As a parent, taking care of a newborn is considered as one of the most stressful periods of parenthood. As your baby is not yet capable of properly communicating with you yet, you will have to anticipate and decipher what they need. This is made more difficult when they suffer from colic. What is colic? And how do you soothe a colic baby? Let’s find out.
What is Colic?
Newborn babies tend to cry all the time since it is their way to communicate with their parents. However, colic occurs when a healthy baby cries more often, longer, and more intense than other babies.
A colic baby cries for no specific reason, making it hard for parents to know how to soothe a colic baby. Colic episodes usually peak when a baby reaches their six week. This is marked by crying for more than 3 hours a day and more than 3 days a week, more often during nighttime.
How to Know if it’s Colic?
If you are confused about whether your baby is normal crying or has colic, here are the symptoms of a colic baby:
- Intense, high-pitched crying like the infant is in pain.
- Very hard to console and soothe since the infant cries for no obvious reason.
- Crying is most often predictable, which always happens during the early evenings.
- Seems to be more finicky even after crying.
- Pale skin around the mouth and reddening of the face.
- A colic baby may have bodily tension when crying. These tensions include stiff arms, legs, and neck, as well as clenched fists, arched back, and tight abdomen.
What Causes Colic?
Although there are possible factors that cause colic, there is still no specific reason why this happens. We may have to take into consideration the following possible factors:
- The baby has a sensitivity to stimulation or their surroundings
- They are experiencing indigestion and other problems due to feeding.
- Breastfeeding babies may be sensitive to some food that is part of the mother’s diet.
- The infant is having allergic reactions to proteins found in formula milk or is lactose intolerant.
- The baby is experiencing stress and anxiety as they are still getting used to the outside world.
- They are having trouble with a gassy tummy due to prolonged crying. But gas still is not the main cause of colic.
- Colic crying may be an onset sign of an illness or condition that causes discomfort or pain.
It is best if you visit your baby’s pediatrician to confirm whether your baby has colic or not. Take this time to ask the pediatrician on how to soothe a colic baby.
How to Soothe a Colic Baby?
There are no treatments available to soothe a colic baby since it will eventually decrease in occurrence and will completely go away when the baby reaches a certain age.
Here are tips for parents on how to soothe a colic baby:
Consult your doctor
For you to make sure that your baby has colic, paying a visit to the doctor will definitely help your worries.
If ever your baby does not have colic, this is also a good time to determine what may be causing your infant’s fussiness and persistent crying.
Feed your baby properly
Always follow a feeding schedule, so your baby does not get hungry during the wee hours of the night. You must also avoid underfeeding or overfeeding your baby as these can also cause mild to severe discomfort, causing your infant to cry intensely and frequently at night.
When breastfeeding, be more aware of your diet
Some irritants can be found in breastmilk that can trigger allergic reactions or sensitivity in your infant. It is best to monitor your diet and avoid foods such as milk products, eggs, nuts, and fish to prevent allergic reactions and colicky crying. Changing your diet can help soothe a colic baby, since irritants are no longer present in your breastmilk.
Try changing your formula milk
When you notice that your infant starts their colic episode after formula feeding, then maybe it is the formula milk that is making your infant uncomfortable. Ask your pediatrician for a protein hydrolysate formula if your baby is sensitive to cow’s milk or soy-based formula milk.
Hold your baby
This may sound cliche, but holding and caressing your baby during a colic episode will help soothe down the crying and will help relieve over-sensitivity to the surroundings. It may also help to play white noises to help your baby get back to sleep.
Try giving your baby a pacifier
Although breastfeeding babies may not accept a pacifier, you can try and introduce it if your baby is formula-fed. A pacifier can give relief to an infant, especially during bedtime.
Swaddle your baby
To give comfort and a sense of security, try swaddling your infant. This will calm your baby as swaddling mimics a mother’s warm hug.
Place your baby while lying tummy-down across your lap and rub your baby’s back gently.
The pressure of being laid down will give gas relief to your infant, especially if they have been crying all night.
If these steps still do not help in soothing your baby’s colic, then it is best to consult your doctor. They can run tests to pinpoint other causes.
Taking care of an infant is a big task for parents. That is why, if you suspect that your baby has colic, immediately seek advice from your doctor. They can provide other tips, recommend other diets for you or formula milk for your baby.
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Hello Health Group does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.