When you welcome a newborn baby into your family, it is important to recognize the change that will come into your life as a result. You won’t have nearly as much time to yourself; instead, you’ll be spending many of your waking hours tending to your baby’s needs. You’ll have to set aside a considerable amount of money to spend on baby food, clothing, medical care, and a bevy of other unforeseeable needs. As long as you prepare yourself ahead of time for the inevitable and challenging changes that will be ushered in with the birth of your child, you’ll be better
prepared to handle them and the adjustment won’t be nearly as difficult. Don’t ignore the small things, either; changing diapers and responding to sleepless nights of crying are all part of the job. Colic in babies is a particular challenge for young parents because they often grow unnerved by it and are unsure of how to respond to it. One of the best solution to control this problem is using anti colic bottles. But not all bottles are good, you need to buy the best anti colic bottles in UK.
It is not uncommon for parents of infants to respond to colic with a sense of panic and worry. They see that their baby cries uncontrollably for extended periods of time and everything that they turn to for relief proves ineffective. The general parameters for a colic diagnosis is for an infant between the ages of three weeks and four months to cry fitfully during at least three nights out of a week, and for at least a few hours on each occasion. Such bouts will understandably have an exhausting effect on the parents and the baby itself. However, it is important to remember that colic is not in any way an indicator of any serious or mild medical condition. Though doctors used to think that colic pointed to cases of digestive irritation, recent tests have indicated that it is more likely caused by an immature nervous system that corrects itself over time.
While colic in babies is by no means a serious health concern, it does present a lot of undue stress for the parents. Anyone who has had a colicky baby can attest to the many sleepless nights and the many hours spent trying – to no avail – to appease their child. Your best defense will be to educate yourself on the tendencies of colicky babies and the remedies that you might try to stifle their crying fits.
What is Colic in Babies
It’s estimated that up to 40% of all infants have colic. Colic is defined as crying for more than 3 hours a day, for more than 3 days a week, for at least 3 weeks. The reality is, all babies cry: It’s the best (and only) way for them to communicate their needs at this tender age. It’s really just a catch-all term for problem crying in otherwise healthy babies — the problem being, there’s no solution to it besides the passing of time. It usually starts between the 3rd and 6th week after birth and ends by the time the baby is 3 to 4 months old.
- But doctors may diagnose a baby as having colic before that point.
- And as parents, we’re biologically programmed to respond so those needs get met.
- And it’s common, occurring in one in five infants.
- If the baby is still crying excessively after that, another health problem may be to blame.
- Colic usually doesn’t point to any health problems and eventually goes away on its own.
But in babies with colic, the crying starts suddenly for no apparent reason … and has no apparent cure. On average, typical babies cry and fuss for almost three hours a day – and some for a lot longer than this. Colic tends to begin when a baby is a few weeks old. Some babies may also benefit from changes to their diet, such as adding drops to breast or bottle milk that aid digestion and release any bubbles of trapped air in your baby’s digestive system. Your colicky baby may also show signs of a gassy tummy. The crying reaches a peak at about six weeks of age, and then gradually lessens as babies get older. It normally stops by four months of age, or by six months at the latest. Gas doesn’t cause colic, but he might be extra gassy because a baby with colic often swallows air when he cries. Most of this crying and fussing seems to happen in the late afternoon and evening, although this can change from day to day. Looking after a colicky baby can be very frustrating and distressing, but the problem will eventually pass and is usually nothing to worry about.
You may notice that your colicky baby clenches his fingers, arches his back, becomes flushed, and alternately extends or pulls up his legs and passes gas as he cries. Younger babies cry because of their temperament, sleeping cycles and feeding patterns. He may sometimes feel better after passing gas or having a bowel movement. As babies get older, their crying is more about communicating with you or about something in their environment.
Colic Causes and Treatment
What causes colic — and why some babies experience it and others don’t — remains a mystery. A baby who has colic often cries about the same time every day, usually in the late afternoon or evening. Some people say that infants have colic if they cry more than some specified amount of crying. Dietary approach is based on the avoidance of cow’s milk proteins in breast-feeding mothers and bottle-fed infants. Some doctors view it as a natural developmental stage that babies can go through as they adjust to all the different sensations and experiences that come with life outside the womb.
- Colic episodes may last from a few minutes to three hours or more on any given day.
- By far the most common such definition is called Wessel’s “rule of threes.” This rule states that if your infant cries more than three hours a day for more than three days a week for more than three weeks, than your infant has “colic.” Although it is widely used, it is an unfortunate rule because (1) it does not tell you anything about your infant other than that he or she cries a lot (and you knew that already); (2) it does not explain anything and (3) it implies that something is wrong or abnormal with your baby, with you, or with the way you are caring for your baby.
- Currently pharmacologicalagentsover the counter or byprescription are notrecommendedbecause of reported side effects.
- Karp calls this “the fourth trimester.”) Others attribute it to an imbalance of bacteria in the gut.
- Your baby may have a bowel movement or pass gas near the end of the colic episode.
- The classic presentation of a ureteric colic is acute,colicky flank pain radiating to the groin.
- There is little evidence supporting the use of complementary and alternative treatments (herbal supplements, manipulative approach and acupuncture) or behavioral modification interventions.
Yet another theory is that colic stems from an imbalance of the brain chemicals melatonin and serotonin. Gastrointestinal disorders have been impli-cated in colic because of the infant’s leg position and grimacing during a crying spell. The painis often described as the worst pain the patient hasever had experienced. There is mixed evidence on how many will pass the stone spontaneously and can therefore be managed conservatively. A quick look in any parenting magazine will show a number of suggested treatments for colic. Excessive crying or increased gas production from colon function can result in intralu-minal gas formation and aerophagia. Ureteric colic occurs as aresult of obstruction of the urinary tract by calculiat the narrowest anatomical areas of the ureter:the pelviureteric junction (PUJ), near the pelvicbrim at the crossing of the iliac vessels and thenarrowest area, the vesicoureteric junction (VUJ).Location of pain may be related but is not anaccurate prediction of the position of the stonewithin the urinary tract. This in partdepends on stone size and position.
However weneed information on the strength of the evidence for these treatments. This mechanism does not appear to be the cause of colic, however, because radiographic images taken during a crying episode have shown a normal gastric outline.8 There is conflicting evidence showing that colic is caused by allergy to human and cow’s milk pro-tein. As the stone approachesthe vesicoureteric junction, symptoms of bladderirritability may occur. One recent trial of over 600 people showed that 86% passed the stone spontaneously althoughonly half did so within 1w, almost 90% had passed it within 1m. Of the three systematic reviewsavailable I have taken most of the information from the Garrison paper, with some additional detail fromWade and Kilgour.
It also has been speculated that abdominal cramping and colic may be a result of hyper-peristalsis. Over 40% of stones bigger than 6mm had not passedspontaneously within 2m (at which point they are very unlikelyto pass).The review suggests that most units now manageconservatively those with a stone <10mm, provided there is no sepsis or obstruction or other complications. The other review by Lucassen has been criticised by Garrison for its design, for notincluding all possible colic treatments, and for including trials that failed to meet Garrison’s inclusion criteria. The latter theory is supported by evidence that the use of anticholinergic agents decreases colic symptoms. Itoo consider the Lucassen paper to have methodological problems that affect its reliability – several lettersxwere published in response criticising the article.
Gut hormones such as motilin also may play a causative role in colic. However in a letter to Pediatrics, Lucassenxi defends hispaper and criticises Garrison in return, which Garrison refutes.