The first few weeks or even months of being a new parent is not easy. It is a learning experience, as you come across so many new terminologies and issues that you have never heard or experienced. The only way a newborn can communicate is by crying. And, sometimes it can be frustrating to the parents as well if they are not able to figure out what the issue is. After a certain time, parents can easily figure out if the baby’s cry demands sleep, food, or a diaper change. But if the baby cries and non of these are needed, and if the baby is resisting every effort you are making to soothe the baby, he or she might have colic issues.
What is Colic?
Like I said earlier, colic is when a baby cries for over 3 hours without any reason like hunger, sleep, or diaper change. According to WebMD: “Colic when an infant who isn’t sick or hungry cries for more than 3 hours a day, more than 3 days a week, for more than 3 weeks.”
The cause of this is still a mystery, and the exact reason is still uncertain. But some of the reasons can include growing digestive system, developing nervous system, even fear, frustration or anxiety.
Since there is no certain cause that has been ruled out for colic, there isn’t a certain cure either. Your baby’s pediatrician might suggest some ways to calm down the baby. Colic is not something that will last for years. With time it will get better and by the time baby is around 4 months old.
Calming a baby with colic issues
Following are some of the ways that might be helpful in calming a colic baby:
Burp the baby
Make sure you burp the baby and burp them correctly. If the baby is being bottle-fed, it is important to burp the baby after every ounce or so. This will get some gas out of the baby and they will also feel relieved.
Gently massage baby’s tummy
Use a baby lotion or baby oil to gently massage the baby’s tummy. This will apply some pressure in the baby’s tummy leading to not only soothing the baby but also passing some gas, which can relieve the baby.
Cut down on dairy products
Dairy products can also cause gas. So if you are breastfeeding or pumping, try to cut down on dairy products or completely eliminate them from your diet for some time. You can monitor your baby during this time, which can help rule out if this is true in your case.
Try gas drops
Colicky babies are gassier than other babies. So, sometimes giving gas drops can help a colicky baby. Infant gas drops are easily available over the counter. But, it is better to consult your baby’s pediatrician once before giving them gas drops. Also, make sure you ask them about the recommended quantity.
If your baby is formula-fed and colicky, it is better to give your baby formula which had been made for sensitive tummies. This can be helpful for your bevy’s upset tummy. You can also consult your doctor regarding switching the formula.
Check your diet
If you are breastfeeding or pumping, watch out your diet. The food you are eating gets transmitted to the baby. Certain gassy foods can cause more gas to the baby and the baby can get fussier. Some foods which can cause more gas are cauliflower, broccoli, cabbage, etc.
Offer a pacifier
The main reason a pacifier is used is to soothe a baby. So, if your baby is colicky, offer them a pacifier. It can calm down a fussy baby. If your baby is not interested in taking the pacifier, don’t force them.
Swaddle the baby
The baby will calm down when wrapped up. So, you can swaddle a colicky baby to calm them down. Also, babies like to be wrapped up, so this technique might be helpful.
Place baby in a swing
Motion can provide relief and comfort to the baby for at least some time. So, you can place your baby in the swing for some time. The baby should not be placed in the swing for hours.
Do your magic
Parents are the ones who know their baby the best. You know how to soothe you baby. So, you can use the technique that you usually use to soothe your baby. Sometimes your presence or simply your touch can be enough for your baby to calm down.
Every baby is different. One technique might work for some babies while it might not work at all for others. Also, there might be many other techniques used by other parents to soothe their colicky baby. So, try to use these techniques and decide which ones best suit your baby.
With hundreds of things going on in your new life and adjusting to your new role as a parent, the colic issue can be quite frustrating. All I want to say is calm down and remember that this is just temporary.
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