Caring for any newborn can be challenging for parents, but a baby with abdominal colic can be extra difficult. In this post, we’ll talk about the symptoms for baby colic, some possible causes, and some suggestions for soothing crying baby.
The symptoms of abdominal colic are easy to identify: a colicky baby will cry for several hours a day, several days a week, over a period of three or more weeks. The crying is intense, usually at the same times each day, and the baby will sometimes pull her legs up to her belly or clench his fists, indicating the pain they are going through.
So what causes this pain? Although the word “colic” has been used for centuries, experts have yet to find one direct and clear cause for it. In fact, it’s very possible that baby colic is the term we use to describe a wide variety of conditions caused by many different factors. These might include lactose intolerance, allergies, gas in the baby’s digestive system, acid reflux (also known as heartburn), or hormones.
Unfortunately, there is no one way to make a colicky baby feel better and stop crying. Yet often parents can find a remedy that helps by trying one possible solution for a few days and then, if it doesn’t work, moving on to try something else.
If your baby is crying often and you think she might have colic, first rule out any other cause (like hunger, illness, irritants, or dirty diapers) that might be making her cry. If these approaches don’t work, then you can try other strategies to for soothing crying baby, including:
- A soothing, gentle massage or tummy rub
- Holding, swaddling, cuddling or rocking your baby, or some other kind of movement
- Offering a pacifier or using white noise
- For breast-fed babies, eliminating possible irritants such as spicy foods, caffeine, citrus fruit, and dairy from the mother’s diet
- Over the counter colic drops, sold in drugstores
The good news is that every baby with colic eventually grows out of it, usually by the time they are four months old. So even if nothing you try works, remember to keep calm, and know that eventually the colic will pass, meaning a happier baby and a happier you!