren’t things that are easily forgotten.
But while we still don’t know exactly what causes colic, there are medical conditions that can mimic the symptoms of colic, see your doctor. If you’re wondering which possibilities to explore, keep reading!
Possible physical causes of colic-associated crying
Current research tells us that all babies, in all cultures, experience the same crying curve: crying and/or fussiness increasing around 2-3 weeks of age, peaking at 6 weeks, and generally ending between 3-4 months.
What the research doesn’t tell us is exactly why our little ones are crying. Following are four possibilities you can investigate while in the throes of colic.
Reflux (Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease)
Almost all newborns spit up to some degree. However, if your child spits up frequently and appears uncomfortable during and after a feeding, it’s important to talk with your doctor about your concerns.
He or she may recommend elevating the head of the crib, holding baby upright after a feeding or giving a mild reflux medicine to alleviate your baby’s discomfort.
Temporary lactose intolerance (TLI)
Even healthy infants can sometimes have trouble digesting milk (breast or formula). Temporary lactose intolerance in infants is a temporary condition in which the infant’s digestive system has a hard time processing the lactose found in breast milk or formula.
This undigested lactose in milk can produce lactic acid and gas, which may be the cause of severe discomfort, bloating and colic-associated crying in your little one.
Before turning to major lifestyle changes, such as radically restricting mom’s own diet if breastfeeding, or switching to expensive infant formulas, Colief Infant Digestive Aid has been shown to reduce crying time in colicky infants by as much as 45% when colic is caused by TLI. It’s the only product that treats the milk before symptoms occur rather than treating the symptoms after. If your infant’s colic is related to TLI, you’ll know fairly fast – in a few days at the most, so it is worth a try.
Many colicky babies will appear to be gassy, pulling up their legs, balling their fists, and screaming inconsolably. However, in many cases, colicky babies are actually gassy because they’re crying: as they cry, they swallow more and more air, which then builds up and needs to be released. While this excess gas doesn’t cause colic, it sure doesn’t help the situation!
If bottle feeding, make sure you stir or swirl the bottle instead of shaking to avoid causing bubbles. Ensure the nipple hole isn’t too big, which could cause your baby to suck in more air. Many parents also find flexing their baby’s legs in a ‘bicycle’ movement helps to relieve trapped gas.
There is hope and help for colic…
Unfortunately, it’s not always possible to find a fix for your infant’s colic. In those cases, it’s especially important to focus on getting support for yourself.
If you’re in the middle of colic, it may feel like things will never get better. The days (and nights!) can seem endless, and waiting even a few more weeks for relief can feel overwhelming.