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A Guide to Colic (karma: 4)
By AymeePremium member
On Tue Apr 25, 2006 06:12 AM
Made sticky by Theresa (28613) on 2006-05-02 21:58:20
Bumped by hylndlas (107168) on 2006-10-08 22:24:42

What's Colic? :C

It's 6:00 p.m. and the wailing begins. You're holding your two-week-old baby – the model of a thriving infant, apparently without a care in the world. Suddenly and unexpectedly he stiffens his limbs, arches his back, clenches his fists, draws up his flailing limbs against a bloated, tense abdomen, and lets out ear-piercing shrieks. If he could speak, he would yell, "I hurt and I'm mad!" As the intensity of baby's cries mount, your frustration escalates, and you feel helpless in determining the cause of his distress and alleviating your baby's pain. He's inconsolable, and you're both in tears. You hurt together.

You try to cuddle, but baby stiffens in protest. You try to nurse, but baby arches and pulls away. You rock, sing, and ride. The soothing techniques that worked yesterday aren't working today. And inside your head the familiar refrain, "What's wrong with my baby? What's wrong with me?" plays over and over again.

By the time you go through all of Aunt Nancy's herbal teas, the doctor- advised feeding changes, and every conceivable holding pattern, as mysteriously as the fight began, around three to four months of age, it stops, and life goes on. Your baby seems none the worse for wear, and you close one of the most difficult chapters in life with your new baby. That's colic.

Colic actually affects 800,000 infants each year! Please remeber this when you feel that you are all alone with this. Your Midwife or Health visitor can help you and don't be afraid to ask for help if you need it. Even if that is just calling a friend or family member to look after your baby for 1/2 an hour while you have a bath!

What Causes Colic?

The cause of colic isn't known. In the past it was thought to be related to the digestive system. However, although painful abdominal gas may contribute to colic, there is little evidence to prove that this is a cause.

Another possible cause of colic is a combination of the baby's temperament and an immature nervous system. The baby's temperament may make him or her highly sensitive to the environment, and he or she may react to normal stimulation or changes to the environment by crying. Because the baby's nervous system is immature, he or she is unable to regulate crying once it starts.

Some tips for helping your baby;

*Put her over your shoulder or in another favourite position and walk up and down the room

*Cradle her face down over your arm so that all her weight is on her stomach

*Lay her face down across your knees and pat her back

*If you have a rocking chair, try sitting in it and rocking backwards and forwards

*If you have a baby carrier, this may help if your arms begin to get tired.

*Talk soothingly to your baby - she is scared and in pain and this can help to calm her down

*Try any other calming tricks that she likes such as dim lights or soothing music

*Gently push her knees into her stomach to help relieve the pain

*Sucking can help, so try your baby with a dummy. This worked for me, although not for long periods of time.

*Sometimes, being next to a household appliance, such as the washing machine or dryer can help. As the noise is constant, it can help to soothe your baby. I have it on good authority that as a baby, my Mum would find me fast asleep on the floor, bottom in the air and face on the floor, right in front of the dryer!

Gripe Water, Infacol and any other colic medicine may help, but always consult your pharmacist!

Be assured that colic doesn't cause any lasting harm to your baby. Although it can seem as if your baby is going through unimaginable suffering, he will maintain his usual diet, keep filling his nappy and appear happy during the rest of the day. While you may be in despair and will probably remember the experience acutely, your baby will not remember anything about it, and colic doesn't cause any problems later on in life.

Finally remember that it will pass! In a few months, that screaming bundle will be toddling about and getting into more mischief than you can possibly imagine!

12 Replies to A Guide to Colic

re: A Guide to Colic
By NadiaLadidamember has saluted, click to view salute photosPremium member
On Tue Apr 25, 2006 06:56 AM
Great Post!

I'd like to add that breastfeeding mothers should examine their diets if baby is colicky. Gas producing and spicy foods such as cabbage, broccoli, garlic, chiles, onions, etc. can be passed through the milk and aggitate the baby's digestive system.

Stress in the household can also contribute to colic - just think about how your stomache ties up in knots when you are stressed and then imagine the effects of stress on a digestive system which is not fully developed. Yeeks! Nurse or bottlefeed in a soothing comfortable environment.

A tea of aromatic seeds such as Dill or Fennel has been known to be helpful. You can drink the tea and pass the benefits through breastmilk, or pour one cup of boiling water over a scant teaspoon of the seeds and steep for no more than 15 minutes. Strain thoroughly, and feed with a bottle. Catnip tea is also reputed to work - which makes sense as it's a member of the mint family, and mint works wonders with tummy problems.

