Infant Colic – Analyzing the Condition for Better Treatment
Newborn babies who continuously cry longer than three hours every day for more than three weeks may have colic. This condition can negatively affect both parents and babies, causing fatigue and anxiety on both age groups.
PHOTO BY FLICKR.COM/TAMMRA MCCAULEY
Infant Colic - A General Overview
Since researchers have been unable to pinpoint the exact cause of infant colic
, several theories of its roots have been enumerated. Some experts attribute chronic crying is due to the “missing fourth trimester” theory, which states that babies become hyperirritable because they are still undergoing development that other mammals commonly go through while they are still in the womb. One of the simpler explanations for infant colic is hypersensitivity - the babies are adjusting to an environment that is very different from the womb, where they can feel jiggly moments and constant sounds. Babies with colic might also be suffering from digestive problems such as lactose intolerance, gassy intestinal tract, or acid reflux.
Signs of Colic - Important Information
Loud and continuous crying may occur after feeding in babies with colic. The young patients may manifest flushed or reddened faces, as well as prominent or swollen bellies. Flexed and stiffly straightened legs are also possible signs of colic
. The hands are often clenched and the feet are cold as a result of this condition. Colic is usually experienced by infants two to three weeks after birth and may subside between their third and fourth month. Symptoms and signs of colic may be aggravated by overfeeding, and anxiety, fear or excitement in the surrounding environment. Parents should not feed colicky babies food rich in sugar, namely undiluted juices.
Colic Treatment - Recommendations
Changes in diet may help ease baby colic. Parents can try switching baby formula to soy or predigested hypoallergenic types. Mothers who are breastfeeding should avoid caffeine, milk and selected kinds of vegetables to avoid upsetting the digestion of their babies. Colic treatment may involve sensory stimulation interventions, such as swaddling, using white noise including classical music or static radio sounds, warm baths and massages. Pediatricians may prescribe anti-reflux treatments should digestive problems be diagnosed. Some recommend anti-gas drops and topical medications, while others allow herbal teas except star anise. Parents have reported that homeopathic drops addressed their babies’ fussiness, although there is insufficient scientific proof of the efficacy of this regimen.