A constant crying baby can cause a lot of tension and bewilderment for any parents. More so for new parents who may be experiencing colic for the first time. While parents continue to wonder when will they ever get a good night’s rest, the biggest question is still unanswered. Why is my baby so cranky and inconsolable?
Could it be colic? What is colic and why is it causing my little one so much distress?
What is Colic?
But my newborn is healthy and well fed. He even has on fresh clean diapers! So why does he continue to cry with no obvious cause or reason?
It is true that crying is their only form of communication for now. They cry when they’re hungry, cry when they need changing or cry when they are tired and just want a cuddle. Crying to have their needs met is normal. However, if your baby is crying for more than 3 hours a day, 3 days a week lasting at least a week, he or she might have colic.
Will colic harm my baby? My heart breaks to see him crying so much!
While colic will definitely test the patience of most parents, it is actually more common than you think. Even if colic will give you eye bags and cause significant discomfort for your precious bundle, there is light at the end of the tunnel. Thankfully colic is temporary and usually goes away on its own in about 3 – 4 months with no lasting effects.
How to tell my baby has Colic?
A full-term newborn who has colic will start showing symptoms when they are around 2 weeks old. Premature babies start showing symptoms a little later and some babies just go off Scott free without ever encountering a single colicky phase!
Colic can happen to any baby regardless of their sex, birth order and whether they are breast or bottle fed. Below are some of the common symptoms to look out for:
- Crying in the evening or at the same time every day.
- Crying for 3 or more hours every day, 3 days a week, for at least a week.
- Intense crying that is out of the norm.
- Continuously irritable and will not be soothed, even when you feed or try to comfort them.
- Clenched fists.
- Arms and legs that are bent towards their belly.
- A bloated tummy that is quite hard to the touch.
- Crying until they are red and flushed in the face.
- Passing wind while crying due to swallowed air.
What is causing my baby’s Colic?
Nobody really knows what causes colic in babies which makes it so tricky to deal with sometimes. You might have to keep trying one thing at a time to see if it helps to ease their discomfort.
The general idea is that because they are so young, babies might find it harder to digest. Here are some of the theories listed by the experts at WebMD:
- A digestive system that is still developing
- Acid reflux or other stomach problems
- Wind or gas
- Hormones that cause stomach problems or a fussy mood
- Food allergies like cows’ milk allergy
What can parents do to help ease colic?
Again, because there is no real way of knowing what is causing your baby’s colic, here are some ways parents can try to ease the situation:
- Anti-colic feeding bottles like Philips Avent Anti-Colic Bottle (insert a hyperlink to the product page when it is launched) with AirFree Vent. Its innovative design ensures less air ingestion by making sure that the teat is always full of milk, not air, even when the bottle is horizontal. This allows parents to feed their baby in an upright position which is great for babies with colic. The AirVent is one piece which makes for easy cleaning. Furthermore, the AirVent is also made compatible with all Philips Avent Anti-Colic as well as their Classic+ bottle range.
- Restricting certain food when you’re a breastfeeding mum because colic can also affect breastfed babies. Is the food you’re consuming affecting your little bub? If need be, keep a food diary to keep track of what might be setting your baby off. Avoid those foods temporarily and see if his condition improves.
- Try switching out your baby’s formula if the current brand seems to be the one causing his discomfort. Your baby might even be lactose intolerant or have cows’ milk allergies. You can always ask your doctor about other milk alternatives.
- A massage might help soothe it a little. There are plenty of resources on the internet on how to do this. A common way is to use gentle scooping strokes from below your baby’s ribcage all the way down to the top of the nappy. Repeat this a couple of times, alternating between both hands. The froggy pose and bicycle exercise with your baby’s legs are also known to aid digestion.
- Try offering a dummy or a pacifier (hyperlink to pacifier article) because some babies who suffer from colic find comfort in sucking.
- There are no medications to cure colic, but it can help ease the effects and make things a little more bearable for your little one. Talk to your doctor about the options available and be sure to get the right dosage prescribed for your newborn.
It is normal to feel overwhelmed
Let’s be real here. Dealing with an inconsolable baby for long periods of time and surviving on very little sleep is bound to cause some tension. In fact, sometimes parents even end up roughing it out until it goes away on its own when their baby reaches 4 months or so.
It is even harder when you have no help or have other children to care for. So don’t feel too guilty when a situation like this brings out the worst in you. Feeling resentful towards your cranky screaming bundle of “joy” for a couple of minutes is normal and doesn’t make you a bad parent.
When feeling overwhelmed, call for reinforcements. It is okay to have someone take over for a short while so you can grab a breather. Go and pour yourself some much-needed coffee, or even simply just to walk out of the room for 5 minutes so you can collect yourself. When you are ready to face the music, with a Philips Avent Anti-Colic Bottle with AirFree Vent (insert hyperlink) in hand, you can feel rest assured that you’ve made the right choice. Pick one up today and be sure to keep an eye out for our CarrotClub loyalty stickers!