What is Colic in Babies. Baby colic is fussing and crying of baby that lasts for a long time. This might begin when the baby is a few days or weeks old. Many parents including me have wondered why my baby is crying and what can I do about it.
So in this article I am going to cover all about Colic in Babies based on my analysis and experience with my son.
What is Colic in babies
To start with let us address this basic question.
Babies cry – that is normal. Crying is the only way babies know to communicate. But when do we say a Baby is Colicky ?
The best definition I found was as per wiki was from a pediatrician named Dr Morris Wessel –
Baby colic, also known as infantile colic, is defined as episodes of crying for more than three hours a day, for more than three days a week, for three weeks in an otherwise healthy child. Often the crying occurring in the evening.
So babies who cry inconsolably for longer durations and resist any efforts to soothe them. And this happens for more than 3 hours starting mostly in evening hours almost everyday. This could be colic in babies.
So mainly its a catch all term when we don’t know any apparent reason why is our baby crying and nothing seems to work.
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Also Read – Why Babies Cry
Is Colic a health problem?
Colic is not a health problem. It is definitely not a disease but a rather a term for baby behavior of an otherwise healthy baby.back to menu ↑
Symptoms and Signs of Colic – Is my baby colicky
How do you know for sure your baby is colicky.
- Crying usually occurs on the same time everyday (late afternoon or early evening)
- Crying happens apparently for no reason (baby is not hungry, diaper is clean, baby is not tired)
- Baby is trying inconsolably for more than 3 hours or so and nothing seems to work
- Baby may pass gas or spit up
- Baby is fussy about feeding or sleeping. For eg looking for nipple for feeding but after rejects it after sucking begun. Or sleeps only to wake up crying after few minutes.
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Related – Baby Care tips for new moms
Effects of Colic in babies
Constant inconsolable crying of a baby not only exhausts the baby but can also make any parent sad, frustrated and exhausted as they don’t know what they can do to help the kid.
In some cases it can aggravate post partum depression and also causes repeated doctor visits. as parents want to be sure that their baby is not crying because of any other medical reason or infections
Baby having colic will be fussy about feeding and unsettled and will have frequent episodes of crying. For example, your baby might not feed properly, or might feed eagerly but again he might feel hungry or nagging at bottle or breast feed.
This often results in parents feeling helpless as they are not sure how can they help their baby and make him comfortable and take away the pain or discomfort.back to menu ↑
What is the Cause of Baby Colic?
The actual reason for the cause of colic in babies is not known.
There are multiple theories but the actual cause is not known. And hence there is no clarity on how we can help a colicky baby.
There are some theories behind it, main ones mentioned below –
- growing digestive system
- mood or temperament
- over stimulation or over sensitivity by light, noise etc
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You may be interested in – Best books for babies loved by all
Should I visit a Doctor
Colicky babies have no clear medical or physical reason to cry. Still if the baby is crying and is being fussy, it is better to visit your doctor to dismiss the possibility of the causes mentioned below:
- Any Infection – for example, urinary tract infection or ear infection
- Nappy Rashes – or any other source of annoyance
- Nerves — for example,- an irritable nervous system or neurological immaturity
- Allergy – due to cow milk or mother’s diet
- Hernia – for example, umbilical hernia or inguinal
- Gastroesophageal reflux- a rarest but possible cause for crying
- Gut bacteria – caused by imbalance of healthy bacteria in the intestine
How much time does it take for colic to go away?
The good news is Colic goes away on its own by the time baby turns 3 or 4 months.
Babies are considered colicky if they are younger than 5 months old and often cry for more than 3 hours in continuity or more than 3 days a week or not less than 3 weeks.
One theory is that baby become colicky due to over stimulation or growth of digestive system. So as they grow they learn to understand the noise and environment and are able to deal with it.
Be ensured that colic is not a disease and this will not result into any lasting damage, but truly it will be tough time for parents and for the baby to go through this period.back to menu ↑
Baby Colic Remedies
Depending on what you think is the reason for your baby being colicky, you can try different things to try to soothe your baby.
For eg, if you think your baby is crying due to gas – a gentle massage around navel, trying to burp baby may help.
If you think its because of over stimulation – you can try not to stimulate the baby during evening hours. Establish a routine, keep lights dim and environment calm, speak or sing in soothing tones.
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Related – 20 Home Remedies for Cold and Cough
How can I soothe my baby ?
More ways that can help in soothing your baby below
- Holding your baby close to you sometimes works wonders
- Placing a warm water bottle on the baby tummy (please make sure its not too hot)
- Breastfeeding the baby reduces colic and the mothers who breastfeed should make sure that the baby gets not just the foremilk but also the hind milk.
- Make the baby lay on his back in a dark and quiet room to have an undisturbed sleep.
- Wrap or Swaddle your baby in a comfortable blanket.
- Try massaging your baby gently
- Let the baby suck pacifier
- Lay your baby across your lap and mildly rub his back
- Soaking your baby in a warm bath might also help comfort him
- Change in sleep position might help the baby
- Hold baby on your shoulders and rub his back it helps him pass gas and relieves stomach ache if any. This also aids easy digestion for babies.
- Make sure that your babies isn’t breathing in too much air while nursing or bottle- feeding. So, keep your baby upright while feeding and burp him adequately
- Few moms have said that the sound of drier and hum of vacuum cleaner really helps baby calm down. This white noise is believe to be comforting for babies as it reminds them of their time in womb
When my son was younger whenever I could not understand why my baby is crying I used to first try to just hold him, walk around, if possible change the location. I would walk around with him at home and sing lullabies.
If it did not help then I used to massage him gently to see. And when nothing worked quickly I used to go to kitchen and make paste of heeng (Asafoetida) and water and apply around his navel.
This was suggested by my pediatrician to help with relieving gas and there is nothing better than natural products 🙂 It helped at time on others I just kept on walking, cuddling and holding my wailing son till he slept.
You may also be interested in reading – When should I buy a high chair for my baby
Recently I also came to know that Mother Sparsh has launched a tummy roll on that has goodness of not only Heeng but also fennel and mint. This roll on helps babies in easing gas pain, stomach discomfort and indigestion related issues.
I have not personally tried the product as my baby has grown up now but the product certainly looks promising as its 100% Ayurvedic (contains no preservatives, harmful chemicals or alcohol and is made up of a combination of 5 different oils (Hing, Pudina, Sonth, Saunf and Sova).
From what I checked, Hing oil has anti bacterial and anti septic properties that helps in reducing acid reflux and constipation. And fennel oil has anti colic properties that helps reduce stomach bloating, gas and helps baby to burp.
The price for this product is very nominal so go ahead and try it. If you have used it or have any inputs do let me know using comments below.
Disclaimer: This is a sponsored post but the views expressed here are as per the user’s personal experience and use.
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