How to Soothe a Colicky Baby
You have probably heard the word “colic” a lot, but don’t feel bad if you are unsure of what it means. Colic is a term used to define the nearly inconsolable crying and fussy state that some newborn infants suffer from, a state often referred to as a “colicky baby.” The condition typically affects healthy babies and does not indicate a health issue or anything else to be alarmed by.
When Does Baby Colic Occur?
Baby colic typically starts as early as just three weeks after a baby is born. It can typically occur approximately three times a week, and can flare up across the span of an entire month, in severe cases. As far as the daily duration, symptoms typically last for roughly 2-4 hours in any given day, and it will typically happen around the same time each day. The time of day that infantile colic strikes are more often than not in the evening. Up to 20 percent of all babies suffer from the condition in varying degrees of severity.
What Creates a Colicky Baby
As any pediatrician will tell you, the causes of baby colic are not completely understood. Doctors certainly understand the symptoms and the means to treat colic, however, it is widely thought that infantile colic has more than one cause. These causes might include food allergies, acid reflux, and gas. In cases where infantile colic is caused by food allergies and acid reflux, it is important to consult with your pediatrician about prevention strategies.
Signs and Symptoms
The usual signs of baby-colic include regular or predictable crying episodes, of which there are essentially no prevention strategies after it begins. Another major sign is crying that comes out of nowhere and seems to start for no apparent reason at all. And finally, another more subtle symptom is when a baby’s posture changes. These posture changes are usually characterized by a baby curling up its legs, clenching its fists, or tightening up their abdominal muscles. The first step towards prevention and coping with colic is identifying some of these signs as they occur.
Treating Colic With The Best Methods
Treating colic is often jokingly referred to as “coping with colic,” as many of the standard treatments only diminish the symptoms, rather than completely stopping them from occurring.
- Selecting the right formula: Widely considered to be one of the most effective colic treatments, changing a baby’s formula can, in many cases, get rid of most baby colic flare-ups. For example, introducing a formula that is free of whey or casein proteins can lead to far less gas and thus stop infant-colic in its tracks.
- Modifying a baby’s diet: One of the most common dietary modifications to treat baby-colic is to remove all forms of dairy from their diet. Dairy such as cow’s milk, yogurt, and dairy-based baby formulas are all heavily connected to baby colic.
- The introduction of probiotics: Another one of the most modern and effective colic treatments is the introduction of probiotics to a baby’s diet. Probiotics can introduce healthy bacterium, such as Lactobacillus reuteri, to a baby’s gastrointestinal system, which allows them to digest their food much more thoroughly.
Don’t Worry Too Much
The most important thing to realize when dealing with a colicky baby is that the condition is quite normal in most healthy babies. It does not mean that anything is wrong with your baby. On the contrary, it indicates that your baby is on the road to adapting to live outside of the womb. Over time, baby colic will begin to fade away as your baby’s digestive system becomes fully acclimated to processing all of the healthy and nutritious foods that it is consuming daily.