Babies affected by colic are described as healthy, well-fed infants who cry for no apparent or obvious reason for more than three hours a day, more than three days a week, for more than three weeks. Despite this knowledge, colic is somewhat of a medical mystery. For babies with colic, the malady usually begins when the child is approximately 2 weeks old, and it can last for 3–4 months.
Unfortunately, there are no identifiable causes for colic and no such thing as a cure. However, there is also no evident long-terms effects.
Understanding colic, what it is and what it is not, is important when it comes to treatment. Colic is exceptionally easy to confuse with other underlying health issues. Similar symptoms could be indicators of injury, reflux, or infection. Consult your pediatrician to ensure the symptoms are not indicative of something more serious. Your doctor can also provide advice on how to best treat colic for your baby.
Pediatricians have provided the following tips for managing colic:
- Relax your baby. Often the same things that relax adults will relax a baby; try a massage or gentle back rub, dim lighting, and soft, warm blankets.
- Use sound to help soothe your baby. A gentle, repetitive background noise or humming sound is a wonderful way to help your baby relax.
- Use motion. Subtle rocking or gentle swaying can help ease your infant.
- Try not to overwhelm your baby’s senses. Things like sharp, bright lights or loud, abrupt noises can arouse irritation and are anything but relaxing.
- Unless you have consulted with your personal doctor or pediatrician, avoid home or herbal remedies. Most aren’t proven to be effective and aren’t regulated by the FDA. Using medicine that is not FDA or clinically approved always poses a potential health risk to your little one.
- Keep your baby awake during feedings. This helps you gauge your baby’s hunger levels so you can discern whether or not it is a component in managing colic. This is important because your baby is more likely to call for food when they are actually hungry, and not when they are tired.
- Avoid excessive napping. Sleep needs depend on age, so keep that in mind, but too much day sleeping can prevent night sleeping. Sporadic sleep patterns make it more difficult to develop a routine and can cause irritation.
Colic is a frustrating ordeal for infants and parents. Stay positive, and ask for help from friends and family until it passes. Try implementing some of these tips and see what works best for you.
If you have additional concerns or questions, please contact Pediatric Associates of Franklin.