In this post we are going to answer the question of ‘what is colic’ and discuss some possible treatments. Colic is a well-known and prevalent condition that affects up to 25% of babies aged between 2 weeks and 4 months. It is generally defined as episodes of crying for more than 3 hours a day for more than 3 days a week for more than 3 weeks in an otherwise healthy baby aged between 2 weeks and 4 months (according to Wikipedia).
When looking at what is colic, it can be helpful to understand the signs of colic to know whether this is what your baby has.
WHAT IS COLIC? – 7 MAIN SIGNS OF COLIC
- Crying for extended period of time (3 hours or more) in late afternoon/ early evening for no obvious reason.
- Cry can be high pitched in tone and baby seems unsettled.
- Baby has their legs pulled up to their stomach.
- Baby has a red-face from crying.
- Baby holds their fists in a clenched position.
- Baby has a wrinkled brow.
- Baby does not respond to attempts to soothe and cries continuously.
WHAT IS COLIC? – VIDEO SUMMARY
Although all babies will cry, as it is their primary means of communication, those babies suffering from colic will be distinguishable by the length of time they spend crying. Any new parent dealing with a colicky baby can find the seemingly endless crying very distressing, especially when there is no guaranteed treatment. It is always recommended to seek advice from your GP in the first instance to fully understand what is colic and then to find out if your baby has it.
Most GP’s will not advocate any medical treatment for colic, reminding parents that it usually resolves by itself within 4 months. For a new parent with a distressed baby, this advice will not provide any comfort. However, there are a range of things to try and relieve colic. Some will work and others may not so it will involve a bit of trial and error.
WHAT IS COLIC? –10 WAYS TO TREAT IT:
1. Cuddle your baby – many young babies need the safety and security of being held to try and make sense of their big new world.
2. Don’t overstimulate baby – either with too much noise, light, television etc or by picking them up and putting down too often when they are crying.
3. Ensure that baby is sat upright when being fed. This avoids him swallowing too much air, which can lead to trapped wind.
4. Burp baby after every feed.- hold them upright and leaning slightly forward whilst you rub and pat their back vigorously.
5. Movement – either walk with baby in his pram or take him for a drive in the car. Babies also respond well to being rocked to sleep or carried next to Mum (or Dad) in a baby sling.
6. Bicycling legs – lie baby on their back and raise their legs up towards their tummy. Gently move their legs in a forward and back motion, as if they are riding a bicycle. This is thought to help with digestion and relieve any trapped wind.
7. Simeticone drops – this medication is normally sold under the name of Infacol. It is given orally by dropper before baby’s feed & works by joining the small air bubbles in the gut together to make it easier for baby to burp. It is recommended to spend around a week giving the baby this medication, if it appears to work then continue use and if it doesn’t then discontinue use and try something else.
8. Colic Calm – What is colic calm? It is a homeopathic herbal remedy and is widely considered to be one of the very best home remedies for colic. When looking up what is colic or advice on treatment, you are likely to come across this product. It is completely safe and contains all natural ingredients. One of the key elements is vegetable charcoal. This works by travelling through the gut and adsorbing any toxins or excess gas, thus relieving stomach pain. It has some excellent feedback from desperate parents saying that it calmed their baby instantly. It can also be used to treat the symptoms of acid reflux and tummy pain associated with teething. It is made in the US but available to buy online and shipped worldwide.
9. Lactase drops – These are usually sold under the name of Colief. The idea is that they contain an enzyme (lactase), which breaks down a sugar called lactose in milk. Again it is recommended to try this for a week, before deciding which treatment is the most effective for your baby.
10. Changing type of formula – For some babies, the colic is caused by intolerance to cows milk. There are alternative formulas, which are specially formulated to combat colic and other digestive problems. It is only recommended to change formula on the advice of a doctor or midwife.
I do hope that this post on what is colic has been helpful and informative. Please feel free to like and share.