Colic, a common problem in babies


Do you feel helpless because your baby is crying too much and he seems inconsolable? If your baby cries excessively, but is otherwise healthy and feeding well, it's likely that he has colic. Colic happens when your baby, who is otherwise healthy and thriving, cries excessively and can't be soothed. Colic is a common condition and is estimated to affect at least 20% of babies during their first few months.

It usually starts at between two weeks and four weeks and is usually over by the time your baby is three or four months old. About one in five parents find themselves with an otherwise healthy baby who cries uncontrollably. So, although you may feel it, you are not alone.

Your baby may be diagnosed with colic or persistent crying if:
(1) He has frequent bouts of intense and inconsolable crying
(2) He pulls his legs up to his tummy and arches his back when crying
(3) He cries most often in the late afternoon or evening

The causes of colic are not completely understood. Experts suggest wind or indigestion may be involved - but nobody really knows what the causes of colic are. Some wonder whether the baby's gut is immature and sensitive to some of the substances in breast or formula milk. Milk allergies and lactose intolerance have similar symptoms to those of colic. These theories are not supported by evidence....

According to Medicalnewstoday.com, there are not many treatments for colic, but parents can do some things to comfort a baby with colic. The following alternative suggestions may help:

(1) Swaddling a baby during a crying episode may help (wrapping him/her up firmly in a blanket).

(2) Some babies respond well to just being held.

(3) Sit the baby upright when feeding; this makes it less likely that air is swallowed.

(4) Sometimes more frequent - but smaller - feedings may help.

(5) Breastfeeding mothers may find that if they avoid tea, coffee, spicy foods and alcohol the baby's colic symptoms become less severe.

(6) A pacifier (dummy) - some parents have found that offering the baby a pacifier helps.

(7) Make sure the holes in the bottle teats are the right size. If they are too small the baby is likely to swallow more air during each feed.

(8) Make sure you have burped your baby after a feed.

(9) Sometimes picking the baby up and putting him/her down frequently may make the crying worse. Comforting the baby in a quiet place with dimmed lighting often works better.

(10) Some people find that going for a walk with the stroller helps settle the baby down, as might a drive in the car.

(11) Sometimes a background noise, such as that made by a washing machine, or vacuum cleaner helps settle babies down.

(12) A warm bath, or gentle massage may also help.
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