Infantile colic is a condition that describes crying in a baby that lasts for more than 3 hours a day and it’s not caused by any medical condition. These babies usually cry around the same time each day for a period of three hours or more a day, three times in a week for a period of three weeks or more. Colic occurs in almost all babies in varying degrees but not all fussy babies experience colic. Most babies cry for a period of 2 or 3 hours a day but this usually spread through a 24 hour period. Colic babies on the other hand cries continues for 3 hours or more.This condition usually starts around age 2 or 3 weeks, peaks at 2 months and is usually gone by the third or fourth month. The cause of colic is unknown although over feeding to lessen cry, certain foods higher in sugar that increase gas and excessive anger or excitement in the household can worsen colic symptoms.
It is still unclear how colic occurs. Although there have been many researches it is still a mystery what actually causes colic. Some researcher believe it occurs as a result of intestinal gas, hunger or overfeeding. Others believe it may be due to intolerance to certain foods, protein in breast milk, fear, anxiety, anger and depression in a household. Colic usually occurs from late afternoon to the early evening. The good news is colic eventually goes away around age 3 – 4 months. Note that 1 out of every 5 children are colicky.
Some babies are at more risk of developing infantile colic than others. These include:
babies born to mothers who smoked during pregnancy or after delivery.
Both sexes (boy or girl) develop colic in similar numbers.
Although fussing is very common in infants, a fussy baby is not necessarily colic. Sign of infantile colic includes the following:
Crying episodes – It starts as a sudden predictable cry usually in the late afternoon or evening. This may last from a minute to 3 hours continuously. The baby usually passes gas or have a bowel movement near the end of the colic episode.
Loud inconsolable pitch – This is usually high-pitched and your baby’s face may flush red due to the intensity of the cry.
Changes in posture - Your baby’s hand may be in a fist, legs curled up and abdominal muscles may be tensed.
TEST AND DIAGNOSIS
A physical examination is usually the only test done to diagnose the problem. This is also done to rule out other problems like intestinal obstruction
. If the baby is otherwise healthy your doctor may diagnose the baby with colic. In rare cases when results are unclear lab tests and X-rays may be used to exclude other diagnosis.
A physical examination is usually the only test done to diagnose the problem. This is also done to rule out other problems like intestinal obstruction. If the baby is otherwise healthy your doctor may diagnose the baby with colic. In rare cases when results are unclear lab tests and X-rays may be used to exclude other diagnosis.
Infants who colic do not appear to have any lasting medical consequences. They usually grow out of it.
Lifestyle and home remedies include the following:
- Feed your baby if you feel the baby is hungry.
- Hold and cuddle your baby to keep them quiet. Sometime swaddling may also help.
- Offer your baby a pacifier because the sucking is a soothing activity,
- Keep you baby in motion by putting them in a swing, rocking them, walking with them or even going for a drive with them.
- Sing a soft tune to soothe your baby.
- Some babies also cry less when they hear steady loud noise. Turn a background noise up.
- A warm bath, a gently touch or rubbing your baby’s tummy may also help.