A baby is a bundle of joy and a big responsibility too. As a mother, it can sometimes get overwhelming to take complete care of the baby. You are responsible for the baby’s care, nourishment, and life. It is difficult to understand the needs of newborns as they cannot express through speech. It is important for a mother to learn to read the body language and cries of the baby to try and relieve discomfort.
Here is some information that will help you understand what colic is all about and gives you parenting tips to manage the pain.
What is Colic?
Colic is not a well-defined problem but an indication of some kind of discomfort that a baby experiences. Research says that the causes of colic are not precise.
A well-fed, otherwise healthy baby may cry indefinitely and inconsolably. The crying may last for three hours or more per day, and may occur thrice a week. Although, it is painful for the parents to witness the baby’s distress, the fact that colic is not a long-lasting problem is a consoling factor. Both male and female, and bottle fed and breastfed babies are prone to colic.
Causes of colic
The abdominal pain and discomfort that babies experience could be due to:
• gas in the digestive system that causes bloating;
• muscle spasms in the gut;
• rapid hormonal changes;
• hypersensitivity to light or sound (this may also cause the baby to cry till the overstimulation ceases); and
• developmental pain caused by the rapidly growing nervous system.
Some doctors even attribute colic to the baby’s mood, which sounds far-fetched, but may just be true.
How to provide relief to a baby suffering from colic?
Crying continuously can make a baby irritable and unwilling to eat, drink, or sleep. Here are some simple remedies to calm a baby suffering from colic.
• Having a strong bonding with the baby comes handy in such situations. Holding the baby in your arms and talking in a soft tone and singing can soothe the baby—even a stressed baby sometimes quickly stops crying when soothed.
• Try feeding the baby in a position where the chances of ingesting air are less. If you bottle feed the baby, you could try a nipple with a smaller hole. Remember to make the baby burp after every feed. This may reduce colicky symptoms.
• Try rocking the baby in a rocking chair—the rocking motion may soothe a crying baby. Some babies also love the motion of a car, and calm down or go to sleep on a car drive.
• Massaging the baby may soothe the muscles and comfort the baby. Most babies love massages and may doze off during a massage. Be gentle while massaging and check with your doctor about the oils that can be used.
• Rubbing the back or tummy may also calm the baby. Rubbing in a firm and circular motion may release any gas and help the baby fall asleep.
• You can try and change the baby’s formula or the density in case the baby is bottle fed. If you breastfeed your baby, you may also need to limit eating spicy or gas-inducing foods.
• Bonnisan drops, a well-known digestive aid, can help in treating colic. It also relieves muscle spasms associated with colic, expels gas from the gastrointestinal tract, and combats acute and chronic infections.
Managing babies suffering from colic can sometimes be hard. If managing your baby at that point in time seems too taxing for you, don’t hesitate to seek help from your family members. Do ensure that you visit a doctor if the baby has fever, rashes, vomiting, or seems too sleepy all the time. There might be an underlying condition that needs medical attention.