What is Colic?
Colic is the medical term for excessive crying in a baby who is otherwise healthy. It can be considered a condition if a baby is crying for more than three hours, for more than three days or for at least three weeks. Colic is common and distressing however have gone in most babies by the age of 3-4 months. Bouts of colic occur regularly, most commonly every evening, but can occur at any time. The actual cause of colic is still not clear despite lots of research on this condition. It is thought the baby might have pain in the abdomen relating to a change in the level of hormones and bacteria in the gut. Another theory is that smoking through pregnancy might also increase the risk. Some parents feel they are to blame in some way, however this is not the case.

Signs of Colic
A common sign is for a healthy newborn baby to have periods of crying as if they are in pain; the cry may sound different and more piercing than normal. In some babies, a period of restlessness in the evening may be all that you notice. Most babies are fine between bouts of colic and show no other signs of illness. However if a baby shows signs of discomfort, this may also be a sign of colic.

How to Cope with Baby Colic
There is no treatment that cures colic; every parent has their own way of coping and may find different things helpful. However one or more of the following may help.

  • Ease causes of discomfort. Make sure the baby is not cold or hungry and is changed often enough.
  • Reduce Anxiety. Try to create a relaxed and peaceful atmosphere as your baby will pick up on signs of anxiety. Babies also benefit from comfort, for example using a baby bean bag.
  • Soothing. Holding a baby while it is crying may help to soothe but this does not guarantee it will stop the crying. Therefore, leaving a baby in the room for around 10 minutes is acceptable if you are satisfied it is not unwell. The best way to hold a baby is in an upright position, for example in a baby carrier, which helps to ease the discomfort of colic.
  • Take a Break. Take in turns with a partner, friend or relative so that you have some time away temporarily. However do not have too many people fussing over the baby at once as this may become distressing.
  • Change your Diet. Mothers that are breast-feeding may find that cutting out garlic or spices is helpful.
  • Medicines. If simple things don’t work, you could try a medicine called Simeticone (e.g Infacol).

It is natural to feel frustrated, tired and distressed with a baby with colic. If you are finding it difficult to cope then do see your health visitor or doctor for advice.

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Post By Ruby Lovell