Your Colicky Baby

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Colic Baby

Very few sounds in the world are as distressing to new parents as the sound of their baby constantly crying for no apparent reason. This condition is known as infantile colic, or simply colic, and affects about 15-20% of all babies. Here’s what you need to know about colic.

What Is Colic?

When an otherwise healthy baby under five months of age cries inconsolably for more than three hours at a stretch, at least three days a week for about three weeks, s/he may be colicky.

Is Colic Going to Hurt My Baby?

Colic will not harm your child in the long-term, but it is a stressful condition to go through, for both the child and his/her parents.

What Causes Colic?

Despite decades of medical research, the causes of colic have not been identified with certainty. Here are some possible reasons…

Hypersensitivity of the baby to his/her environment.
Heartburn/acid reflux
Immature digestive and/or nervous system
Gas in the intestines

Misconceptions about Colic

Contrary to what you may have heard or read, a baby’s chances of becoming colicky are not contingent on the sex of the baby, whether s/he is bottle-fed or breastfed, or whether s/he is a first-born or not.

How Long Does Colic Last?

Colic usually starts at about two weeks of age and is most pronounced around six weeks. But by the time your child is about five to six months old, the condition usually goes away on its own.

How Can Colic Be Treated?

Anti-acid medication, homeopathic medicines, chamomile tea, anti-flatulence drops and gripe water are known remedies for colic. But always check with the baby’s paediatrician.

How Can I Soothe My Colicky Baby?

Feed your baby at proper intervals: Doctors recommend that you feed your baby before s/he starts crying out of hunger. Colic worsens when babies cry because they inhale more air.
Mind your baby’s posture while feeding: Holding your baby more or less upright while feeding him/her ensures that the milk flows properly to his stomach without air being trapped in your baby’s mouth.
Calm down: Whether your baby is crying or not, make sure to feed him/her in a calm, semi-dark room with soft music.
Burp your baby: This gets rid of intestinal air and makes the baby more comfortable.

Other colic remedies include bathing and swaddling the baby, gently massaging him/her with lavender scented oil, playing a CD of womb sounds, lullabies, and gentle rocking motions.

Colic is difficult for your baby and frustrating for you, but don’t blame yourself, it is not your fault. If necessary, take a break from comforting your baby and let your partner take over if you feel overwhelmed.

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