Colic in babies: the survival strategy for the new parents.

With the happiness of the arrival of a new baby, the parents also take responsibility for the care and upbringing their little treasure.
Colic in babies is one of the most difficult periods of infancy for young parents. The time of sleepless nights and emotional fatigue.
In fact, colic in babies is the strongest abdominal pain, that’s why the baby cries and screams so piercingly.
But don’t panic!  Even in this difficult situation, there is something to be comforted:
First: colic in babies pass by themselves with time.
Second: there are several ways that theoretically help relieve colic pain.
With colic in babies only two things really help time and parental patience.colic in babies

Colic in babies: why do they appear?

As a rule, colic in babies begins in the third week of the baby’s life and goes away when he turns 3-4 months. Until now, medical science can not accurately describe the nature of the occurrence of the colic in a baby. Nobody knows what it really is, but everyone has their own (right or not) opinion on this matter.
Here are some of the big list:

  1. Immaturity, unformed digestive tract. The baby’s gastrointestinal tract is still developing and has not completely formed.
  2. Improper latching. When your baby doesn’t get enough breast tissue into his mouth, all the sucking pressure is concentrated on the nipple. So, while breastfeeding, a baby swallows the air along with the milk that causes bloating and, as a consequence, intestinal colic.
  3. The cause of colic can be baby’s temperament. Now, this is a real trap. The high-need baby who cries a lot begins to swallow air. This causes colic.  Feeling a strong pain from colic, the baby, of course, screams and cries more. Opening his mouth wide, bursting into tears and roaring he inevitably swallows more and more portions of air. Which, in its turn, causes another bout of colic.  
  4. Mom’s nutrition. If the baby is breastfeeding, then you should know what is the diet for a nursing mother. Counterargument: the researches have shown that maternal nutrition does not affect the digestion of a healthy baby.The proof: Bottle-fed babies also have colic.
  5. The baby is overfed. If the baby eats a quantity of food (milk) that is not able to digest (in other words, you overfed it), the leftovers of food that do not have enough enzymes begin to ferment in his intestines and as a consequence  there is more gas pressing on the walls of the intestine causing colic. Note: More often colic happens at the babies that are quickly gaining weight.
  6. The feeding schedule. Try to rule out the possibility of colic due to non-compliance with the feeding schedule. Here the opinions of pediatricians diverge. Someone continues to believe that feeding should be strictly according to the schedule (the interval is not less than three hours), because the food does not have time to digest in a short time that causes digestive tract disorders. Others consider this belief “the last century” and offer to feed “on demand”. What is right for your baby – it’s up to you. But if nothing helps, you can experiment.
  7. The emotional instability of a young mother when breastfeeding. The composition and properties of maternal breast milk depend not only of mother ’s nutrition but also on her state of mind. This state is “encoded” by nature in milk, and the baby, sucking mother’s breast, “ decipher” it. When the mother is worried it is transferred to her baby with her milk.  And baby, in his turn, begins to behave restlessly, sleep badly, his digestion is disturbed.

Colic in babies: symptoms

  • Baby worries for no reason;
  • He becomes restless, crying continually;
  • His face turns red;
  • His tummy swells and becomes hard due to the accumulation of gases.
  • He can refuse to eat and does not sleep well.
  • He pulls up his legs up to the tummy, clench fists and arches his back.
  • Baby is screaming sharply and shrilly during feeding or crying at the same time of the day (usually at evenings), although the rest of the time he is quite healthy and calm.

Most often, the colic attack occurs in the afternoon and can torment the baby for several hours in a row. Sometimes pediatricians talk about a “rule of three“: the baby cries 3 hours a day at least three times a week, and usually starts at 3 weeks of age. It is believed that colic affects newborn boys more than girls. Usually, with colic, the baby’s stool is regular and unchanged.

One important point for parents: colic in babies is a conclusion that only a pediatrician can do. If your baby suddenly cries excessively and you can not comfort him, you must show him to the pediatrician. And after examining and excluding all possible options of illnesses, only the pediatrician can assume that your baby is crying because of a colic.

Tips on how to relieve colic in a baby:

As there is still no 100% medicine for baby colic, maximum that sensible adequate parents can do is to have patience and master several techniques that can help to relieve their baby’s pain.

    • Put a warm washcloth on the tummy. Fold it in several layers and iron. If the washcloth is too hot, then put it on top of the bodysuit, attach to the bare belly when it gets cooler.
    • Daily (several times a day)  do a baby’s stomach massage. Press (but not too tight!) the base of the palm in the pubic bone of your baby. Without moving your hand, move your fingers fan strictly clockwise, gently stroking the baby’s tummy around the navel.
    • Try to feed your baby. This will allow her to relax and relieve spasms.
    • Put the baby on your tummy. The children always sleep sweetly when mommy is around.
    • Do gymnastics: bring baby’s knees up to the tummy thus she will get a natural massage of the abdominal cavity. Bring up the right knee to the left elbow and vice versa, and so on several times. You can do also bicycle legs.
    • Rock the baby in the “tiger in the tree” hold position. This position is more suitable for dads who have strong hands. Bend your arm in the elbow and put your baby’s belly down on it, the head should be on the palm of your hand. For many dads, this is a favorite position for a walk.
    • Make an “airplane”: Put the baby on her stomach on your arms and turn her slightly to the right, then to the left.
    • Lay her across your lap and gently rub her back.
    • Give your baby a warm bath. It will help to calm her.
    • Calm yourself, because your baby understands your emotional state. And if you are emotionally unstable, then who will calm her if not you?
    • Gas outlet tube. We deliberately talk about it at the very end. Yes, it helps to get rid of the gases, but don’t abuse it! Otherwise, the baby will quickly get used to it, and you will not be able to do anything without this tube. For those who, nevertheless, on the advice of pediatricians decided to fight with colic in babies with the help of a gas pipe, follow the instructions: lubricate the tip with petroleum jelly or baby cream and gently insert the tube into the anus, but no more than 2 cm. Stop doing it with the slightest resistance of the baby! Just keep in mind: this device really helps to remove gases, but only those that have already “made it” to the rectum. The most painful accumulations of air are those that pass through the intestine (thick and thin). They cause painful colic, but, alas, they can not be accelerated by any tube.

father holding his child

Medicines for colic:

There is a small list of medicines that help relieve colic symptoms and are justified in cases of severe colic in babies. For example fennel seeds or a group of medicines containing Simethicone: a chemical compound that acts directly on the gas bubbles turning them into a liquid and thus reducing the pressure on the walls of the intestine and it is fair to assume that it helps to reduce pain in colic in newborns. Actually, you absolutely do not need to look for and memorize the names of some specific products containing Simethicone or fennel fruits. Any pharmacist in the pharmacy will offer you a number of products and they will all have a similar effect. Take the one that is cheapest or more “attractive” for you – there is no significant difference between them, they work equally and are equally safe for the baby.

Caution: Always ask your doctor before giving your baby any other medicines or herbal remedies.

Encouraging words for parents:
Dear mommies and daddies take three deep breaths and arm yourself with patience. Just remember, one day you’ll wake up and realize that colic passed away. With love and patience, everything is possible!

Was your baby colicky? What did you do to help your baby survive colic?  

colic babies

 

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