New Parents And Colic In Babies
The sight to behold becomes heart-wrenching to see your little one in pain irrespective of any reason! Usually, babies cry as a sign of discomfort or when they require your attention to their needs. Understanding this unstated language is a challenge that every parent overcomes with time and experience.
Colic is one of the apparent and common reasons your baby might be fussing and crying even after trying all the tricks and hacks to soothe them.
The baby's long face and long crying spells can affect the calm of the new parents. Let us help you with some facts and de-stressing information about how to deal with this issue!
Causes and symptoms
Colic is a general problem faced by babies at the onset of 3-4 weeks of their age. Each child is different, and the span, longevity and symptoms are different with every baby. We will let you through the many general and probable causes for Colic in babies.
(1) Baby's Digestive System: The digestive system in babies is still developing and adapting to the changing ecosystem that causes a reaction by way of Colic. The food breakdown is either slow or too fast that may cause Gas pain and Colic. As the digestive system develops and adapts, the Colic issue subsides on its own.
(2) Reflux in Gastroesophageal Passage: Some babies have reflux in the initial weeks as the oesophagus is not fully mature enough, to stop the flow of stomach juices back into throat and mouth, causing colic pain. Once the posture of the baby, the oesophagus and practice to swallow food gets in line, the reflux activity also reduces.
(3) Lactose Intolerance or Allergies: In the case of formula-fed babies, Colic is a common issue. They may be intolerant to lactose in the formula which can make them colicky. Lifestyle and eating habits of a lactating mother can also trigger some allergies. These allergies can pass to the baby through breast milk, that can give rise to Colic concerns in babies. Using a non-lactose formula and managing eating/lifestyle habits by the breastfeeding mother can control colic episodes to a great level.
(3) Changing Stimulus to the new surroundings - The babies need time to settle in their new world! The overwhelming emotions due to the changed surroundings can cause sensory overload and babies may cry incessantly to overcome these emotions. Gradually the babies accept changes and get used to their interaction with the new world, the Colic episode due to this reason settles down.
(4) Healthy Intestinal Bacterias: Our guts are home to many healthy microflorae in the form of significant digestive bacterias that help in effective digestion. Due to the under-developed digestive system, imbalance of such bacterias in the digestion tract can be affected and cause Colic.
The babies can also trap air in food passage if they cry a lot and while feeding. Or simply because some babies are more Colicky due to some inherent reason. It could be one of the above reasons or maybe just natural.
These symptoms will help you to decipher the Colic situation! :-)
(1) A Flushed face with wide-open/tightly closed eyes, tensed face and hard clutched fists.
(2) Fix crying episodes (more than 3 hours a day) at about the same time every day.
(3) Crying in a shrill voice (You'll know it is not the regular cry) even when the basic needs like a diaper change, feeding, sleep needs are taken care of for the baby.
(4) The colicky babies burp more than usual due to trapped air and have a tighter tummy. (It is a quite typical sign you might miss)!
(5) The baby's regular sleep and eating patterns might get disturbed due to crying spells which make them and the parents irritable. (Calm down and take deep breaths)
We advise the parents to take a medical expert's opinion if they notice any symptoms as above. Once, Colic is signed-off, and any other medical issue is ruled-out, it is manageable at home with some home remedies or medication.
And once you get the hang of it, you will be able to handle the Colic issue of your child confidently.
We are sharing some of the time tested remedies that work for Colicky babies.
Hold On - Hold your child close to you and soothe. It will assure the baby's brain of safety and familiar environment, that will eventually reduce the overwhelming stimuli response and calm them down.
Tummy Time - Tummy time is gaining popularity, said to help in the overall development of the baby. Increase the tummy time by putting the baby on his tummy side for a few minutes every day, increasing as recommended for their age (read tummy time for babies). The natural pressure on tummy helps in releasing gas and control Colic situation.
Gas relief meds - If the Colic is bothering and effecting adversely, you can reach out to your paediatrician for some natural ingredients gas relief drops. Naturally composed gas relief drops made up of fennel seed oil, dill seed oil and simethicone are considered most effective without potential side-effects. Gripe water is preventive drops for the same purpose.
Probiotics - The Paediatrician can also suggest probiotic doses to keep the intestinal health of the babies naturally flourishing. These probiotics also aid in developing digestional and respiratory immunity of the babies as well.
Correct formula milk - You can choose the formula that is made especially for sensitive or for lactose intolerant babies. There are various compositions available as per different needs in babies, without compromising in the needed nutrients.
Asafoetida - The Popular Indian cure - From the time of Dadi's it is advisable to mix asafoetida in lukewarm water and apply on the baby's tummy twice or thrice a day. It is said to relieve gas and tummy pain.
Virtual cycling - Moving the baby's legs in cycling motion helps in Colic discomfort and turns out to be a good exercise for them!
Burping - Burping the Baby after each feeding helps to release any air stuck in food passage while feeding. Experts suggest that Burping rightly is a very effective way for good digestion and Colic control.
Although using over the counter medicines for Colic are not suggested at such small age without medical prescription.
Colic can be distressing for the baby as well as the parents, however, it does not cause any illness or long term effect on babies health, and it goes away on its own.It might take different time for each baby, but, hold on parents, this too shall pass, and you all will come out of this phase stronger, smarter and ready to take over the world with your little one!
Parents instincts are strong and almost correct whenever it comes to choosing what's best for their little ones. If you feel the need to take medical advice, do take. For the other go-to-friendly-experienced advise we are just a click away!
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