May 22, 2021

Colic relief: What can the parents do?

Does your baby have periods of crankiness each day when it seems you can do nothing to comfort her? Many children starting from 3 weeks of age till the age of 4 months cry relentlessly at night which causes a lot of anxiety and fear among the parents. This behavior is called infantile colic and is quite common, particularly between 6:00 p.m. and midnight—just when parents themselves are feeling tired. Fortunately, colic doesn't mean a baby has health problems & they don't last long. With time, colic goes away on its own, mostly by 4-6 months of age. There is no reason to worry if the baby calms down within a few hours and is playful or quiet for the rest of the day.

What Causes Colic?

Most often, colic means simply that the child is unusually sensitive to stimulation or cannot "self-console", but there are multiple possible causes for colic like digestion problems or a sensitivity to something in the baby's formula or that a nursing mom is eating or gaseous distension of intestine.

Although You Simply May Have to Wait It Out, Several Things Might Be Worth Trying:

  • Gently tap the baby after each feeds and do burping to release the gas from the baby's stomach which the baby might have swallowed during the feeding.
  • Take the baby in your lap and rock gently back and forth. Sing a rhyme or play some soft music for the baby.Walk on the balcony or terrace with the baby in free air to soothe the baby.
  • Place your baby on his or her abdomen and brush the back of your baby over your lap.
  • Use a good quality pacifier this can sometimes help them feel comfortable.
  • Always check your baby has a clean diaper also make sure your baby isn't hungry
  • Avoid over-feeding the baby. Try to maintain at least two hours gap between the meals of the baby.
  • If you're nursing, you can try to eliminate milk products, caffeine, onions, cabbage, and any other potentially irritating foods from your diet.
  • If you're feeding formula to your baby, talk with your pediatrician about a protein hydrolysate formula. If food sensitivity is causing the discomfort, the colic should decrease within a few days of these changes.
  • Swaddle her in a large, thin blanket so that she feels secure and warm.

Colicky behavior also may signal a medical problem. Report your regular pediatrician immediately if the baby has any of these signs :

  • has a fever of 100.4°F (38°C) or higher
  • is less alert or active than usual
  • isn't feeding well
  • isn't sucking strongly when taking the bottle or breast
  • has loose stools or blood in the stool
  • is throwing up (when food comes out of the baby's mouth or nose with force)
  • can't calm down no matter what you do

Caring for a colicky baby can be hard. If your baby won't stop crying call a friend or family member for support or to take care of the baby while you take a break.

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