Colic in babies

A healthy infant’s colic is frequent, prolonged, strong crying or fussiness. Colic can be especially aggravating for parents because the baby’s distress appears without apparent cause, and no quantity of comfort seems to help. These incidents frequently occur in the evening, when parents are often tired.

Colic episodes typically peak around six weeks of age and decrease substantially after 3 to 4 months. While too much crying will eventually stop, dealing with colic adds significant anxiety to having to care for your newborn child.

You can reduce the severity of colic episodes, reduce stress, and increase your trust in your parent-child relationship.

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Colic symptoms

Babies have been fussing and crying, particularly in the initial three months of life. The range of what is considered normal crying is hard to define. Colic is commonly defined as crying for three or more hours per day, three or more days per week, and for three or more weeks.

Colic symptoms could include the following:

  • Intense crying, which may appear to be crying or an appearance of pain
  • Crying for no apparent cause, as opposed to calling to convey hunger or a diaper change
  • Excessive crankiness, even after crying, has subsided.
  • Predictable occurrences, with episodes, frequently occur in the evening.
  • Skin discoloration on the face, such as flushing or blushing
  • Legs pulled up or stiffened, arms stiffened, fists clenched, back arched, or abdomen tense.

Symptoms may improve after the baby travels gas or his bowels. Gas is most likely the result of air being swallowed during prolonged crying.

Colic causes

Colic’s cause is unknown. A variety of factors could cause it. While a variety of reasons have been investigated, it is challenging for researchers to account for all of the significant characteristics, such as why it generally begins late during the first month of life, how it differs between infants, why it occurs at specific times of day, and why it resolves on its own over time.

Factors that contributed that have been investigated include:

  • A developing digestive system with muscles that frequently spasm
  • Gas
  • Hormones that cause stomach pain or irritability
  • Responsiveness to light, noise, or other stimuli or an overabundance of stimulation
  • A growing nervous system
  • An early stage of migraine in childhood
  • Fear, annoyance, or excitement

Many medical conditions can mimic colic. If you are concerned about your baby, your doctor can perform a thorough examination to rule out problems, including such:

  • A contamination
  • Stomach issues or acid reflux
  • Eating either too much or too little.
  • Intolerance to formula or breast milk
  • Inflammation or pressure in their nervous system and brain
  • Eye problems, such as a scratch as well as increased pressure
  • Heartbeat irregularity
  • Bone, muscle, or finger injury
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Colic Diagnosis

Your baby’s doctor usually diagnoses colic according to the pattern of symptoms. Keep a record of your baby’s crying spells, when your baby sleeps, how much your baby eats and how frequently, and your baby’s bowel movement pattern.

There is no colic test. The doctor will inquire about your child’s symptoms and medical history. The doctor will perform a physical examination, focusing on things such as:

  • Level of energy
  • Skin color
  • Breathing
  • The body’s temperature
  • Weight

They may order some assessments to control any other problems.

Risk factors

The health issues of colic need to be better understood. When the following risk factors were considered, the research found no differences in risk:

  • The child’s gender
  • Pregnancies, both preterm and full-term
  • Breastfed and formula-fed infants
  • Infants born to women who smoked during or after pregnancy are at a higher risk of having colic.

Colic Treatment

There is no single treatment for colic because there is no apparent cause. Your child’s doctor will likely recommend some calming measures. Try them one by one. If one works after a few weeks, try a different one.

Colic will resolve on its own. You may have to wait until your baby is four months old for the crankiness to subside. Try one or more of the following suggestions. You’ll figure out which ones are good for your baby and which do not.

  • Trying to rock, either from a recliner chair or by swaying your arms from side to side.
  • Gently pat your baby’s back or chest or stroke their head.
  • Sleep training (wrapping them cozily in a receiving blanket) 
  • Singing or speaking
  • Soft music is being played.
  • You can walk them in your arms, a stroller, or a carriage.
  • Ensure the baby is appropriately secured in their car safety seat.
  • Noise and vibration with a rhythm.
  • Burping him or she will help to release any stuck gas bubbles.
  • Warm baths. (Most babies, but not all, enjoy this.)
  • Reduced activation (use quiet voices, turn electronics such as television and phones off).
  • White noise, vibration, and movement can all be relaxing.
  • If you’re nursing, you should avoid milk products, caffeine, onions, cabbage, and other possibly irritating foods. Ask your pediatrician about a protein hydrolysate formula if you’re giving your baby formula. If meal awareness is causing uneasiness, the colic should go away after a few days.
  • Bring out the pacifier. Although some breastfed babies will assertively keep refusing it, for others, it can provide immediate relief.
  • When you’re starting to feel tense and anxious, enlist the help of a family member or a friend to look after the baby while you get out of the house. Even if you are only an hour or two away, it will help you keep a positive mindset.

A baby should never be shaken, no matter how restless or angry you become. Shaking an infant violently can result in blindness, brain damage, or even death. Inform your doctor if you are depressed or having trouble coping with your emotions so that they can recommend treatment options.

It is also critical that you look after yourself. So that you will not become exhausted or stressed, enlist the assistance of friends or family members.

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Parent Self-Care for Colic Stress

A fussy babies baby can be challenging to care for. Many parents are overloaded, angry, or resentful of their grumpy children. These emotions do not imply that you are a terrible parent. Remember that you did not cause the colic, and it will pass.

It’s OK to leave your baby in a crib or playroom for 10 minutes or more while you gather your thoughts. Ask friends, family, or babysitters for assistance if you need a break. Reducing your level of stress will benefit your baby as well.

Will a colic baby get better?

Although colic can be frightening to witness, especially for first-time parents, it is not damaging to the baby’s health. Babies with colic will usually outgrow the condition by the age of three to four months.

When should I contact my physician?

Call your baby’s doctor if he or she stops gaining weight, exhibits dramatic behavioral changes, or shows any of the symptoms listed:

  • Fever.
  • Vomiting with vigor (especially green in color or with blood in it).
  • Diarrhea.
  • There was blood in the stools.