Baby colic, also known as infantile colic, is an attack of unexplained crying for more than three hours per day, over 3 days per week, for more than three weeks. It often occurs in the evening and is commonly seen in healthy babies aged between 2 weeks to 4 months.
Symptoms of Colic
Symptoms of colic include:
- Crying seems to occur for no reason (not because the baby has a dirty diaper or is hungry or tired).
- Crying occurs at the same time every day (usually in the late afternoon or early evening, but it can vary).
- Baby often closes his eyes or open them very wide, hold his breath briefly furrow his brow.
- Baby may pull up his legs, clench his fists and generally move his legs and arms more.
- Eating and sleeping are disrupted by the crying — baby frantically seeks a nipple only to reject it once sucking has begun, or dozes for a few moments only to wake up screaming.
- Bowel activity may increase, and he may pass gas or spit up.
In severe cases, babies can also show the following symptoms:
- Frequent vomiting
- Unstable body temperature
- Poor weight gain
You need to seek medical attention if the baby cries a lot, has a sudden change in the behavior or crying pattern, and is experiencing diarrhea, stomach issues, bloody stools, and fever.
As a parent, you need to handle the situation with care. Colic will disappear in a matter of weeks or months.
There are some home remedies you can try to alleviate your child’s discomfort and fussiness.
Get Rid Of Trapped Gas
If your baby’s inconsolable fussiness is due to gas, then a few light exercises can help in relieving the baby of the discomfort.
Simply make the baby lie down (on his belly) across your lap. Make sure the majority of the baby’s weight is resting on your knee. This trick can be effective in relieving trapped gas.
Also, you can try laying the baby on his back and very gently pump his legs (one by one) into the abdomen. You can make a bicycle motion with the baby’s legs or simply pump both the legs into his torso at the same time. However, make sure you do this very gently and carefully.
Plus, burping your baby will also help relieve the pain. Hold your baby firmly against your shoulder. Support her bottom with one hand, and pat or rub her back with the other.
Offer A Pacifier
Pacifiers help babies sleep, comfort them, keep them relatively quiet, and provide an outlet for the instinctive sucking that babies do. It can be of great help in soothing a baby with colic.
Regular oil massages can keep the infant warm, ensure proper digestion, prevent gas, and can help the baby sleep after every feeding.
Simply mix some warm olive oil and a few drops of lavender oil. Gently massage it onto the baby’s tummy in a clockwise circular motion. Also, massage the baby’s rib cage, pelvis, hands, and feet. Do this several times a day.
Watch What You Eat
If you’re breastfeeding, talk to your doctor about whether you should try temporarily eliminating any foods from your diet that can cause tummy troubles, such as acidic citrus fruits, gas-causing cruciferous veggies (cabbage, cauliflower), or allergenic foods (peanuts, fish, dairy, soy, eggs, and wheat).
Play Soothing Music
You can also play some kind of soothing music to calm your colicky baby. A crying baby might respond to the quiet singing of a lullaby or a softly playing classical music CD. There are some who enjoy the sounds of nature or the whir of a fan. Repeating “shh” or “ahh” to your little one can also help. Experiment to find something your baby seems to like.
Probiotic supplements help to improve the functions of your baby’s intestines and aid in the digestion of food, thereby providing relief to your baby.
Talk to your health care provider about using probiotics for infants.
Swaddling is the best way to keep your baby snug and comfortable. Toss a blanket in the dryer and while it’s still warm, wrap it snugly around your baby. The combination of warmth and the feeling of security may help dry the baby’s tears.