What is colic ?


Colic is a prolonged and intense crying in a healthy baby. In 1954, Dr. Morris Wessel, a well-known New Haven pediatrician, defined an infant with colic as "one who, otherwise healthy and well-fed, had paroxysms of irritability, fussing, or crying without an obvious cause lasting for a total of three hours a day and occurring on more than three days in any one week for a period of three weeks." A small modification has been made to the original definition. The duration of colic has been changed to ‘one or more weeks.

Concerns for parents

Colic results in high-pitch crying and is a cause of concern because the baby cannot be consoled in any way and the crying goes on non-stop. Moreover, the crying starts late in the evening when the parents are tired. Colicky infants need to be constantly held, cuddled, rocked and fed. In spite of all types of consoling your baby will keep on crying. Moreover, experts say that colicky babies sleep two hours lesser when compared to cheerful babies. So, taking care of a colicky baby needs a lot of patience and determination.

Colic crying is frequent when the baby is about 2 weeks old and the severity and frequency decrease when the baby is about 3 to 4 months of age. Colic crying is common in babies but you should remember that not all fussy crying is colic crying.

Are you a parent of a colicky infant? If so, I am sure you are thoroughly exhausted and you will like to know more about colic, its causes, and the remedies. Here we go.

Causes of colic

The causes for colic are not known. However, experts suggest the following causes for colic crying.

  • Food allergy
  • Gas
  • Stress
  • Imbalance of healthy bacteria in the digestive tract
  • Overfeeding
  • Underfeeding
  • An underdeveloped digestive system
  • Sensitivity to external factors like light and sound
  • Belly pain    

Symptoms of colic

Does my baby have colic? Look for one or more of the following symptoms.

  • Intense crying
  • Clenching of fists
  • Interrupted sleep with episodes of crying
  • Passing of gas
  • Drawn-up knees and arched back while crying
  • Family atmosphere with anger, anxiety, and stress

Remedies that can work

How to stop my baby’s crying when he has colic? There is no clear cause for colic. So, you can’t expect to have a clear treatment. However, you can follow a few simple things to avoid colic and reduce the severity.

  • Make sure your baby is not crying because of hunger but avoid overfeeding your little one.
  • Is your baby breastfed? If so, you should be careful about your diet. Avoid eating foods that produce gas and that have the tendency to cause irritation. The foods that you should avoid include broccoli, beans, cabbage, and caffeine. Are you thinking that the more you drink milk the more will be the milk secretion? If Yes, you are wrong. It is a myth and not a fact. Consuming too many milk products can be one of the reasons for colic in your baby. Moreover, if you are taking any medication, consult with your doctor to ensure the medications will not cause any side effects to your little one.
  • If you are feeling stressed, then take a break. There is nothing wrong in it. Your stress and anxiety will affect your baby.
  • Avoid giving juices. Babies actually don’t need them. Nevertheless, if you are giving juice make sure it is diluted.
  • Give your baby a warm bath and a gentle massage.
  • You can try white noise. Rhythmic white noise may make a colicky baby relax. Sleep Helper ™ kit from Nasobuddy has a baby shusher that produces sounds mimicking the sounds of the womb. The good news is that the kit also contains a colic swaddle belt and a lavender baby balm that soothes colic-related pain and helps in relieving the gas. The swaddling effect gives a womb-like feeling to put your baby to sleep instantly.

One factor that may contribute to colic is an imbalance of the helpful bacteria in an infant's digestive tract. Some studies have shown a reduction in crying times when babies with colic were treated with a bacterium called Lactobacillus reuteri. The results have been somewhat mixed. Most experts agree there's not enough evidence at this time to support the use of probiotics to treat colic.

Colic can be really exhausting for parents but you can be more relaxed if you buy a Sleep Helper ™ kit from Nasobuddy.

Related articles

     1) Colic, Gas and the baby’s sleep

     2) Does my baby have colic?