Does your baby have a regular fussy period each day when it seems you can do nothing to comfort them? This is common for babies. It tends to happen between 6:00 p.m. and midnight—just when you, too, are feeling tired from the day. These periods of crankiness may feel like torture, especially if you have other demanding children or work to do. Fortunately, though, they don't last long. If the crying does not stop, but intensifies and lasts throughout the day or night, it may be caused by colic.
What is colic?
But my newborn is healthy and well fed. He even has on fresh clean diapers! So why does he continue to cry with no obvious cause or reason?
It is true that crying is their only form of communication for now. They cry when they’re hungry, cry when they need changing or cry when they are tired and just want a cuddle. Crying to have their needs met is normal. However, if your baby is crying for more than 3 hours a day, 3 days a week lasting at least a week, he or she might have colic.
Will colic harm my baby? My heart breaks to see him crying so much!
While colic will definitely test the patience of most parents, it is actually more common than you think. Even if colic will give you eye bags and cause significant discomfort for your precious bundle, there is light at the end of the tunnel. Thankfully colic is temporary and usually goes away on its own in about 3 – 4 months with no lasting effects.
How to identify my baby has colic?
A full-term newborn who has colic will start showing symptoms when they are around 2 weeks old. Premature babies start showing symptoms a little later and some babies just go off Scott free without ever encountering a single colicky phase!
Below are some of the common symptoms to look out for:
- Crying in the evening or at the same time every day.
- Crying for 3 or more hours every day, 3 days a week, for at least a week.
- Intense crying that is out of the norm.
- Continuously irritable and will not be soothed, even when you feed or try to comfort them.
- Crying until they are red and flushed in the face.
- Passing wind while crying due to swallowed air.
What can parents do to help ease colic?
Again, because there is no real way of knowing what is causing your baby’s colic, here are some ways parents can try to ease the situation:
- Anti-colic feeding bottles: like Milk Planet Premium PPSU Feeding Bottles with Anti-colic Soft-plus Silicone teat. Its innovative design ensures less air ingestion by making sure that the teat is always full of milk, not air, even when the bottle is horizontal. This allows parents to feed their baby in an upright position which is great for babies with colic. TheAnti-colic Soft-plus Silicone teat is one piece which makes for easy cleaning. Furthermore, the Anti-colic Soft-plus Silicone teat is also made compatible with most wide-neck feeding bottle range.
- Restricting certain food when you’re a breastfeeding mom: because colic can also affect breastfed babies. Is the food you’re consuming affecting your little bub? If need be, keep a food diary to keep track of what might be setting your baby off. Avoid those foods temporarily and see if his condition improves.
- A massage might help soothe it a little. There are plenty of resources on the internet on how to do this. A common way is to use gentle scooping strokes from below your baby’s ribcage all the way down to the top of the nappy. Repeat this a couple of times, alternating between both hands. The froggy pose and bicycle exercise with your baby’s legs are also known to aid digestion.
- There are no medications to cure colic, but it can help ease the effects and make things a little more bearable for your little one. Talk to your doctor about the options available and be sure to get the right dosage prescribed for your newborn.