Babies cry for a variety of reasons, but one in particular is an unexplained cause- colic.
Colic is a condition in which a baby cries for an extended amount of time for no apparent reason, such as hunger or illness. It usually starts around the age of two weeks and lasts until three to four months. Colic can strike any baby, regardless of gender, birth circumstances, surroundings, or feeding method. Despite some claims that colic is a sort of stomach spasm, researchers have yet to discover a convincing explanation for it.
Symptoms Of Colic
There are undeniable symptoms that reveal if a baby has colic. You may notice;
- 1. Your child cries without a reason such as dirty diapers, or hunger.
- 2. Your child is hard to soothe or settle when crying
- 3. Your child brings their knees up to their tummy or arches the back when crying
- 4. Your child goes bright red in the face while crying
- 5. Your child clenches their fists while crying
- 6. Your child has a swollen abdomen
- 7. Colicky babies tend to cry more in the afternoon and evening. If you also notice your child cries 3 hours a day,3 days a week for at least a week, then they may have colic. Colicky babies eat well and even gain weight, yet they are just fussy and uncomfortable. If you’re not sure your child has colic, ensure to visit your health advisor for clarification.
Causes Of Colic
As mentioned above, the cause of colic is still quite unknown but experts think it may be because babies find it harder to digest food when young and it could be a reaction to an allergy. There are also speculations that it is caused by gas or stress.
Doctors diagnose colic based on symptomatic patterns. As a parent, it would help you and the medical practitioner if you keep records of your child’s crying, eating habits, and behavioral pattern. There are no tests for colic so most doctors will do a general physical exam to ensure your child is healthy.
The doctor may focus on things like;
- 1. Weight
- 2. Body temperature
- 3. Energy level
- 4. Breathing
- 5. Skin tone
Treatment For Colic
Colic essentially has no treatment, because there is no visible cause. There are certain practices, however, that a doctor would recommend in order to soothe and calm your baby down. Some of these practices include:
- 1. Cuddle your baby
- 2. Gently rock your baby over your shoulder
- 3. Bath your baby in a warm bath
- 4. Keep feeding your baby as usual
- 5. Gently rock your baby in their crib or push them in their pram
- 6. Sit or hold your baby upright during feeding to stop them from swallowing air
- 7. Burp your baby after feeding
- 8. Have some gentle noise in the background to distract your infant
- 9. If you’re nursing, try to eliminate milk products, onions, cabbage, and any other irritating foods from your diet.
- 10. Use a pacifier, it could help provide relief for some children
- 11. If you notice your child is crying continuously and has any symptoms of fever, vomiting, diarrhea, or blood in the stool ensure to call or visit your healthcare provider.
Parents who are concerned about colic should know that it is nothing to be concerned about; it will pass with time. Colic is quite common in children - one out of every ten. It is not harmful to the child's health and goes away as the child grows older.
It is natural to become tense and irritable as a parent when your child is constantly crying; nevertheless, no matter how upset you are, try not to dump your feelings on your child and harm them.
Always contact your pediatrician if you are unsure about anything.
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