When you bring your newborn home, you will have to take care of your little one’s sleep, eating schedules, crying, and much more. It’s marvelous to see your baby grow each day as they learn to move their fingers and hands and even hear your voice when you talk to them. In the initial two weeks, your baby can start crying for a prolonged period of time and you may not be able to calm your fussy baby. That’s when you should understand that these extended periods of crying are signs that your baby has colic. Here’s everything you need to know about colic in babies and what to expect.
What Is Colic?
Colic can be described as intense or prolonged crying in an infant that can go on for 3 hours a day and 3 or more times a week. It can get difficult for parents to soothe and calm a colic baby as their crying has no apparent reason. Your baby can experience episodes of colic a few weeks after birth and that can continue to 3-4 months of age. A colicky baby crying can get worse as the day progresses, especially during the night.
Your baby’s constant crying can be an indication of colic and it’s natural in all babies. An important thing to be mindful of is understanding your baby’s signs and symptoms. In case your little one suffers from fever or blood stools, you should consult your pediatrician immediately.
What Are The Symptoms Of Colic In Babies?
As mentioned earlier, if your baby cries for 3 or more hours a day and 3 times or more in a week, they are likely to have colic. The following signs and symptoms will help you understand whether your baby has colic:
- Extreme fussiness
- Loud screaming and crying for hours
- Clenching of the fists
- Arching the back
- Pulling the legs towards the tummy
- Swollen belly
What Can Cause Colic In Babies?
Although the above signs and symptoms can help you identify whether your baby has colic, the cause of colic in babies is not known. Your baby can experience colic in the first few months after birth and there can be multiple factors that contribute to your baby’s prolonged crying.
The following are some of the causes for colic in babies:
The imbalance of healthy bacteria in your baby’s digestive system can be one of the reasons for colic in your baby. In such cases, the digestive tract of your baby can have more gas-producing bacteria. This happens because your little one’s digestive system hasn’t developed completely in the first few months after birth.
Food Allergies Or Milk Intolerances
Breastfed or formula-fed babies can also be insensitive to several substances that are present in breastmilk or formula milk. The kind of food that the mother consumes can also cause her baby to get allergic reactions to certain foods. Such food allergies or milk intolerances can cause your baby to have colic episodes.
Smoking And Drug Taking During Pregnancy
If the mother consumes drugs or smokes during pregnancy, it can cause developmental problems for the baby. Apart from low birth weight, defects of mouth and lip, the baby can be at risk of having colic. That’s why it’s important that mothers avoid any kind of drugs, alcohol, and smoking during pregnancy.
Stress Or Tension In The Family
Any kind of stress or tension in the family can be one of the factors that cause your baby to have colic. When parents themselves are going through a lot of stress and anxiety, there are chances that they may not be in a condition to understand their baby’s cues. So, the baby’s sleeping and feeding schedules can be affected to a great extent causing them to have colic.
How Can You Help A Colicky Baby?
When your baby has colic, it’s important that you stay calm and patient to help soothe your baby until the colic passes. Do keep in mind that calming a colicky baby can be tough. That’s why you as parents need to pay attention to your baby’s cues to help your baby.
Here are some things you as parents can do to help your colicky baby:
Hold Your Baby
One of the best things that you as parents can do to calm your colicky baby is to hold them close to you. When you hold your baby in your arms, they feel warm and secure. This even helps to reduce their fussiness and crying. Don’t forget to hold your baby upright, especially when you’re feeding your little one.
Talk To Your Baby
When your baby cries, that is their way of communicating their feelings and needs. So, to help your baby feel at ease, you can talk to your baby. You can sing to your baby or play some soothing music to calm them.
Burp Your Baby After Meals
One of the most common reasons for colicky babies is gas in their tummies. That’s why it’s important that you burp your baby after meals. To help your gassy baby, you can gently pat their back or massage their tummies after meals.
When Should You Consult A Pediatrician?
One of the significant differences between normal crying and colic is that a baby tends to scream loudly when they have colic. It’s natural for babies to have colic, but you need to consult your pediatrician in case your baby has the following symptoms along with colic:
- Fever with a temperature of 100.4˚F or higher
- Bloody stools
- Loss of appetite
- Lack of sleep
Raising a newborn can get difficult at times, especially when you’re trying to soothe a colicky baby in the initial months after birth. It’s important that you as parents don’t forget to take care of yourselves while taking care of your little one. You can take a break to relax or sleep and ask your family member to watch over your baby for some time. There are several other responsibilities that you have to take care of as a parent. One of the most important ones is your newborn baby’s vaccination. Check out the ImmunifyMe app that helps you keep digitized records of your child’s vaccination.
FAQs On Colic In Babies
How Do Babies Act When They Have Colic?
When babies have colic, they cry for a prolonged period of time that can go on for 3 hours or more and at least 3 times a week. They tend to scream and cry really loud to express their fussiness.
How Do I Know If My Baby’s Got Colic?
If you notice your baby crying for several hours a day for no apparent reason, you should understand that they have colic. Do keep in mind that colicky babies tend to cry really loudly and this increases as the day progress, especially during the night.
How Do I Relieve My Baby’s Colic Fast?
One of the best things parents can do to relieve their colicky baby is to hold them near to them. This helps them feel warm and secure. Otherwise, you can talk to your baby and respond to them to make them feel at ease. In some cases, even gas in your baby’s tummy can cause them colic, so make sure you burp your baby after meals.
Do Colic Babies Fart A Lot?
Colic babies can fart a lot if they have gas in their stomachs. This can be because of excessive feeding, inflammation in their stomach, allergy to certain foods or milk intolerance, etc.