Mysterious colics

Who’s never heard of colics? We all know of a neighbour, sister, brother or friend whose child suffered from this mysterious stomach pain!

Be aware of other possible problems!

Before placing your child in the “my baby has colics” category, it is important to check if another problem is making your baby suffer. Here are some examples:

  • Is the baby crying because he is thirsty or hungry?
  • Is h having a growth spurt?
  • Does he have to fulfill a suction need?
  • Is the baby having an allergic reaction to the bovine protein (more frequent with bottlefed babies since breast milk does not contain allergens)?
  • Is the baby easily irritated? Irritability with babies can be caused by certain factors. If your baby was born through vaginal birth, he could have a stiff neck (very common with babies). In that case, it is important to consult an osteopath or chiropractor.
  • Did you smoke during pregnancy? Your baby could be crying a lot because he is going through nicotine withdrawal.
When babies are 3 days old, 3 weeks old and then 3 months old, they all go through a tense period where they need and ask for a lot more attention. During this period, breastfed babies will ask for the breast a lot more often, and bottle-fed babies will try to get your attention no matter what. This period lasts 24 to 48 hours and then everything goes back to normal.

As you can see, many elements can play on your baby’s temper. It is important not to jump to conclusions and assume that your baby has colics. Pay attention to your environment and living habits.

What’s a colic?

A baby who has colics or stomach pains is not a sick baby. Most of the time, babies who have colics are healthy babies with a lot of energy. The mystery surrounding colics is about a thousand years old! There is no specific cause to this problem and no miracle treatment. It is a temporary pain. The symptoms start appearing at the age of  2 or 3 weeks and will magically disappear by the time the baby is 4 or 6 months old. Colics are daily intense periods of crying and screaming. They happen almost at the same time everyday, either at the end of the day or at night.

Signs that a baby is suffering from colics

How do you know if your baby is having colics? Here are some signs:

  • Your baby cries intensely but for no obvious reason. His outbursts happen daily and at around the same time.
  • Your baby becomes red from screaming.
  • Your baby tenses up and squeezes his fists, has a hard abdomen and bends his legs towards his belly.
What can relieve your baby from colic pain?

Many mothers are looking for a miracle solution, but unfortunately, there is none. The best way to soothe colic pain is with your body heat, patience and comfort. Some doctors may prescribe medication to help with the colics but know that this medication does not work with all babies. You may also find pharmaceutical or natural products, but the end result is once again not guaranteed.

Here are easy-to-use tips in case of an outburst…

  • Wrap or carry your baby with you. Your body heat, the sound of your heartbeat and your smell will help the baby relax. Colics then tend to go away faster. Many types of wraps and baby carriers are available in stores.
  • Hold your baby in your arms. Cradle and sing to your child. You can’t spoil him too much!
  • Run a bath (be careful with water temperature: warm but not too hot) and take a bath with your baby, skin on skin. Make sure your baby is immersed up to his neck to avoid breezes and make him cold.
  • Massage the baby’s stomach with soft almond oil.
  • Place a hot water bottle or a Béké-Bobo on your baby’s stomach. The warmth that comes from these objects will help your baby relax. You can also wrap your baby in a comfortable blanket.
  • When it comes to feedings, you may want to try feeding your baby more often but in smaller quantities. Make your baby burp more often.
  • Vibrations soften the colics. Many types of baby seats with a vibration mode are available in stores.
  • Be careful with all the excitement! Babies who suffer from colics are usually more sensitive to light and noise during their outbursts. Make sure to dim the lights and get rid of as much noise as possible!
  • Finally, disheatened parents often go for drives or walks with the stroller. If you are up to it, these are good ways to relieve your little bundle.

It may be hard for parents to go through never ending outbursts! If this is your situation, it’s normal to feel discouraged. The baby is crying non-stop and there is nothing you can do to put an end to it. It is not your fault if your child has stomach pains. Many babies go through this situation and many other parents go through what you are going through. You are not alone! That’s why you must speak with your loved ones; don’t hesitate to ask for help and even have someone babysit your child if you need a break. Your patience and understanding are important. Don’t forget that this is a temporary pain!

In conclusion, if your baby cries non-stop, everyday at about the same time, make sure nothing in you environment or any of your living habits are upsetting him. If you haven’t identified anything and you believe that colics are the cause, arm yourself with patience and understanding, and be comforting with your baby by using your body heat to relieve his pain. Don’t go through this alone! Ask for help when you feel like you are about to burst… baby needs you!

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