26 October

Baby's Colic: How To Soothe Her

hould you call a DoctorIt is the end of a long tiring day for you and your baby and you are a whisker away from sound sleep. Well! not yet ..looks like your baby is not very happy and ready to sleep. she has been crying since evening and doesn't seem to stop in spite of rocking, bouncing or singing to her. Why does she seem so uncomfortable today? Could it be colic!

Colic is unexplained crying of babies for longer than three hours a day, more than a three days a week. Repeated crying, irritability, cry as in pain and prolonged wailing for no obvious reason which is inconsolable, can be colic. About 25 per cent of colicky babies fit in this description.

 Colic can be noticed around 2 to 3 weeks after birth, intensifies around 6 to 8 weeks, and usually tends to abate by around 3 to 4 months after birth.

What is colic?

Babies cry, as crying seems to be the only way they can express their needs. But, Colic is all about the length of cry-time and intensity of crying. Doctors have struggled to get to the causes of colic and hence, for them diagnosing babies as Colicky, can be tricky. Some doctors have tried decoding the description of colic as ''high-needs babies or merely as babies with "immature nervous system."

It was once believed that Colic is due to problems with the babies immature digestive system, because of the way in which many colicky babies frequently draw up their legs and cry out. There has not been any proven link between stomach ailments and colic. Colicky babies can sometimes be gassy but, gassiness could be the result of the crying and may not be the cause of the crying.

Few experts believe Colic - to be a combination of baby's inborn personality and an immature nervous system which goes into chaos when they cannot handle the stimulation from around the world. It kind of is like babies getting overwelmed with too many stimulations from the outside world too soon, even y simple things like "being fed" or " being consoled" Sometimes they cry more when you try to console them. 

How can you know it's colic?

The reason for the baby to start crying could be as simple as having a visitor at home or more noises around the house or just nothing out of the ordinary at all. So, if your baby gets cranky and starts crying inconsolably, don't get frustrated, nor blame yourself or your visitor. It can be any scenario but there is a pattern if you can decode it.

Many (but not all) babies with colic become predictably inconsolable at the same time each evening. Pay attention to the way the baby cries. Colicky babies cry as if they are in pain. They tend to jump out of your arms. They don't respond to the attempts you make to console and soothe them. They just seem inconsolable. 

So how can you soothe her?

Doctors don't know the reasons behind colic and hence there is no standard medication for the same. Anti-gas medications, antacid medications, medicines designed to soothe irritable tummies, and pain medication all have a very little role in managing a baby with colic. Some standard techniques - 

- Breastfeed them often. Be closer to them during the day and make sure you carry them and bond with your baby.


- Swaddle your baby tightly in warm soft cloth. White noise would be great to keep her calm. Sing for them. 

- "Mimicking the womb" is an effective method to make your baby calm by making her feel that she is in the womb where she lived for nine months. Recreate the womb by swinging your baby and holding her. Simulate a warm bath as though she is swimming in the amniotic fluid.

 What can you do to stay calm?

Colic in babies can frustrate you sometimes and get you agitated. Do not let your anger take control of the situation. You might start shaking your baby vigorously to make her calm but delicate blood vessels in babies' brain can tear and bleed with a violent shaking movement, causing brain damage and sometimes even death. Stay calm and walk away from your baby. Come back to her only when you are composed and completely calm to give your love for her.

 When should you all a Doctor?

You could see your Doctor anytime you feel that the baby has a fever or any other symptoms which doesn't seem normal. Do remember to discuss with your doctor about the colic or any other concern you may have during yur routine check-ups.  

Last modified on Monday, 26 November 2018 15:22
Venkatesh Rathod

Venkat handles content management for MedHealthTV.

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