Baby Colic – What Is Colic – Symptoms, Causes, and treatments

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What is Colic (The Crying Baby)?

You may find your little one crying for hours without any appropriate reason. Especially, if you are a new parent, you might feel terrified about the whole crying thing.

Colic is generally defined as the loud and continuous crying of the babies without any apparent reason which may last for about 3 hours a day, 3 days in a week or even 3 weeks at a stretch!

This can start when your baby is just 2-3 weeks old, and also it can last till your baby turns 4-6 months old. The colic can differ from babies to babies.

Some babies cry during the daytime and some in the night. Usually, the "crying period" is seen to start from evening 6 until midnight No pause, no break!

1 out of 5 babies prone to be colic. But, the baby's gender, type of feeding, or the birth month does not affect r decide the baby should be colic or not. It is just a period of time which eventually vanishes as soon as your baby celebrates its "Half year" birthday!

You might not know what to do, how to calm your crying baby or what is causing your little one to cry out that loud in a continuous manner? Here are the details gathered.

Symptoms of Colic in Babies

Well, almost all babies leverage the advantage of crying when they want their mummy's and daddy's attention or when they want to say they are hungry and its feeding time!

As I told you before, it is important to know the difference between normal crying of your baby and colic.

Check out these symptoms to ensure that your baby is colic:

  • Cries even if it is fed enough
  • Cries even when the diaper is not wet or irritating
  • Check whether your baby has a pattern of crying at the same time every day
  • Does it cry out loud in a high and intense pitch as if it wants to scream?
  • Does it cry for more than 2-3 hours a day at a stretch?
  • No use of rocking her/him or feeding him/her to soothe him or her

Just to be double sure, check out these symptoms too:

  • Is he/she bending the legs and arms near to the belly region?
  • Does the face turn red when they start crying?
  • Tightening the stomach area
  • Passing the gas while crying
  • Clenching the fists

Causes of Colic in Babies

Well, there is no surety among the experts about what actually leads to colic in babies, especially among the newborns.

So, now that you know the symptoms of colic in babies, you might be wondering about what are the causes of colic which makes your little one cry out so hard for long hours.

Here are some of the causes for which the baby might feel uneasy and express the irritating, uneasy feel by crying out loud. 

Developing the digestive system:

Just so you know, the newborn baby's digestive system will still be in the developing stage.

Thus, the baby might feel uneasy, and this might cause total discomfort in baby's little tummy.

Thus, the baby expresses its discomfort by crying out quite loud.

Acid reflux:

As the baby might be prone to discomfort because of acid reflux, even this can cause uneasiness leading to some lengthy screams of your baby!

Extra gas in the body:

As the baby pushes out the gas from its body, some experts claim that even this might be one of the causes that might make your baby uncomfortable.

Too much to take up!:

The babies, especially the newborns might feel over stimulating when it comes to getting acquainted with the new environment.

Thus, by the end of the day, processing this new information may also lead to colic.

Colic Diagnosis and Treatment

The doctor will help to diagnose and treat your baby if he/she is suffering from colic. You need to collect the following information that helps the doctor to diagnose properly:

  • When does your baby start crying?
  • How long does the crying or screaming last?
  • How does the crying sound like? Is it louder than usual or high-pitched?
  • Note down the things that make him/her fussy
  • What do you do to calm him/her down?
  • How often do you feed your baby?
  • What does your baby eat?
  • Note down how the stools look like when your baby poops. Is it loose, hard, big or small?

Treatment for Colic

You can first try some strategies to soothe your baby. If that doesn't work, then, try:

Change in Feeding:

Change some feeding practices, say, bottle-feed your baby. Always remember to get the burp after the feeding time.

Self-care for Parents:

Need a break:

Take some short breaks by switching the baby with your spouse, granny or any other persons. Give some time for yourself and relax for a while.

Using the crib:

It is ok to use the cribs for a short time. In this way, even you get some time and relief to soothe your nerves!

Take good care of your health too:

Your health is as important as your baby's health. Make sure you keep it right and stay healthy by properly consuming the right amount of food and have some for minimum exercise.

Colic does not last long:

It is ok to panic when your baby cries for a longer period of time. Remember that the colic will last for about 4-5 months.

How Long Does the Colic Last?

Well, as already you know, 1 out of 5 babies are prone to be colic. The gender of the baby, the type of feeding (breastfeeding or formula), the birth type or any other factor does not influence the baby to be colic.

Also, the baby suffering from or used to suffer from colic is no different from the ones who didn't or do not. Colic is just a loud cry made by the baby which feels somewhat uncomfortable or pain when it is just 2-3 weeks old.

There is no harm if the baby is colic. It is a matter of `fact that the baby is getting acquainted with the new world it has just arrived.

Also, as the digestive system and other organs are gradually developing, this might make the baby uncomfortable and thus express its discomfort by making a loud high-pitched cry for 2-3 hours a day!

So, parents, don't worry! If your baby is colic, then, have some patience and continue to cope with the loudest cry possible till your cute little angel turns 4-6 months old.

As soon as the baby turns 4 months or so, the crying eventually vanishes as time passes. Thus, it doesn't even leave a trace that your baby was once colic!

How to Get a Colicky Baby to Sleep?

Once the colic baby starts its loud cry, you can use these ideas to soothe your baby that will help you to calm your baby down:

  • Try rocking your baby to comfort him/her
  • You can put him/her in the bassinet or in the swing. This might soothe him/her
  • Let your baby suck the pacifier
  • Hold your baby against your chest and walk. The motion and the soft feel might help to calm down
  • Rub the back of your baby by placing him/her on your lap. The tummy of your baby should be facing downwards
  • Calm him/her down by turning on the vacuum cleaner or the fan
  • Turn on the soft music or radio and create some white noise to soothe him/her
  • Bathe him or her using warm water
  • Take him/her for a long drive in the car. Both the noise and the motion might help in soothing him/her
  • He/she might feel annoyed by the overwhelming situation created to calm him/her down. Give him/her some space. This might soothe them to be comfortable

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