Don’t Be Afraid of Colic in Infants- Tips for Parents

“My baby cries a lot; what can I do to soothe it?” – an obvious question from parents of a colic baby. A colic baby meaning is a condition in which babies between the age of 6 weeks and 4-6 months cry continuously up to 3 hours straight in a day. This repeats for about 3 times a week and for a minimum of 3 weeks. In rare cases, the infant colic can last up to a year. Infant colic meaning is basically associated with babies that are otherwise healthy and normal (well-fed and taken care of).

Causes of Colic in Babies:

According to Wikipedia, colic affects about 10-40% of children. The definite causes of colic in infants is yet unknown. However, among possible reasons could be – intestinal cramping, gastrointestinal discomfort, heightened senses etc. Medical sciences does not have medicines to treat colic symptoms, till date. Therefore, any additional tips and tricks for parents usually help.

Complications in Colic in Babies:

Though there are no long term consequences or risks, the scenario can get really draining for both parents and the baby itself. While the baby is unaware and is in a better place comparatively, there are chances that you, as parents could lose your temper or fall prey to other unfortunate conditions such as:

1.Extreme frustration

2.Short term anxiety

3.Depression post-delivery

4.Child abuse

5.Excess visits to the doctor

How to Treat Colic in Infants / Babies:

To avoid the above complications, here are 8 easy ways of infantile colic treatment to help you manage the baby as better as possible – both physical and mental relief.

1.Feeding: breastfeeding Vs infant formula

Breastfeeding or other foods do not independently trigger colic in children however if the child is already crying due to colic, either breastfeeding or the baby formula may cause further irritation to the baby. Observe the baby and its reactions to figure this out. If you do not understand it yourself, consult the pediatrician or other medical support.

2. Choose the right baby formula

Some cases of colic crying could be due to the wrong infant formula. The formula could be containing a certain ingredient that the baby might be allergic to, or the baby might not be comfortable with, or the baby might be disliking the taste. Try observing the same, and changing the formula accordingly. To notice a difference/improvement, wait for at least about 2-3 days.

3. Hold the baby upright after feeding

After feeding your baby, hold him/her upright. Do not put him to bed or on your lap immediately after eating. Making the baby sleep in horizontal positions causes acid reflux symptoms increase, thus not recommended. Even worse, horizontal positions can cause SIDS (Sudden Infant Death Syndrome)

4. Tender motion soothes the baby

Try walking or rocking the baby since motion helps to calm the baby down. Baby carriers or baby slings help in providing warmth to the baby and also allows you as parents to rest your arms.

5. Infant massage helps the baby

A warm body bath (you can also try soaking him/her for a few minutes for deep relaxation) followed by gentle body massage the baby can work wonders. Lay the on her/his back, and gently massage the entire body. Be sure to be very gentle and not worsen the colic crying. This is most often noted to be a successful way of getting your baby to stop crying.

6. The baby should not swallow too much air

Too much air inside your baby’s body can cause her/him uneasiness. Therefore make sure you help your baby burp after every meal in order to release air. If it helps, you could also find/design a special feeding bottle which has a smaller nipple or a nipple with a smaller hole.

7. Soft sounds calm the baby’s mind

Gentle music or soothing sounds can instantly help the baby to relax. Sing or play a soft or a piece of music and observe the change in her/his behavior. Surprisingly, some sounds of machines also tend to put babies to sleep. Example: fan, cooler, vacuum, etc. However, this may not be true for every child. Do try and test if it may work on your baby.

8.Dim the lights for a pleasant effect

Bright lights that strike the eyes are instant discomfort to babies. Try dimming the lights or switching them off totally (total darkness might scare the baby away as well. Try trial and error).

Hope these simple home remedies for colic in infants help you and your baby. Good luck!

Written by MedPlus