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Baby Colic? What is it and how should my baby cope with it?

Baby Colic? What is it and how should my baby cope with it?

Is your new born crying inconsolably even though he is not hungry, wet or frightened? Do not panic. It could be colic that is making him cry excessively. Discuss with your Doctor to confirm the same. Read below to know what colic is and how to cope with it.

Is it colic?
Is your baby crying for more than three hours in a row on three or more days a week for at least three weeks? Then, the chances are that he is colic. Uncontrollable crying of an otherwise healthy baby due to painful gas production and release is colic. Do not worry. It is not any long term disease, but just a condition to be managed well by the parents as you and your baby are going through it. Colic shows up often in babies who are two or three weeks old until they are five months old. The baby usually cries at the same time of the day, frequently in the late afternoon or early evening hours. You may also observe an enlarged belly or notice him passing gas as he cries. Colic peaks at the sixth week and significantly improves by the third or fourth month of birth. Yes! It is quite long, but learn a few techniques to comfort your baby.

Colic could be due to an immature digestive system that is unable to produce enough digestive juices and enzymes to break down the proteins present in breast milk or formula feeds. Swallowing a lot of air while crying can increase gas in the stomach which could further worsen the pain. You may also notice the symptoms getting worse after a feed or before a bowel movement.

How to cope with colic?
A few simple home measures can help your baby recover faster. Like:
• If your baby is bottle fed, look for a bottle which has a small hole so that there is not much gas that the baby is gulping.
• Let the baby not be curled up or hunched over while feeding. Keep him upright to avoid trapping of gas.
• Feed your baby before he is hungry. If he starts crying from hunger, he is more likely to gulp gas.
• Prop him and let him burp to release gas when changing sides while nursing.
• Give him a gentle belly massage to expel out gas. You can also place a hot water bottle wrapped in a towel, placed in between you and the baby when he is on top of you.
• Make noises to remind him about the rhythmic heartbeat and the whooshing noises he heard in the womb.
• Get them used to movements. Put him in a rocker, baby swing or a simple bouncer. You can also hold his feet and move his legs in a bicycling motion to relieve gas and stomach discomforts.
• Giving him a bath might comfort him. You can also encourage him to suck. If sucking can pacify him, let him keep his finger in his mouth and feel better.
• At times, the mother's diet can cause colic to babies. If you are breastfeeding, cut off foods like dairy products, garlic, spicy foods, wheat, nuts, cruciferous vegetables like cabbage, cauliflower etc to see if the baby is recovering. If your baby is on a formula feed, look for a cow's milk free formula.

Stick to a routine and make him understand his body rhythms. It is also about your patience. So take your partner's or a relative's help and understand what he is going through. Remember, time is the best healer.


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