All babies cry; it’s a natural way for them to express themselves. But when does normal crying become a concern? Chronic crying that lasts for long periods of time can be exhausting and scary for new parents. You’ve probably heard of colic, and maybe even know some other families who have cared for a colicky baby. But does your baby have it? It’s important to separate fact from fiction when it comes to the care of your little one, so here are some important details about
What Is Colic?
When an otherwise healthy and well-fed baby cries for over three hours a day, for more than three days a week, and for longer than three weeks, this can be described as colic. Babies with colic often doesn’t respond to holding or other comforting methods. They frequently ball their fists while screaming as if they were in pain. A colicky baby often cries for long periods of time without stopping until they fall asleep from exhaustion.
Though it’s classified as a behavioural issue, doctors are unsure whether there is an underlying medical cause. It’s hard to get concrete information about the condition because its sufferers are so young. A lot of babies are fussy, and it’s hard to measure something like crying.
What to Do if You Suspect a Colicky Baby
Make an appointment to see your paediatrician. Recent research suggests that babies with colic have different intestinal flora. Therefore, your paediatrician may prescribe probiotics to help them to digest food properly, or suggest a change in your diet if you’re breastfeeding. The cause could alternatively be to do with reflux and milk allergy. Every baby is different, so visiting the doctor is always a good first step when it comes to diagnosing and getting some relief for your colicky baby.
After the Diagnosis
If your paediatrician confirms your baby has colic, there are several things you and your partner can do to get through this period. It is absolutely vital for parents to work together while a baby is experiencing symptoms, and ensure that each parent has time away from the seemingly constant crying and screaming. Though it may sound strange, parents should invest in noise-cancelling headphones so they can get a little peace while the child is crying. You could also take babies with colic on walks outside, which has two benefits: it gives others at home a break, and breathing the fresh air may help relieve your baby’s symptoms a bit.
The most important advice is to stay calm. It’s easy for parents to feel inept and incredibly stressed when a baby is constantly crying. However, if you are calm and breathing regularly, it will go a long way towards calming and reassuring the baby, which can help ease their symptoms.
It can sometimes be scary for parents of babies with colic. However the good news is that it’s only temporary – it typically resolves itself when your baby is four months old. With your paediatrician’s guidance and your partner’s support, you’ll get through this.
This article is for general informational purposes only. It is not intended nor implied to be providing medical advice and is not a substitute for such advice. The reader should always consult a health care provider concerning any medical condition or treatment plan. Neither Care.com nor the author assumes any responsibility or liability with respect to use of any information contained herein.