And yes - it's strange, but like Aymee said, sitting on a washing machine can do wonders! I don't know why, but it works. Sometimes a ride in the car will calm a colicky baby, but considering the gas prices, I'm not sure how practical a cure that is!
re: A Guide to Colic
By Newly_Wed_Dancer
On Tue Apr 25, 2006 05:00 PM
Great Job! It takes a lot to post a great post, and this is one!
re: A Guide to Colic
By hyehokismember has saluted, click to view salute photos
On Wed Apr 26, 2006 10:46 PM
Oh Colic, my Piper had it bad!!! I sometimes cried with her. Actually we found that the swing was the best thing for that and gave us a break from holding her with frazzled nerves. I honestly dont know how we survied almost 2 months without the swing, but what a miracle. Also Little Tummy's or Baby Mylicon work well too. I also drank a special tea for nursing mothers that calmed her down as well, It was made by Yogi teas or something like that!!! I dont wish colic on any baby!!
re: A Guide to Colic
By pharmadancermember has saluted, click to view salute photosPremium member
On Wed May 03, 2006 04:38 AM
I've been hearing for twenty years how my sister was the queen of all colicky babies. She cried twenty four hours a day, seven days a week, for ten months. Ten months. And I was a year old at the time.

I believe to this day that is the reason why my mother is a little crazy. ;)

Anyhoo - she tried everything. Her doctor told her "all babies cry". Finally my paternal grandmother told her that prune juice would work. Shortly after my mom tried it, my sis stopped crying. So maybe it worked. Or maybe she was tired of crying for ten friggin months.
re: A Guide to Colic
By Celebrianmember has saluted, click to view salute photosPremium member
On Sat Jun 10, 2006 10:10 PM
Yep, my son had a stint in the colic department. Drove me nuts.

What worked? Walking him while he was swaddled, rubbing his back while he lay across my knees and gripe water. Also, something about not letting his tummy ever get completely empty. So instead of feeding him one big feeding at a time, I would spread it out over two hours. A nip off the boob here, a nip there... Seemed to work.
By star21
On Sat Jun 24, 2006 11:33 PM
At most natural food stores there are things called collic tablets (made by the same people as teething tablets. They disolve in the babies mouth and are all natural- I promise they work.
Check it out with your pediatrician first...
re: A Guide to Colic
By snoopyjotmember has saluted, click to view salute photos
On Thu Jul 06, 2006 05:55 PM
great post!

i am an unusual case though, i still get colic pains! ive had them since birth and they never went away!

doctor thinks i just have a faulty gut, where the messages from my brain get a bit confused en route resulting in spasms (and rather diabolical pain!). was starved of oxygen for many hours in the womb and then didnt breathe for over 4 mins at birth. so, as im lucky to even be alive, i happily deal with my pain! :D

i think its amusing to tell friends who have new babies that i still have bad colic pains at night and watch the horror that dawns across their faces! i pity my parents! they must have had NO sleep when i was a baby! lol!

fi xx
re: A Guide to Colic
By TinyDmember has saluted, click to view salute photosPremium member
On Mon Sep 10, 2007 06:31 PM
my sister had awful colic which conincided with the fact that she is allergic to a lot of things - so that made her a very difficult bubby. Anyway, my mum said the way that she found best to cure her was to push her in her pram over the bumpiest, roughest surface she could find. If my mum couldnt do it she would call my oupa and he would take gabs out till she stopped crying.
re: A Guide to Colic
By Live4Dancemember has saluted, click to view salute photosPremium member
On Wed Oct 17, 2007 01:31 PM
I had a lot of colic when I was a went away and now, 28 years later it started back with my pregnancy.
I get horrible colics at night, Colace seems to help a little bit. My husband soothes me by giving me massage in my lower back, exactly like my mother was doing when I was a baby.
I hope my baby won't have that!
re: A Guide to Colic
By cutiepie15
On Sun Oct 28, 2007 12:01 AM
I love this post! I wrote it all down so that when I finially have this baby and it comes to the part of his life where he has colic I will know what to do. I've read about colic and i've been dreading it! But i've already started preparing stocking up on medicines and even the type of bottles I bought! I got those new playtex that are suppose to help prevent colic. Of course im going to try to breastfeed but I have thyroid problems and my milk may be no good. But im keeping my fingers crossed it will be.
re: A Guide to Colic
By Dream_chaserPremium member
On Wed Dec 05, 2007 05:13 PM
We had success in swaddling. They eventually outgrow it but swaddling snuggly really did the trick for us.

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