Does Your Baby Persistently Cry? Your Little One Might Be Suffering From Colic Attack

Does Your Baby Persistently Cry? Your Little One Might Be Suffering From Colic Attack

You might be in a perfect ecstasy on welcoming your bundle of joy in this world. But being a new mom or dad is no less than a challenge. Especially when the baby cries persistently and you have done everything to console your child. Let’s know why infant becomes cranky after first few weeks of life and what can you do to calm your baby.

Colic

The term applies to any healthy baby who cries for more than 3 hours a day, 3 or more times a week and for at least 3 weeks. Signs and symptoms typically start appearing during the first 3-6 weeks of life. This constant crying might cause stress and anxiety in parents as nothing seems to ease it.

Are colic babies different from normal?

It is estimated that 1 in 5 infants suffer from colic. It is not considered as dangerous and does not have long-term consequences. Babies with colic eat and gain weight normally. The condition does not cause any obstacles in the development.

The condition is likely to begin at the age of around 2 weeks if the baby is full-term. It can subside on its own within 3-4 months. Neither the sex of the baby nor the breast-fed or bottle-fed has anything to do with colic. In fact, kids who had experienced colic are no different as compared to those who didn’t suffer from it.

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Symptoms or pattern of colic

A colic attack can occur anytime. However, this condition is worse during evening or nights.

  • It comes suddenly and lasts for longer periods.
  • The child may be giggling at one moment and then suddenly upset at the next.
  • The baby might draw their legs up appearing as though they are trying to lessen gas pain.
  • The belly might appear swollen or firm while the baby cry.
  • The baby might open his eyes wide or close them

Causes of colic – What are the reasons behind inconsolable crying of your baby?

The exact cause behind a colic attack is unknown, and this is the reason why there is no clear way to treat the condition. However, there are possible triggers coined in various theories. These include:

  • Hunger
  • Immature digestive system which often causes pain occurring from gas or undigested food
  • Developing nervous system
  • Overstimulation of senses by light or noise
  • Food allergies
  • Mother’s exposure to smoking during pregnancy

Diagnosis - Shall I take my baby to the doctor?

It’s a wise decision to consult a doctor in case your baby is persistently crying. There could be many other things that may be hurting your child. If you are really worried about the condition of your baby, you must visit a pediatrician, who is an expert in dealing with child illnesses. The doctor would do a full physical examination to rule out any underlying medical condition as to why the baby has become so cranky.

The baby might be suffering from:

  • Trouble in eyes
  • An infection
  • Injury to bones
  • Irregular heartbeat

Treatment of colic – What can you do to console your baby?

Colic usually goes away by the time your baby is 4 months old. Till then, you can try these things to get yourself and your baby some relief.

Breastfeeding tips – Don’t stop feeding

The cause of colic is not known, however, many things can contribute to the condition. And some of those are quick flow of milk and overabundant milk supply. These conditions let the baby gulp milk quickly and this can trap the air in the stomach and intestines causing gas.

You need not stop breastfeeding; rather try some of these tips:

  • Use a special bottle with a smaller hole designed to reduce gas.
  • Don’t forget to burp the baby during and after breastfeeding.
  • Review your diet as it might be causing allergy or reaction to the baby. Some of these include caffeine, soy, and nuts.

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General techniques to treat colic

Besides changing to your breastfeeding technique, you have to try a variety of other things to get through those irritating nights. These techniques will calm down the senses of your baby and make him feel good.

  • Take the baby to a quiet dark room to prevent her from bright lights and sounds
  • Swaddle him in a blanket to make her feel secure
  • Lay him across your lap and try to give some massage or gently rub her back
  • Offer a pacifier as sucking will calm the baby
  • Get rest whenever you find an opportunity
  • Take some break to relieve some stress
  • Get close to your baby, maybe he or she is in need of physical closeness and warmth

Caring a baby with colic can be a very challenging experience. Even if you feel angry and resentful at times, remember, it is completely normal to feel like that. Don’t feel like you are a bad parent and don’t be guilty. Secondly, crying is not always colic, so you must keep your pediatrician updated about the condition of your baby.

You may not know if it is an infection or some other illness causing distress and the child might feel better after treatment. It is also important for you to take a break and calm down yourself in order to rejuvenate yourself. So if you are in doubt, talk to your doctor right away. Ask if you can give some medicine, switch the infant formula as well as change in your diet. All these can help relief symptoms of your baby.

Sources

1. Colic and crying - self-care(2017). MedlinePlus read more
2. Your Colicky baby(2016, April). KidsHealth read more
3. Colic(2015, October). NHS 
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