Have you ever had to face the condition in which your baby is being very cranky the whole night. And you just can’t understand why that is. It is probably due to a very common condition known as colic in babies.
It is when you infant is crying for hours and will not give in to your efforts to try to soothe him. This isn’t something that happens all of a sudden. In fact your baby may become colicky after a while.
This means that after a few weeks from the baby’s birth, you will notice that your baby is suddenly erupting into what we call a prolonged, setting of complete wailing. This too with clenched fists where they cry so much, their will face will become completely red.
And no matter how much you try, there is no way you can put that baby into comfort. And the problem is, this becomes consistent. You just notice that it is a repeating routine.
Yes that is what colic in babies can do. But don’t worry. It is a common condition. It happens to most of the babies out there.
In this article, I am going to be talking about all the details you need to know regarding colic in babies.
What is Colic?
The fact is your baby will cry. All babies do. It’s a force of habit they cannot change it. This is their way of communicating that there is some help they need. And we as parents try to figure out how to help them in their misery.
But sometimes this crying takes place due to a reason which is not understandable at all. When babies have colic, it is not possible to determine the reason.
This means your child will be crying for hours and you just don’t know how to console them. You have to know one thing- colic is not actually a disease. But it is actually a combination of different behaviors.
This excessive crying can happen in anyone. It is especially true for healthy babies. The only issue is that there is no definite solution to this problem. It happens in the majority of the babies.
How Long Do Fussy Periods Go?
When it comes to the colic episodes, it can actually go on for long hours. Sometimes it can go on for hours. This can continue into the night.
Also it is extremely difficult to calm down a baby that is having colic. This can lead to long episodes of frustration, worry and complete exhaustion.
So when it comes to diagnosing the condition in your kids, you should remember and follow three simple rules. These are when you notice that your baby is crying:
- For more than and continuously for three hours straight
- This is happening consistently for three days in a week
- It is a condition which is taking on for three straight weeks in a row
Now that you have an idea on the onset of colic in babies, I want to now hit upon what are the major symptoms to watch out for:
Symptoms in Colicky Babies
So how can you be so completely sure that your baby is having colicky effects. For one thing, you should look out for these major warning signs:
- Generally the colic condition follows a pattern which goes on in sets of three. It will happy three hours in a day, will continue to go on for three days in a week and this too shall continue for three weeks consistently.
- This crying generally happens during the same time every day. It is usually more prone to an onset during the evening or late night hours.
- When the crying happens, the reason for it is not possible to determine. It is not because your baby is hungry or tired. Neither is it that your baby has a dirty diaper on. So when this happens, you know the likelihood of why this crying is happening.
- When the colic onset happens, your baby will be moving his legs up and he will clench his fists tight and hard. He will also be moving his legs and arms around.
- The bowel movement is not in its best pace. It will even increase.
- Your baby will also maybe passing gas and spitting up.
- Eating and sleeping properly is far out and not possible. The baby will frantically be crying and will not take your nipple. In fact he will reject it often.
- Your baby will only suck onto it for a while and then frantically cry and scream.
Now before moving on, you might be wondering as to how we can differentiate between colic crying and normal crying? So let’s look into that:
Colic vs. Normal Crying
There isn’t actually a very clear definition or difference you can draw between the two. How is it a doctor can judge and differentiate colic cries from normal?
Well for the colicky babies, they are completely inconsolable. No matter what you try they just cannot calm down.
However one major difference is that in case of colicky kids, they cry so loud and even scream. It even becomes louder and intense.
It is also extremely high-pitched than normal crying. So you know that it is something which is not in your hands. Also these crying periods occur on a daily basis and usually in the same time frame.
So you know that this is something out of the ordinary. It is also something that happens on a regular basis. Most often it is an incredibly disturbing situation.
Now let’s move onto the important topic on what exactly causes colic in babies:
Causes of Colic in Babies
What causes children to suffer from this extremely uncomfortable condition? One thing is for certain, it is not because of your genes or anything that happened during your pregnancy.
This is also relating to how your parenting skills don’t come into play. But here comes some of the possible reasons for babies who are crying:
This means that the newborns are actually having a kind of mechanism in their body through which they are in tune with all the sights and sounds around them. It is amazing as it allows them to sleep and eat without having to face any disturbance from the environment. But this system gets affected by the end of the month. This means your baby will become even more sensitive to the stimuli around them. And with these new sensations which they cannot comprehend properly, thy will become overwhelmed. And this leads to higher stress levels. It makes the baby cry and cry without being able to console them properly.
Having an Immature Digestive System
Digesting food is always a big burden or responsibility on the baby. It is something new to their gastrointestinal system. This is because the food will be passing through too fast and this means it will not break completely. This makes your baby face gas issues. And this will become painful in the intestines.
If a baby is going through an infant GERD, it can trigger major episodes of being colicky in babies. But it does not actually cause colic problems in the baby. This condition is what we call underdeveloped lower esophageal sphincter. This is the muscle which is keeping the stomach acid to not go back into your throat or mouth. It actually irritates your esophagus. This will include some major symptoms which include eating improperly and spitting up.
In majority of the cases, colic can happen because your baby is having a major allergy to cow’s milks and proteins. Colic can also be due to specific foods which your mom is consuming. And since the baby is breastfeeding, it goes into them as well. This leads to their tummy pain and because of their strong reaction, you should make sure your baby is not sensitive to any allergies.
Exposure to Smoking
According to certain research, it has been found that women who are pregnant are more likely to have babies who suffer from colic conditions. Secondhand smoking is also problematic. Hence it is always advisable that you don’t smoke around babies or don’t smoke at all. This causes heavy and potential harm to your your baby.
Ways to Combat with Coping Colic
While its proven that your baby’s crying is not something to worry about. It will not harm the baby in any way. But it can definitely overwhelm the parents.
So to cope with this condition, you can try a few things:
Divide the duty with your spouse. Know when the colic act will start off and share with your spouse on how you will cope with the condition.
It is fine if you take a break. Take a break. While it is important that you respond to the crying, but sometimes all you need to do is walk out and come in with a fresh peace of mind. It will help.
Tune out. It is helpful if you make use of earplugs or headphones. You can also tune into some music or calming channel or app. Believe me, you will be needing that to make it through the night.