As parents, we feel responsible for knowing exactly why our babies are crying and how to relieve it as quick as possible. It may sound as easy as pie until you’re in the house by yourself with a screaming baby. Food? Nope, baby not hungry. Rock-a-bye-baby? Nope, baby not sleepy. Smelly? Nope, diaper dry. Maybe, just maybe, your baby might be colic.
A good place to start is to understand what is colic in babies and how to detect it ASAP.
What is colic?
Colic is when your baby is healthy but cries and fusses for no reason. It is frequent and usually for long periods of time around 3 to 4 hours a day. Colic in babies usually begin within the first six weeks and could last up to four months, keep in mind all children are different and it is okay if your baby is in the colic phase for another month.
It will be a long, tiring 4 months but there is a rainbow after this storm. Colic usually comes to the end of its term after the 4 to 5 month period.
What are the causes of colic?
Although there is no accurate answer as to what causes colic, over time the following symptoms have been found to be common amongst babies that have fussing and crying fits for prolonged periods of time.
- Passing Gas Babies tend to swallow too much air during their crying fits resulting in a gaseous tummy and passing of gas whilst crying. The fact that the baby is swallowing too much air could have the baby feeling some discomfort.
- Immature Development This means that the baby’s intestinal and nervous system is still developing and becoming immune to normalities of food and drink. This could hinder the process of digesting food either too quickly or too slowly which brings about stomach pain in the infant.
- Allergies Babies may be allergic to certain proteins in the type of milk that they are being fed. If it is bottle milk, they may be allergic to something in the formula. If the baby is breastfed, there may be something in the mother’s diet that could be passed on through breastfeeding and cause an allergic reaction. Your baby may also be lactose intolerant.
- Sensitive Senses A baby has an ability to block out sounds and bright lights to help them sleep. As the baby starts to develop and strengthen its senses, usually between the first and second month, this ability starts to fade away resulting in an extra sensitivity toward sounds and lights. This will frustrate your baby and also disrupt your baby’s sleeping patterns and will make it a lot more difficult for your baby to fall asleep. Hence, your baby will be cranky and feeling helpless.
What To Keep An Eye Out For? Colic Symptoms
It is always helpful to stay informed on the what’s and the why’s. When it comes to your baby it is not just helpful anymore but also takes priority. I cringe at the thought of not knowing what to look for and where to start so knowing what you’re dealing with is definitely heading in the right direction.
- Colicky babies may need to be comforted a lot more. When you find your baby crying as soon as you put her down but quiet as soon as you pick her up – and this happens every time. It is a good indication that your baby may be colic. I WAS THAT BABY.
- Fussing for no reason. Colicky babies fuss and throw crying fits for no reason most of the time. Well to us at least – they may have their reasons for throwing a fit but is unable to communicate it. We have gone through the checklist and there seemed to be nothing wrong then now is the time you should start looking into Colic in babies.
- Passing gas Your baby will have an interesting way of passing gas, it usually seems as if your baby is having a temper tantrum. Legs up in the air, squeezed tight fists and passing gas.
- Timed crying You may notice that your baby has these prolonged crying episodes around the same time every day with it getting worse later in the day, most of the time in the evenings.
When to see a doctor?
Your baby will not be experiencing any vomiting and fever. If there is anything that seems out of the ordinary especially if your baby is starting to get pale skin and is passing bloody stools, it is best to see a doctor and get an acurate diagnosis with the relevant treatment.
Because your baby may be colic it does not mean that there is something wrong. Your baby can be colic and still be as healthy as ever, it is usually a phase that your baby goes through that happens during the development of your baby’s body and nervous system. All babies experience discomfort, some babies more than others.