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Understanding Colic to Help Your Child

Knowing more about what colic is can help you comfort your baby and reduce the stress it puts on both of you. Read on to learn all about it.
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Does your baby start crying around the same every single day? Does it seem that no matter what you do, you can't seem to comfort them enough to stop?

If so, your baby may have colic, which can be taxing on both the parents and child. Knowing the signs can help you get the answers you need and find a solution.

About Colic

The characteristic behavior associated with colic is a healthy, well-fed baby crying for more than three hours a day three days a week. This should go on for more than three weeks. According to the Mayo Clinic, as many as one quarter of babies will be affected by colic. Colic typically begins in the first few weeks following birth and improvement can be seen by the time the child is between three and five months in age.

Identifying colic can be tricky. If you suspect your child may have it, start keeping track of their crying. If a child has colic, he or she will begin crying all of a sudden at about the same time on a daily basis. This is usually in the afternoon or evening. This crying can last for minutes or up to three hours and will be marked a high pitched sound. Calming your child can be incredibly difficult during this time and some may not be able to be comforted.

Physical signs of colic include a red or flushed face, clenched fists, curled legs and a tensed or tight abdomen. Gas and/or a bowel movement are also common at the end of the episode.

The important thing to remember is that colic is normal and doesn't require medical treatment unless you notice changes in your baby's sleeping or eating patterns, if they have persistent diarrhea or if they begin vomiting and/or losing weight. It also doesn't have any long-term health repercussion.

Why Does Colic Happen?

Unfortunately, the exact cause of colic is unknown. According to the National Institutes of Health (NIH), it could be a number of things, including allergies, hunger, fear, frustration and even overfeeding. However, there is evidence children whose mothers smoked during their pregnancy (which is never recommended) are more likely to experience colic.

If you notice a pattern in your baby's crying, report it to your doctor and they can properly examine the baby to rule out any other causes.

Treatments for Colic

Focusing on the baby's gut health is a common practice in hopes of preventing or easing colic. Probiotics help maintain the proper balance of “good” and “bad” bacteria within the gut, which is beneficial for their digestive and immune systems anyway, but aren't known currently to have a direct link to colic prevention. Some parents will try gas-reducing products, but these also haven't been proven in their efficacy directly in relation to colic.

Homeopathic supplements with herbal extracts and minerals can also help calm what could be the cause of your baby's colic, such as teething discomfort or upset stomach.

Here are some tips for calming a colicky baby:

  • Walk them around, bounce them or rock with them in chair.
  • Play music or sing to them. You can even turn on a appliance or vacuum.
  • Try feeding the baby and burp them often.
  • Offer a pacifier or teething toy.
  • Gently massage their stomach.
  • Give the baby a bath.

Consult your doctor if you have any questions or concerns about your baby's crying and shop for natural colic remedies at eVitamins and save!

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