New parents face many uphill battles in doing things right, but nothing fights back more than baby colic. It is a condition that shows up without much warning, but it usually gets interpreted by friends and family as being “cranky” or “fussy” or “just being needy.” This is an interesting “condition” that affects infants as young as two weeks old, so it would be the case that an infant that young could be any of those things.
Regardless, the one thing most people associate with colic is how upset the baby is and that he/she is constantly crying, so usual first question asked by new parents is: How do I help it go away?
The exact cause of colic is unknown. It presents itself and then by the time the infant is about three to four months old, it usually goes away. This makes treating baby colic incredibly difficult for medical professionals. One thing that is understood is that there is no “cure-all” available.
As mysterious a condition as it can be, experts do say you can do very simple things at home to make life easier for your baby:
1. Produce calming sounds for the baby can help. Humming, turning on a fan, or even using “white noise” can be easy ways to ease stress for a colicky baby.
2. Sometimes a colicky baby can be sensitive to light, so having a darker environment can be helpful and less stressful.
3. Motion can be prominent part of helping a colicky baby feel better. New parents can place their baby in their car seat and take a car ride. The snug feel of the seat coupled with the light movement of the car can calm your baby. Add to it the relative, but not complete quiet, of a car cabin, and you now have a great “white noise” source.
4. Some experts believe that keeping your baby from swallowing too much air during feedings can be helpful in treating colic. Sit your baby up while using specially designed bottles can help. Using bottle nipples with smaller holes can also be helpful.
5. The important thing to keep in mind is making sure that you are doing all you can to keep your home a peaceful place. Nearly all of the tips listed above indicate “easing stress” and being “less stressful.” Because there is so much up in the air when it comes to symptoms and treatment of colic, stress can often have a major negative effect on your home life. All a baby can do is show its displeasure, and having Mom or Dad at their wit’s end isn’t helpful.
New parents may wonder where breastfeeding falls in terms of colic. Things become a little more confusing. Some experts believe it might be possible that colic can be brought on by irritations in baby’s diet due to something a breastfeeding mother may be consuming. Still, other experts believe there is no such connection. Research is still being done, and as noted before, colic is still somewhat mysterious. As always, consult your physician for a more comprehensive plan of action for your child.