Odds are you’ve heard of colic. And according to the statistics: there’s a very good chance you know a baby who is colicky or know someone who has experienced first-hand the difficulties of going through a colic phase. But in case you’re still in the dark about what colic is, here’s a brief rundown of things you need to know!
What is colic?
Colic is a tricky condition in which a baby cries for at least three consecutive hours, three days a week, for longer than three weeks. Typical signs that come with colic on top of all of the crying:
- Inconsolable fussiness
- Bloated belly
- Tummy cramps
- Legs drawn to chest
- Red face
- Clenched fists
- Overall discomfort
Colic typically occurs in the evenings. The symptoms of colic often appear around 2-3 weeks of age and usually resolve themselves by the time the baby reaches 3-4 months old.
What causes colic?
There is no cut and dry answer to this question. However, there are some pretty strong theories:
- Digestive system issues
- Oversensitivity or overstimulation
- Nervous system development
- Reaction to mother’s diet (particularly gassy foods or foods high in protein)
- Exposure to nicotine or smoking in utero
How can I help my baby experiencing colic?
Listening to any baby cry is hard but when it’s your own babe, it becomes overwhelmingly so. Usually colic doesn’t have any quick-fix solutions, but there are certainly a few things to try:
- Gas drops
- Gas relief
- Bicycle kicks
- Other soothing methods
- Monitor diet if breastfeeding
- Use non-bubbly bottles
- Frequent burping during feedings
- Nurse frequently to soothe and transfer melatonin
- White noise or soft music
Trial and error is key here. If something you try really doesn’t work, try something else. If you are able to get your baby to calm down for a little bit trying another trick, odds are it either felt good, was a good distraction, or helped him/her to relax. Don’t get hung up over what works for other babies, as all babies and all colic cases are different! One last important thing to mention, that the video above also touches on, is to allow yourself a break when you need one. Being tired and overwhelmed is already a factor because there’s a new baby in your life. Add the stress of colic and you could certainly consider yourself in a tough spot. It’s okay to take a break from the attempts at soothing, and it’s okay to put your baby in his/her crib and walk away to cool yourself down. And if help is available, utilize the crap out of it!
If your baby is experiencing colic episodes, I wish you a sincere GOOD LUCK with this rough few weeks. Hang in there, remember that you’re not alone, and love that baby fiercely!