Get premium membership and access questions with answers, video lessons as well as revision papers.

Facts about baby colic


Date Posted: 2/11/2017 2:22:04 AM

Posted By: lydiak  Membership Level: Silver  Total Points: 813

Mothers experience immense happiness when they receive their bundles of joy after an exhausting period of pregnancy for nine months. It’s a moment of relief when they finally give birth; a moment to behold and they can’t hide their joy when they hold their little ones in their arms. However, having a baby is a huge responsibility and requires 24/7 care which is very exhausting for mothers and this is worsened by colicky issues which occur in most cases with little ones.

So, ’What is Colic ‘ it’s a severe, often fluctuating pain in the abdomen caused by intestinal gas or obstruction in the intestines and suffered especially by babies. When a baby cries uncontrollably and this mostly happens in the wee hours of the night and/or in the afternoon, or early evenings. This often happens for more than three hours in a day for three days in a week extending close to a month. A baby can cry non-stop which is very frustrating for the mother and the care givers. Crying is the mode of communication for the little ones but if it persists despite endless responsive efforts by mothers and care givers, it can really be exhausting. In most cases, you will notice a baby clenching their fists, drawing their knees up to their tummy, or arching their back while crying. A mother first responds with feeding the baby to see if the baby is hungry, checking if the baby is feeling cold or is too warm and sweaty in which case you can add or remove some clothes, checking the diaper if the baby is wet you change it, cuddling and soothing to help sleep or checking for any signs of illness by checking for signs like fever etcetera. If all this hit a hard rock, then

you are almost sure you are dealing with colicky issues.

Some experts argue that this happens when a baby starts getting over stimulated senses of sound and sight. Babies when days old don’t respond much to sound and sight, but with time they are able to. This is new to them and thus triggers colic.

Another school of thought think it has to be their adapting digestive system .Digesting food is a bit of a challenge for the baby’s immature digestive system. This new activity they say can trigger colic. Experts urge mothers to watch how well your baby latch. Baby latching should be at ease and there shouldn’t be any sound whatsoever emanating from the activity. Therefore, if you notice that the baby is producing certain sounds like whistling while latching, try to adjust their position of the mouth and ensure they cover the entire dark area called areola to avoid the baby from swallowing air. Air passage while a baby is breastfeeding can cause the baby to lock up excessive gas in their bellies thus causing discomfort and subsequently colic.

Some experts believe that colic is caused by mothers feeding on gaseous food. Babies depend entirely on mothers’ milk during the first six months of their life. The food that a mother eats is what transforms to the milk the baby sucks. Some foods have high levels of Gas which can transfer to the baby through the mothers’ milk. Foods like red beans, black beans etcetera have a lot of gas and can result to this. There are ways in which one can cook them by for example soaking them for a few hours or overnight to get rid of the gas. This can reduce occurrence of colicky issues.

Another cause is infant acid reflux. According to research, infant gastro esophageal reflux disease can be a cause of colic. The baby often spits milk, experiences poor eating episodes and also is easily irritable. This is however outgrown in most cases by the time baby’s hit one year old and some in younger months than that.

Some of the ways to prevent bouts of colic include:

Burp the baby after every feed: A baby sucks continuously and needs to burp after being fed. This is done by leaning her chest against your shoulder for sometimes until they burp. Another way is to lie them facing down on your laps. When the burping occurs it reduces gas locked in the stomach which sometimes cause discomfort and trigger colic.

Avoid gaseous food: Mothers should watch what they consume as it translates to what the baby sucks. Foods with excessive gas should be avoided whenever possible so as not to irritate the baby’s still immature digestive system. For baby’s on formula milk, one can try to switch formulas and see if that will make a difference.

Avoid ever exposure to too much over stimulating areas like those with too much noise especially during the afternoon and early evenings. Some respond to less noise and others presence of it.
Cuddle and respond to baby without showing your frustrations. Some experts say that baby’s can be able to tell when the mother or the care giver is irritable and respond with even more wails. Work towards better results by keeping calm and showing general concern.

Massage the baby’s tummy and give a warm birth. Some experts advise mothers to try and massage the baby’s stomach so as to release any trapped air or gas in the stomach which could be a cause of discomfort and thus result to colic.

Medicine and gripe water: There are some medicines that help free stomach upsets, colic and gas issues in babies. These include medicines such as Bonissan. However, always consult your pediatrician before giving any medicine to your little ones as some may cause more harm than good to your baby when used.
Play a soothing music, sing lullabies, go out and get some fresh air if it’s not too cold or too hot, get help from another person so as to exchange arms and also to get a break and some relief and all this time observe how the baby reacts.

Consult a Doctor: If the problem of colic persists despite all the efforts to help, seek help, consult a pediatrician because there could another underlying cause of the problem.

Next: Facts about Lactation
Previous: How to avoid pregnancy complications:The do's and don'ts

More Resources
Quick Links
Kenyaplex On Facebook

Kenyaplex Learning