Parenting a constant irritable baby is one of the most difficult things a new parent can face. What do you do when your baby cries nonstop for hours at 2 am and nothing you do seems to calm them down. What do you do? Is there help?
What is colic?
It’s perfectly normal for a newborn to cry a lot. During their first 3 months of life, babies can cry for up to 2 hours a day.
It’s the way babies with colic cry that’s different.
Babies with colic start crying without any obvious reason.
Often the crying begins in the evening.
The crying lasts for 3 or more hours each day and it happens more than 3 days a week, for at least 3 weeks.
Colic crying is louder and more intense than regular crying.
Babies with colic are very hard to soothe.
Colic goes away by 3 to 4 months of age.
There is no difference in the prevalence of colic for boys and girls, whether you breastfeed or bottle feed, and whether the baby is first born or not.
What causes colic?
No single common cause for colic has been found. The fussiness of colic has many different causes, and that’s why there is no one way to help it.
Digestive woes, perhaps due to intolerance of cow’s milk protein or lactose
An immature digestive system
Increased hormone levels that cause stomachaches or a fussy mood
Hypersensitivity to stimulation in the environment.
An immature nervous system
Babies with colic may also have these symptoms:
Arch their back
Bend arms and legs into the belly
Red, flushed face when crying
Pass gas during the crying episode, often because they swallow air while they cry
Tighten stomach muscles
Address colic in your baby:
Before treating a baby with colic, make sure they are thoroughly examined by their pediatrician.
An infection (ear or urinary infection)
Evidence of reflux
Pressure or inflammation of the brain and nervous system
An eye problem
An abnormality of the rhythm of the heart
A bone fracture
A hair wrapped around a finger or toe
Based on your baby’s needs, your pediatrician can help you get a strategy that will help him or her calm down.
Try different milk products.
Avoid eating certain foods and taking herbal supplements if you are breastfeeding.
Change the type of nipples on your baby’s bottle.
If your baby is spitting up, keep him or her upright after feeds.
Changing Sensory Stimulation
Swaddle your baby.
Take your baby for a ride in the car.
Try infant massage.
Put a warm water bottle on your baby’s belly.
Give baby a warm bath.
Try an infant swing.
Coping with colic:
It is challenging to have a baby with colic. And it is normal and common to have feelings of anger toward your cranky little one. You are not a bad parent because your feelings turn sour in the bad times. Do not feel guilty that you have these feelings. Everyone does.
Take a break. Let a family member take over for a while.
Do not guilt trip yourself about this too much. You didn’t do anything to cause your baby’s colic.
Remember that this period in your baby’s life doesn’t last forever. You will get past this difficult stage.
Remember having a baby is the biggest blessing anyone could ever get. You have to be strong for your little one and try your best to stay calm, remember, babied are very sensitive, they feel everything that you feel. They grow up so fast and before you know it they are in their teen years, then you have a whole new set of problems. So enjoy every minute you have with your little one and be the parent they deserve.