Colic — often associated with kabag — is a familiar term, but it’s often vaguely defined. In babies, colic refers to long periods of crying for no apparent reason. It isn’t dangerous, but it can be distressing to see your child in obvious discomfort. Colic is something that just happens; you haven’t done anything wrong.
The good news is that colic eventually goes away on its own, but there are ways to comfort your baby in the meantime. Here you’ll find information about colic to help put your mind at rest, but as always, don’t hesitate to get in touch with your doctor if you have questions.
What causes colic in babies?
The exact cause of colic isn’t known, but it’s sometimes associated with abdominal pain or trouble digesting.
Because breast milk is specially designed for babies, many wonder if breastfed babies get colicky. The answer is yes – breastfed babies can get colicky – although formula-fed babies also get colicky.
What are the symptoms of colic?
Babies can’t talk yet, but they have ways to communicate and show what they are feeling. To know if your baby might be suffering from this condition, watch out for the following symptoms:
- Intense and persistent crying: Babies who experience colic can be under severe discomfort – and the only way they can express this is through crying. If your baby is crying intensely (almost like the baby is screaming in pain) and persistently without any obvious reason (baby has been fed and the diaper has been changed), your baby might be suffering from colic.
- Tense tummy, stiff arms, clenched fists, arched back: Due to the air stuck inside the stomach, your baby might have a tense tummy. Check if your baby’s tummy looks swollen or feels tight. This is also accompanied by stiff arms and clenched fists as well as an arched back as the baby is in pain and discomfort.
- Happens around the same time each day: Babies who have colic experience it around the same day every day. Often, babies tend to experience this around the end of the day – but it can also happen at any time.
What are the remedies to colic?
Instances of colic usually subside naturally within three months, but it can feel like longer when you’ve got a crying baby on your hands. Here are some things you can try to ease your baby’s discomfort in the meantime.
- Create a longer window between feeds: If you’re currently feeding every one to two hours, try out a new routine of feeding every three to four hours, and observe if the occurrence of colic decreases.
- Adjust your breastfeeding diet: If you’re dealing with colic when breastfeeding your baby, check your diet to see if you’re eating a lot of the following kinds of food: broccoli, cauliflower, sprouts, cabbage, chocolate, cow’s milk, onions, citrus fruits, or tomatoes. These can all cause babies to be gassy or colicky. If you suspect a certain food, adjust your diet, and observe any changes.
- Find a more comfortable position: Certain positions — such as being on the tummy — are soothing for a colicky baby. Lay your baby face down over your arm, head resting in the crook of your elbow, with your hand between your baby’s legs. You could also try lying your little one face down on your lap, head turned to the side, while gently moving your legs side to side. Do make sure your baby is lying face-up once asleep.
- Use anti-colic bottles: If you’re bottle-feeding, either fully or just occasionally, choose a bottle with an anti-colic valve, which helps reduce colic and its symptoms. Be sure to have the correct flow for your baby, and to always have the teat full of milk so your baby isn’t sucking in air.
Colic can be unsettling for both baby and parent, but the main thing to remember is that you’re doing great. These tips are designed to help put your mind at ease and give you some options for soothing your baby. However, please be aware that the information here does not substitute professional medical advice.
Source: What causes colic in babies and how to deal with it, USA.Philips.com