Is baby colic disturbing you and wondering what you can do to help the baby settle? Many parents, especially the new ones, usually find it both confusing and stressful to keep their babies calm. Read on to understand the baby colic problem and how to manage it simply at home.
Baby Colic Definition:
Colic refers to children with prolonged periods of excessive crying. This is experienced in six weeks to six months old babies. The crying may extend for three hours, three days in a week or even more. It starts in late evenings and may last late in the nights when the baby finally drifts off to sleep.
Babies are wired to communicate their needs by crying. However, colic is not the normal crying to have their needs met. Colicky babies are usually well fed and nursed without any form of discomfort.
The actual cause of colic is still a mystery. However, some research suggests that colic is caused by stomach upsets. This is a condition of intestinal cramping that occurs when a lot of gas is trapped in the stomach.
Here are the top five ways of dealing with colic children:
1. Check on the Baby’s Diet:
What you feed on as a mother is what the baby feeds on when breastfeeding. Babies can be allergic to some foods and may end up causing a baby colic. Avoid foods that are believed to cause a lot of gas since the baby will suffer the same. Beans, eggs, wheat products, and cabbage are a few examples. A baby’s digestive system will not be able to handle such foods.
Some mothers choose not to breastfeed their babies for various reasons. They may range from medical reasons to personal ones. They end up looking for alternative means of feeding the baby. Some may opt to give cow milk or formula milk to the baby.
Milk from the cow is one culprit of colic babies. Avoiding such options can help reduce colic. In the event you cannot breastfeed your baby, you can express the milk so that the baby can feed on it.
2. Help the Baby to Burp:
Another method of dealing with colic is by ensuring that the baby burps after every feeding. It helps in getting rid of any gas that is trapped as the baby swallows food. It facilitates comfortability in the baby’s stomach.
In order to help the baby belch (or burp), hold them upright and pat their back slowly until air escapes through their mouth. Do this as often as you feed them. There are different positions you can use to help the child burp. You can sit in an upright position, hold the baby up so that they lie against your chest, with their chin on your shoulder, then pat the back repeatedly to help them burp.
You can also make the baby sit on your laps in an upright position, support their chest with one arm and use the other harm to pat the back. Do it gently until they belch.
3. Change the Holding Positions:
Holding the baby in one position for a long period of time may also lead to discomforts. If the baby has colic, consider carrying them in more comfortable positions. Try to change their positions to help them get relieved.
Make the baby lay on their back, engage their legs in some motion as if riding a bicycle. This helps expel excess gas hence reduce colic. While at it, you may also massage the tip of the foot gently with your finger. This creates comfort.
Massage the baby’s belly softly using your fingers in circular motions. The effect is always soothing since the baby gets to expel excess gas and calms down. Be sure to do it in a subtle way to avoid hurting the baby.
You can also make the baby lie on their belly, support the belly with your lap or arm and massage the baby’s back to help them calm down.
4. Swaddling the Colicky Baby Properly:
One of the reasons why a baby may cry excessively is the change in environment. Infants find the environment quite different from the womb where they have lived for their past life. Creating such for them may make them less fussy.
You can do this by wrapping the baby in a warm, soft and cozy shawl. Wrap the baby from the neck down to the legs. Make sure you do not make it tight.
Ensure that the baby can move the legs and arms comfortably and that they do not sweat. The baby feels secure in such an environment. As you swaddle the baby, keep them engaged by swinging them back and forth in your arms or using a stroller. Such active moments keep the baby’s mind occupied and may reduce crying.
5. Increase the Movements and a Little More Noise:
It is strange to note that babies love a busy environment. The environment in the womb is usually accompanied by a shushing sound. Research shows that creating some minimum noise around a baby calms them. Turn on the fan, make some sound for the baby or put some soft music to keep them engaged.
You can also choose to move around with the baby, just make sure you are not in one position for long. Fix their car seat and drive around when the baby starts crying. They will most likely stop crying after a short time.
Conclusion on Baby Colic Issues:
The little babies are lovely. A problem sets in when colic starts. It is worthy to note that baby colic is not a rare experience. The experience, however, can be depressing to both parents. Sometimes you may need help when dealing with colicky babies. Your partner can help. Get a relative, a friend, or a nanny to help with the baby so that you take rest. You do not have to feel bad for yourself.
Colic babies can easily frustrate parents especially the mother leading to postpartum depression. It can also make new parents make countless visits to the doctor. The actual cause of colic is still unknown. It is, therefore, not necessary to administer any treatment except in severe cases.
It is important to know is that colic is common to most babies if not all. You should not panic. All you need is learn what soothes the baby and work with it.