What’s common among all the babies in the world?

Yup! They cry, and that’s the only way they can communicate with us!

But, the problem begins when this crying continues for long, un-interuppted, and gets difficult to control. Isn’t it?

And what’s the reason for this incessant crying? It’s the colic in babies.

It just makes you feel overwhelmed. You are confused about what to do and who to ask help for! 1F613 - The Next Thing to Immediately Do about Colic in babies!

Relax!

Colic in babies is not as worrisome as you think. Once you understand what it is, its causes, and read these tips, you can easily handle infant’s colic.

babies-with-feeding-bottles-lying-on-mat

So, let’s begin!

What is colic in babies?

Colic is defined as bouts of irritability and fussiness/crying in babies that starts and stops without an obvious cause. Both breastfed and bottlefed babies can get affected with colic.

Your colicky baby cries for:

  • At least 3 hours at a stretch
  • At least 3 times a week
  • 3 weeks in a row

baby-girl-crying

Colic affects 1 in 5 babies and can start as early as in a 6-week baby.

But, the good news is colic in babies doesn’t continue for long. Majority babies seem to get over colic by 10-12 weeks of age.

In the meantime, grasp this knowledge about the causes and ways to handle colic in babies.

What causes colic in babies?

what-causes-colic-in-a-baby

Though the exact cause is still not undestood, here is a list of supected causes:

  1. Swallowing of air during feeding
  2. The developing digestive system of the baby may not allow the food to break down completely and result in gas formation in the intestines
  3. Intolerance or allergy to milk protein (Lactose intolerance)
  4. Infant acid reflux. Some babies have an underdeveloped oesophageal sphincter ( a muscle that prevents stomach acid from flowing back into the throat or mouth).

Read here: What to do if your baby has lactose intolerance?

Signs and Symptoms of colic in your baby

The symptoms of colic can appear soon after feeding the baby and are common in the late afternoon or evening.

baby-with-clenched-fists-and-crying

Besides intense crying, a colicky baby shows:

  • Clenched fists
  • Flushed face
  • Arched back
  • Knees drawn up to the tummy
  • Bloated or hardened tummy
  • Excessive movement of arms and legs
  • Increased bowel movement or spitting up or passing a lot of gas
  • Disturbed eating and sleeping

How to soothe a colicky baby?

  1. Limit the number of visitors to your house in the late afternoon and evening.
  2. Keep the baby’s environment as peaceful as possible to help him relax.
  3. Follow this CSR method to help your baby release the abdominal gas:

tips-to-relieve-stomach-pain-in-babies

  • Cycle the baby’s legs. Lay the baby on his back on the bed. Move his legs gently like pedalling a cycle till he stops crying.
  • Swaddle the baby. Lay your baby on his tummy across your legs and shake gently. Give a light back massage to him.
  • Give him a belly rub. Rub gently in the clockwise direction around his belly button for 5-10 minutes. You can also try Heeng (Asafoetida) rub if normal rub doesn’t relieve. Take a pinch of heeng in a bowl, add water to make a paste and rub it on the baby’s belly button.

This CSR method is age-old and was recommended by our Dadis and Nanis (grandmothers). Surprisingly it’s useful till date.

Watch this video for CSR method in action:

More good news for you! Colic in babies is preventable!

How to prevent colic?

Take these steps to prevent colic in your baby and sleep as sound as a top:

  • If you breastfeed your baby, take care of your own diet. Certain babies are allergic to the food you eat. So, know what to eat and what not while you breastfeed your baby. 
  • If you give formula milk, avoid cow’s milk as babies can’t tolerate it.
  • If you bottle-feed your baby, take care to avoid forming bubbles while pouring the milk into the bottle. OR let the bubbles settle down before you feed the baby. 1F37C - The Next Thing to Immediately Do about Colic in babies!
  • Do not overfeed your baby. Every cry of your baby is not a hunger cry. Your baby doesn’t need a feed before 2-3 hours if you feed him properly at once.
  • Always burp your baby after each feed.

Here’s how to burp your baby!

Colic in babies is really overwhelming. Know the 5 steps you can take to prevent colic in your baby. #MomandMe #childcare

But, can you always tackle colic with these methods?

The answer is most of the times!

However, consult your doctor if:

  1. The CSR method fails to releive the symptoms of colic, even after 2 days.
  2. The baby shows other symptoms such as Fever, Diarrhoea or loose stools, Vomiting, Too much irritability or Refuses to take the feed.

If you are worried about what medications the doctor will give or whether your baby won’t tolerate it, you can try the safest mode of treatment: HOMOEOPATHY.

homeopathy-offers-help-in-baby-colic

Here are the few homoeopathic remedies suitable to relieve colic in babies:

  • Chamomilla:  indicated in colicky babies who scream and want to be constantly carried. Stools may be green and smell of rotten eggs.
  • Colocynth: Bloating of the stomach. Extreme restlessness and the baby draw his legs up close to the chest.
  • Nux vomica: Colicky pains that result when the nursing mother has eaten spicy food, overeaten or overindulged in coffee.

P.S.- THESE REMEDIES ARE JUST TO CREATE AWARENESS. CONSULT A QUALIFIED HOMOEOPATHIC PROFESSIONAL BEFORE GIVING ANY MEDICINE TO THE BABY.

So, I have solved the mystery of colic in babies!

Colic in babies is preventable if you feed him right, at right intervals, and also take care of your diet while you breastfeed.

And in case, your baby shows up the symptoms of colic, take the above steps to handle the situation without feeling overwhelmed.

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Dr Shivangi Aggarwal

Hi. I am Dr Shivangi Aggarwal, Founder, Mom and Me, practicing as a homoeopathic consultant for child diseases since 10 years. Raising a physically and emotionally healthy child is no less than a challenge today as it is encountered by many hurdles. "Mom and Me" holds your hand to overcome these challenges in the most practical way and give your child a future he will love.

2 Comments

Lynn Karimi · February 12, 2019 at 3:26 pm

Thanks Dr. Shivangi for sharing this article. I agree that one of the major causes of colic is when a baby swallows too much air during feeding. What is your take on using anticolic bottles to prevent baby from swallowing too much air during feeding? Do you think they help?
Lynn Karimi recently posted…Best bottle warmer for comotomo bottlesMy Profile

    Dr Shivangi Aggarwal · February 12, 2019 at 3:33 pm

    Hi Lynn! Thanks for reading and appreciating the article. As far as anti-colic bottles are concerned, I haven’t used one myself. Just heard of these bottles. What’s your say about their utility?

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