People tend to refer to a baby that cries all the time as colicky. When a baby is always crying or cranky, parents may see this as a challenge and perceive that their baby is colic. However before we consider and term your baby’s situation as colicky, it is better to know what the term “colic” means.
Does your baby cry for more than 3 hours a day?
Your baby is healthy, well fed, yet he or she cries for more than three hours a day, some times for more than 3 days a week and for more than 3 weeks. Yes you could term this as colic. Since colic is a bit of a mystery, you should understand that colic isn’t a disease and won’t cause your baby any long term harm. Indeed it is a tough process or period for the baby to go through and it also presents challenging moments for their parents.
Such uncontrollable crying could start around the age of 2 weeks for a full term infant and gradually dissipates when the baby is about 3 or 4 months old. Colic is not selective to its subjects, it’s not about your baby’s sex or birth order or whether you bottle or breast-feed. At the long run though, kids who had colic wouldn’t emerge different from babies who never had it.
Does your baby crying excessively mean they have colic?
It is expected that babies will cry. And 15 to 25 percent of newborns tend to cry a whole lot more than others. However when a healthy baby is crying excessively for no obvious reasons such as wetness, sickness, tiredness, hunger or a sudden change in atmospheric temperature, you could term the condition as colic. Most times pediatricians use the “rule of threes” to determine if the baby is colic or not.
- Crying bouts that start when a baby is three weeks, this could be in the latter hours of the day although it can occur at any time.
- Crying bouts that last for more than three hours a day.
- Crying bouts that last for more than three days in a week for more than three weeks in a row.
What causes colic?
What causes colic remains a mystery. There are several theories surrounding why babies have colic though. It could be an imbalance of bacteria in the gut. It could also be a natural developmental stage for some babies who are trying to adjust to life outside the womb. It could also be that colic stems from an imbalance of the brain chemicals serotonin and melatonin. Serotonin, a chemical that may be found in colicky babies, could be responsible for the intestinal muscles contracting.
How to deal with colic
Many pediatricians will suggest you use the Five S’s. The Five S’s include swaddling, swinging baby, shooshing loudly in baby’s ear, laying her on her stomach or side and allowing baby to suck on a pacifier. The truth is that your baby may either respond to these interventions or not. It is all based on a trial and error. It is best you try one intervention at a time to see if it calms him or her. At some point though, colic can get better on its own. You should know that it is possible that you may just have to wait for the fussiness to improve. This could be after 3-4months.
Your baby crying excessively can be challenging for both parents. Sometimes you may feel angry or resentful at your little one for being cranky. Many parents tend to feel guilty about their response to their baby crying all the time. However, it is human to feel this way. No one would like to be put up to the challenges of a colicky baby. Yet it is interesting to know that there is light at the end of the tunnel and with time such crankiness will pass and your baby will get back to his normal habits.
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