Is Colic the Cause of Your Baby's Discomfort?

By: Vickie Barnes


You have probably heard of colic before and while you may not know exactly what it means you do know that it is not something pleasant and that parents who have colicky babies get little rest. If this is all you know don't feel bad because doctors aren't much more informative when it comes to colic. While many doctors acknowledge that colic exists that generally say it is something the baby will outgrow. This does not seem like good news when your new baby cries non stop and nobody in the house gets any rest. Colic is frustrating for mom and baby because there is no clear definition for the condition or a clear course for treating it, just clear evidence that the baby is in major pain and there is nothing you can do about it; or is there?

Most doctors will tell you there is no clear treatment, but there are some remedies that work for colic you just have to find the right one for your baby. Most of the time colic is considered the effect of a variety of symptoms coming together rather than a disease or even a condition. Approximately 15-20% of all babies will develop colic and cry, groan, grunt, push, hiccup, have contractions and spasms, and simply look miserable. Frequently during these fits the baby keeps his body stiff and nothing mom or dad does helps soothe the baby. Most of the time colic episodes occur right after feeding and can last for hours or even until the next feeding. The symptoms are typically exacerbated in the evening.

No clear evidence pinpoints the reason some babies have colic, however it is believed to be a combination of a developmental and digestive issue. Babies are growing so quickly in the first week of life that their digestive system just can't keep up and colic occurs as a result, or so the theory goes. Many parents and doctors buy into this theory because generally by month four babies that have had colic have grown out of it. Another theory is that stress causes colic in babies. Many parents who are stressed out and tense pass this on to their baby and stress tends to cause digestive issues frequently causing colic. Also, some doctors believe food sensitivities and allergies to milk proteins play a role in colic not to mention temperament. One theory is that fussy babies have a higher chance of developing colic than easy going babies do. Obviously, there are quite a few theories as to what causes colic and it could be any or all of the above.

There are many reasons why a baby might develop colic and a variety of remedies parents might seek to help soothe their pain. For example, massage, herbal tea, chiropractic sessions, herbal supplements, gas aids, change of formula, and the like are all possible solutions to your baby's colic. You simply need to try all of the remedies in order until you find one that seems to work for your baby. If you are consistent you will surely find something that offers comfort and helps you and baby get some sleep. Also, if you never find a solution to the colic it is likely your baby will simply outgrow it around month four.

However, if your baby does not get better around four months of age you should schedule a doctor's appointment because there could be some other digestive problem present or something else that might be causing your baby pain and suffering. So, make sure you schedule regular appointments with the pediatrician to ensure your baby is happy and healthy.

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Vickie Barnes is a colic veteran of two colicky babies. Please visit her website ColicHelp.com, for more support and resources for dealing with colic.

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