When our babies cry for hours and seem terribly distressed any mother’s stress levels ramp up to the red zone. New mothers especially keep asking themselves ‘what have I done wrong?’. The chances are baby has colic and it has absolutely nothing to do with what mum has done. So, what is colic and what should I do?
The Wikipedia definition says it is ‘episodes of crying for more than three hours a day for more than three days a week for three weeks in an otherwise healthy child between the ages of two weeks and four months. The cause of colic is generally unknown. Fewer than 5% of infants with excess crying have an underlying organic disease.’
When a baby does this it is understandable that a family will be thrown into chaos and feel burdened with guilt. This feeling of guilt is understandable and normal especially when many older women will tell them it is because they did not get all the baby’s wind up after feeding. This is what was thought to be the cause when my babies were tiny. It was also blamed on the mothers diet if she was breast feeding.
The truth is, no one seems to know what causes colic. I still believe is is wind pains but not related in any way to how a mother burps her child. If you watch a baby who is crying incessantly and in distress your will see he scrubs his feet together and pull his knees up and he will often break wind. Some of the remedies suggested would indicate that this could be the problem.
Your baby’s bowel is brand new and so having feces and wind pass through it could be causing him pain. It has been suggested that cigarette smoking can be a cause of colic so if there are smokers in your house then ask them to smoke outside, well away from the baby.
If you think your baby has colic it is a good idea to get this confirmed by a health professional to rule out anything else. If it is colic ask your doctor if you can give your baby Probiotics and which is the best to use.
If your baby does have colic there are a few things you can try to help her through it.
- A nice warm bath sometimes helps
- Swaddling firmly in a blanket or sheet but remember firm but not too tight.
- Some babies can be distracted by noise and movement
- Some babies prefer quiet
- Gently massaging baby’s tummy with circular motions
- Use a pacifier
- Try filling a hot water bottle with warm (NOT HOT) water, wrap it in a towel and place it on his tummy.
- Taking baby for a walk outside in the fresh air may help.
- Make sure your baby has been burped after every feed.
Babies are such precious little darlings that it is very hard to watch them in distress. When it comes to colic the best thing to do is to comfort them as best you can. Try not to stress as babies do pick up on their mothers stress and this can often makes thing worse.
If you have a new baby I would love to hear from you. Just drop me a not below and tell me about your baby.