About one quarter of babies will suffer from colic from around age 3 weeks – and you will suffer too! All babies cry of course, but those with colic will cry relentlessly for at least three hours several times a week, usually in the evening when your partner gets home from work. This can be a stressful time for you all, but it will go away of its own accord once baby reaches about 12 weeks. In the meantime there are some things you can try to ease her discomfort and the decibel level.
Symptoms Of ColicAs well as the crying and general distress, baby will often extend or pull up her legs, arching her back; and her tummy may feel bloated.
The Cause Of ColicThe causes are not fully understood, although some experts believe that bottle-fed babies are more likely to be affected as they take in air through the teat. Other causes are smoking during pregnancy – this includes being in a smoky atmosphere (second-hand smoke).
Other theories include an intolerance of lactose (a natural ingredient of milk), and the immaturity of her digestive system – the latter is supported by the fact that babies usually grow out of colic at around 12 weeks of age.
TreatmentsIf you’re bottle feeding you can get anti-colic teats that reduce the air intake. Change the teats as she develops as using a newborn’s teat after a few weeks will mean she has to suck harder and will take in more air. You can also get colic drops from your pharmacist which break down air bubbles in her tummy. Gripe water will act in the same way.
If you are breast feeding, some foods that you eat may be aggravating the problem. Possible culprits are orange juice, spicy foods, caffeine, alcohol, onions and cabbage. Try massage. Rub her tummy in a clockwise direction to aid digestion.
Switch on a hair dryer or vacuum cleaner so she can hear the noise. Seriously, baby heard these sort of noises while in the womb and she may be comforted by them.
Cranial osteopathy may help. If the birth was difficult, a gentle realignment of bones and joints can work wonders and some mothers have found that one treatment results in a cure for colic and other ailments. We have a separate article on this subject.
Make a note of anything that seems to reduce or stop the crying and repeat next time.
Helping You To CopeWith your baby in obvious distress, the relentless crying, and maybe a grumpy partner; you will be under a lot of pressure. Understand what is happening and the reasons for it, and make sure your partner does too. Talk to other moms who will reassure you that it is nothing you are doing wrong.Above all, keep in mind that this will end of its own accord, usually around age 12 weeks. Hang on in there!
Babies Suffering For Colic