Baby

Baby colic: causes and solutions

If your baby cries for a long time with a red face, clenched fists, and hard belly, he or she probably suffers from colic.

Causes

Colic is the reflection of a baby’s sensitivity as he or she adapts to his or her new environment. Depending on their level of tolerance, children will react to colic in different ways and in different intensities.

Colic can occur as early as 2 to 3 weeks of life and carry on until your baby reaches their third or fourth month. The most critical period occurs around their 6th week. Breastfed babies can suffer from colic like any other baby can.

Every problem has a solution!

1- Powerful milk ejection reflex
If he or she receives too much milk, drinks too fast or chokes and starts crying, they will swallow air bubbles which will eventually greatly disturb them.

Solutions

  • Offer only one breast per feeding. Do not wait until your child is hungry to breastfeed.
  • Lie down to breastfeed.
  • Express a little bit of milk before breastfeeding your baby.
  • If your baby is still choking, stop feeding him or her and make them burp before resuming.

2- Baby’s reaction to specific foods eaten by his mom (breastfed babies)

Solutions

  • Avoid eating dairy products for a while and observe your baby. If he or she is getting better, they could be intolerant or allergic to cow’s milk protein. If you notice no difference, return to a normal diet.
  • Avoid products that contain caffeine such as coffee, tea, soft drinks, cola and chocolate and avoid tobacco products for a while. Observe the condition of your baby and if you see improvement, it may well be that these substances are the cause of your child's colic. If you notice no difference, return to a normal diet.

3- Iron supplements taken by the mother

Solution

Ask your doctor or pharmacist to reduce, if possible, the dose you take. You can also consult a nutritionist who will advise you on foods rich in iron.

4- Commercial infant formulas can be poorly tolerated

Solution

If your baby doesn't tolerate instant formulas and you've tried many different ones, the best solution is to consult a health professional who is specialized in the matter. Changing the type of milk too often can cause disturbances in your child’s diet.

Extenso tips

Among the possible causes, try to notice the one that corresponds the most to what could disturb your child. Try one thing at a time to find what causes your child’s colic.

References 1. Doré, N., Le Hénaff, D., From Tiny Tot to Toddler, Institut national de santé publique, 2005, pp.294-308.

Extenso

Extenso is the nutrition web reference from the University of Montreal’s NutriUM Centre universitaire de nutrition préventive. Extenso’s mission is to raise public awareness on better nutritional health through an objective interpretation and effective circulation of current scientific knowledge about nutrition.

Comments