Decoding Colic

Decoding Colic

29 May 2018

So new mama, is your gorgeous bundle of new-born joy … well, not so joyful? Does it seem as if the screaming in your house will never stop?

We know, the crying is not that of a weak new-born that tugs at the heart-strings; it’s a blood-curdling scream turning his little face (and fists!) into a bright red colour. And, no matter how loud you sing, how energetically you dance, or how rhythmically you rock him, he cries long and loud and constantly! It’s brutal!

When a healthy, well-fed and well-cared for baby cries for more than 3 hours a day, more than 3 times a week, for more than 3 weeks – and there aren’t any other health problems causing the crying – then you are likely the frazzled parent of 1 in 5 babies who have colic.

Caring for a baby with colic can cause a tsunami of emotions, especially for first-time mamas. Here’s the thing new mama, your baby doesn’t hate you and you’re doing nothing wrong. The actual cause of colic is ambiguous. Although once thought to be a digestive problem, there has never been any proven link between stomach ailments and colic.

Some experts believe that colic may be a combination of baby’s inborn personality and an immature nervous system that leads to their inability to handle stimulation from the world around them. Think about it, being a baby is hard! They come from a personal indoor swimming pool – complete with sound and light filters and food on demand – into this bright cold world where they have to wear clothes and cry to be fed and picked up. Tough, right?!

The good news is that colic is temporary, and it may be hard to believe, but it has its advantages. Behavioural and developmental specialists theorize that babies with colic harbour a temperament that leads them to be high-achieving, motivated, successful children and adults.

Although there’s no one size fits all solution for colic, we’ve done a bit of research on how to soothe your little screamer:

Try EVERYTHING. Gripe water, probiotics, different formulas if you’re formula feeding, or cut out dairy if you’re breastfeeding, soothers, co-sleeping, car rides, swaddling or no-swaddling. Try them all!

Research found that babies who are held and carried more during the day-time hours cry less at night. Baby carriers are trendy; hold him close while vacuuming or doing the laundry.

Mimic the womb. Create environmental surroundings that make your baby feel like his still incubating inside you. Add “white noise” and re-create the movement he felt while he was inside you. Go for gentle bumpy rides in a stroller to recreate walks or yoga you did before he was born.

Schedule his bath around crying time. He was swimming in a soothing bath of fluid for 9 months, so besides having the cleanest baby on the block; he might enjoy the calming effect of the water.

Also: Remember to take care of yourself. Gather the troops. If you have family and friends willing to help, ASK THEM.

Even when soothing techniques don’t appear to comfort your baby, the simple act of responding to their distress and engaging with them while they are crying is helping them in developing a secure attachment.

So, to all moms and dads in the trenches, it is very likely that in a few months from now all of this will seem like a blip, a hiccup. Your once “cry-baby” will turn into an all-star, exhibiting no symptoms from this puzzling time.

Hang in there!


DISCLAIMER: The information on this website is for educational purposes only, and is not intended as medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. If you are experiencing symptoms or need health advice, please consult a healthcare professional.

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