How to Combat Colic in Babies: Practical Solutions
What is Colic?
Colic is a common condition in babies that causes them to cry and fuss for long periods of time. It is characterized by crying and fussing for at least 3 hours a day, for at least 3 days in a 7-day period, with no physical cause. Babies with colic may have long spells of fussiness, and often become extremely upset in the late evening hours. They might draw their legs up, squirm and strain as if they are in pain.
Parents of babies with colic often feel helpless and frustrated as they try to soothe their baby without success. It can be difficult to determine the cause of colic since there is no physical cause. However, it is important to remember that this condition usually resolves itself within three months and that parents should not feel guilty or blame themselves for their baby’s distress.
If You Believe Your Infant Has Colic, Here Are Some Strategies for Managing It
When you think your baby has colic, it can be a very stressful and overwhelming experience. It is important to take action and get help from your GP, paediatrician or child and family health nurse. Your doctor can assess your baby and rule out any medical causes for the crying, such as gastro-oesophageal reflux disease, infection or hernia.
It is also important to take steps to soothe your baby in the meantime. You can try different methods such as rocking them gently, swaddling them in a blanket or giving them a warm bath. You may also want to try playing calming music or white noise in the background.
You will also need to take breaks from caring for your baby when they are crying. This can be difficult, but it is important to give yourself a break and allow yourself some time to relax and recharge. It can be helpful to enlist the help of family members or friends who can take over for a while so you can have a break.
Additionally, it is important to remember that colic usually resolves itself within three months and that you should not blame yourself for your baby’s distress. You should seek support from family members or friends if you are feeling overwhelmed.
If these methods don’t work, it is best to seek professional help from your doctor as soon as possible. In some cases your doctor may prescribe drugs or suggest natural herbal medicine to help relieve the pain your baby’s experiencing.
Looking After Yourself
Looking after yourself is an important part of being a parent, especially when your baby has colic. Taking a few moments for yourself can make all the difference in how you feel and how you cope with the situation. Even just five minutes of reading a book, walking around the block or doing some meditation can help to reduce stress, anxiety and anger. If possible, ask your partner or a friend or relative to take over for a while so that you can have some time to yourself.
It is essential that you seek help when taking care of yourself. Whether it’s talking to friends and family about what you’re going through or seeking professional help from a counsellor or therapist, having someone to talk to can be incredibly beneficial. Not only will it help you manage your own emotions but it will also benefit your family as well. It’s important to remember that taking care of yourself is not selfish – it’s essential for both you and your baby’s wellbeing.
Strategies Unlikely to be Effective for Treating Colic
Investigations such as blood tests or X-rays are rarely useful in diagnosing colic in babies. This is because colic is usually caused by a baby’s immature digestive system, which can’t be detected through these tests. However, if the doctor suspects that the crying is due to an illness or infection, then they may recommend further testing. These could include urine tests to check for urinary tract infections, stool samples to look for parasites or bacteria, and even imaging scans such as ultrasounds or CT scans to look for any underlying issues.
It’s important to note that most of the time, colic is not caused by any serious medical condition and will resolve itself over time. If your baby has been diagnosed with colic, it’s best to focus on soothing techniques and lifestyle changes rather than seeking out medical tests.
However, if you have any concerns about your baby’s health or wellbeing, it’s always best to speak with your doctor so they can advise you on the best course of action.
Here are a few interesting statistics on colic:
- According to KidsHealth, up to 40 percent of all babies experience colic (healthline.com).
- Less than 5% of colicky crying is caused by food sensitivity, but in rare cases a change may help within a few days (healthychildren.org).
- It occurs in about 20% of infants and is more common in the first 6 weeks of life (raisingchildren.net.au).