Infant colic is a common symptom that presents at or about 1 month of age and prevails to about 3 month s of age. The exact cause in not known but there are several theories to explain it. The most plausible one is that the baby’s intestines are still undeveloped and therefore become oversensitive to the movement of food and air through it. The frequent swallowing of air as they suckle also causes more air to accumulate in the gut. The pain that comes with movement of foods and air accumulation causes her to cry.
How do children with colic behave?
The baby is always moody and fussy with persistent crying. This may last hours if the colic is not resolved and may come frequently for up to 3 hours per day. The child cries by pulling the knees up to chest, and passing some flatus. Usually there is no fever present. The colic may star at 3 to 4 weeks and the crying episodes peak at about at 6 weeks and resolves by 3–4 months.
How to manage infant colic
This is mostly a nightmare to most parent especially new parents. The most important thing is not to blame yourselves for not dong enough to prevent or manage the condition. Try to follow these steps
- Do not over stimulate the baby. Provide a calm environment may be with some cool soothing music in the back ground.
- You may carry the baby and swaddle her by swinging or even give a car ride to soothe.
- Avoid medication and formula changes. Encourage breaks for the primary caregiver.
- Burping your baby correctly may help alleviate any air that is trapped in the gut and thus reduce the colic, although it’s unlikely to prevent the symptoms altogether.
- If you’re bottle feeding the baby, watch the position of the bottle to be sure that she does not suck in any air. Always ensure the best breastfeeding practices such as proper positioning of the breast (to fill the mouth of the baby). Proper positioning of the breast ensure that less air will be sucked in
- Ensure that when you are bottle feeding, the holes in the nipples aren’t too small. Tiny holes are extremely frustrating for a baby because she has to suck harder and for longer and this leads to more air being sucked in to the gut.
- Try some anti-colic medications. Some baby colic drops contain dimethicone, or simethicone that has an anti-foaming action on the stomach contents. It is however important to note that there is no guarantee that it will cure your baby’s colic
Questions about baby colic
Does my diet have anything to do with baby colic?
It’s quite possible that what ever you are eating may trigger or even make the colic worse with time. How ever babies who are prone to colic tend to have symptoms on most days, and your diet can obviously vary from day to day. Diets with foods such as citrus fruits or the juices may worsen, or even perhaps trigger, colic in breast-fed babies.
Another possible trigger of baby colic is cow’s milk. Some infants have allergies to the protein in cow milk and may present with colic, so try to eliminate milk and dairy products from your diet when this becomes persistent.
What other foods should I avoid to prevent colic?
If your baby develops persistent colicky symptoms more frequently, it may also be due to some of the foods you eat that trigger this. Perennial offenders include “gassy” foods such as cabbage, onions, garlic, broccoli, and turnips; and caffeine. You may have to change your diet to avoid this. It is however of paramount importance to note that if the baby is exclusively bottle feeding and you avoid giving cow milk, find diets that have rich sources of calcium to supplement to loss of calcium.