Has your baby started crying out of the blue? And uncontrollably at that? Is their crying and wailing so uncalled for that it seems someone has cast a spell on them? Are you at your wit’s end? And lastly, are you unaware of a mysterious condition called colic? If your answer to that string of questions was yes, then rest assured that this article would be of ample help. We will categorically tap into colicky baby symptoms, causes and solutions.
So, what is colic?
Crying is the only form of communication babies are familiar with, and so a noisy environment with a baby in it is no exception. However, sometimes baby cry for hours on end with no apparent reason. That is, they cry despite being well-fed, in no pain whatsoever, and being attended to in every way. This could classify as colic.
Colic is not a disease, and it does not physically affect the baby in any way. For this reason, a medical treatment for it also does not exist. It is, simply put, a peculiar conduct of your baby.
The term colic can be used to describe any kind of inexplicable squalling that your little one partakes in.
Moving forward, colic usually occurs in infants after they have at least lived 2 weeks. Its pinnacle emerges at 6 weeks, and then the condition starts vanishing by the 10th to 12th week.
How to know if the crying is indeed colicky?
What are called the “rule of threes” can help you know if your baby is experiencing a fit of colic. These are as follows:
- The crying lasts for at least 3 hours per day
- Crying takes place at least 3 days per week
- The crying goes on for at least 3 weeks
If you find yourself ticking all of those boxes, then it is safe to call your baby’s behavior colic.
Colicky baby symptoms
Babies who are suffering from colic exhibit a set of symptoms which are differ from the rules of three. The following are some further colicky baby symptoms:
- Colicky babies start crying around the same time each day
- You can’t seem to figure out the reason behind the incessant crying
- Colicky babies express their discomfort physically through their expression, hands and legs
- Colicky babies are usually very gassy and may even spit up due to increased bowel movement
- They may refuse to eat because they simply cannot stop crying
Causes of colic
Now that colicky baby symptoms are out of the way, let’s explore the reasons behind this intriguing phenomenon;
Although the causes for colic are largely still unknown, experts have some theories that may or may not have some roots in the truth. The list below expands on many such theories:
Colicky baby symptoms an overstimulation of the senses
Babies are gifted with a function that helps them filter out any disturbances from the outside environment, and thus, sleep and relax better. This mechanism is functional for only the few initial weeks after their birth and it starts disappearing from that point onwards. Consequentially, babies are exposed to a whole new world of sensory stimulus that has the potential to engulf them.
Therefore, expression of those feelings of overwhelm through crying is understandable.
Colicky baby symptoms and immaturity of the digestive system
A still-developing stomach finds it hard to digest food. As a result, newborns experience discomfort and this could be possible explanation for their colic.
Allergies to substances
According to some experts, babies sometimes are allergic to substances found in their mother’s milk. They describe colic as an allergic reaction such substances. It’s either that or colic is caused by the pain felt by babies because of such allergic reactions.
Gastro esophageal reflux disease (GERD) or an acid reflux could be why your young one just would not stop weeping. Also, infants with GERD throw up quite often, are generally irritable, and have a declined appetite. If you notice these signs, your baby likely has the condition, and there are steps you can take to make it better.
A hint at migraine
Your colicky baby might be suffering from sensitivity to light, sound or other kinds of stimulus that usually cause a problem for people with migraine.
In this case, the only way to confirm if your baby is a potential migraine patient is by shifting up their environment a little. For instance, you could try placing them in a room with little to no light, or sound and see if the colicky baby symptoms continue.
Colicky baby symptoms and solutions
Colic is a source of much distress for both the child and the parent. It is only natural for you to require an immediate end to this nuisance.
You can seek help from the strategies we are about to provide you with. Bear in mind that these solutions would be more effective if you first work out the reason behind the issue.
- Arrange a peaceful environment. Try to make the surroundings as calm as you can for your baby. They may find this soothing and their crying might meet a lull.
- Limit the hustle bustle. Avoid setting up environments with noise and excitement.
- Cuddle your baby and shower them in physical affection. Though, only continue if it seems to work, they might not appreciate the excessive fondness if it only adds to their bad temper.
- Make use of a pacifier
For gastrointestinal issues
- You can try to burp your newborn. You know the shtick, hold them vertically against your chest and repeatedly rub and pat their back. Stuck burps are awful, and so this might just work.
- Try giving them different formulas. If they are having difficulty digesting the formula they are currently on, forsaking it for one with different ingredients might help against the colic
- Consult a doctor. Pay a visit to your pediatrician to find out more about what your child’s stomach and digestive system is experiencing. They may prescribe drops or other medication that would relieve the young soul.