KidsHealth states that approximately 40 percent of all infants suffer from colic at some point. This unnerving condition can begin shortly after birth and last all the way to 4 months of age. When a baby suffers from colic, he spends the majority of time crying. This can be very emotionally draining for parents.
An official diagnosis of colic is issues after a baby cries a total of 3 hours a day at least 3 of the days of the week and for at least 3 weeks in a row. Of course, there could always be another reason that your baby is crying, so it is important that you have your baby examined by his pediatrician to eliminate other possible causes, such as acid reflux.
Symptoms of colic include crying that lasts for long periods of time, often right after a feeding, extended legs, and gas. Doctors are not sure what causes colic, but there are a few things you can do to treat it.
Discover which positions give your baby the most comfort. Most colicky babies respond to being laid across a parent’s lap and patted on the back. You could also try rocking your baby in a rocking chair or placing your baby in a swing. If you don’t have a swing, take your baby for a ride in your car. The vibrations are soothing and often promote sleep in a newborn.
Next, try minimizing the amount of air in your baby’s belly by spending more time burping her after feedings. You can also switch to a bottle that is designed to let the least amount of air through. If you are breastfeeding, it may help to avoid eating foods that cause gas as these can be passed on to the baby through your milk.
Most pharmacies now carry colic tablets that dissolve under your baby’s tongue, as well as liquid gas drops. Most of these are considered safe, however, you should always discuss the use of any medication with your pediatrician before you begin using it though.
Finally, you should reach out to family and friends and ask for some help. Getting an hour or two of help a day can really make a difference to your sanity when dealing with a baby who cries for hours at a time. There is no shame in needing help with a fussy baby. Keep in mind that your baby will eventually grow out of the colic stage.
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