Becoming a parent is an amazing experience, but it brings about a whole new set of challenges. One of the issues you may face with your newborn is colic. The goal of Colic Awareness Month is to ensure parents are familiar with the condition and all it entails.
Colic is used to describe bouts of crying and distress in otherwise healthy, well-fed infants. When a baby is experiencing colic, there is not much you can do to stop the crying. The term applies if a baby cries more than 3 hours a day, more than 3 days a week, for more than 3 weeks. Colic usually stops when a baby is around 3 to 4 months old, but can last until the age of six months.
According to the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), about one-fifth of all babies develop colic, usually between the second and fourth weeks. Signs of colic include inconsolable crying or screaming that are predictable episodes, crying that happens for no apparent reason, extending or pulling up hands, and passing gas. The episodes usually happen at night. It is unclear what causes colic.
If your baby is displaying these symptoms, it may be a good idea to speak to your pediatrician, just to make sure there are no medical concerns. Otherwise, the AAP suggests trying the following, which may ease fussiness:
- Eliminate certain food if you’re breastfeeding, including milk products and caffeine. If you’re using formula, talk to your pediatrician about possibly changing the kind you’re using.
- Don’t overfeed your baby. Periods should be two to two and a half hours in between.
- Walk your baby in a carrier. The motion could soothe.
- Rock your baby or place your child where he/she can hear noises, such as a clothes dryer, vacuum, or fan.
- Lay your baby tummy-down across your knees and gently rub his/her back.