How to Deal with Colic

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Dealing with Colic

Every parent has heard of the dreaded colic. With an onset as early as three weeks into baby’s life, and lasting as long as three months, colic has been the cause of untold concern, not to mention loss of sleep. Generally speaking, a baby is said to have colic if she cries for three hours or more at a time, three or more times per week for at least three weeks in a month, if there are no other discernable causes for the crying. Doctors don’t know exactly what causes colic, though many believe it has to do with gas that babies have difficulty passing. One reason this is widely believed is that the crying often stops abruptly after the baby manages to pass gas or have a bowel movement. It is commonly believed that breast fed infants were less likely to have colic, but recent research calls this belief into question and appears to show similar rates of occurrence whether babies are bottle fed or breast fed.

Whatever the causes of colic, a few things are certain. It’s obviously distressing for the baby. And it’s obviously distressing for the baby’s parents or caregivers. While there are no surefire preventatives, miracle cures, or even medicines recommended for treating colic, there are some things you can try that may help your baby…and you.

•           Offer a pacifier. Sucking is one of the most natural ways for babies to self soothe. Even if you are breastfeeding, there is no harm in allowing your little one to use a pacifier to soothe herself.

•           Cuddle your baby. Sometimes the nearness, and even the body heat can help relieve a colicky baby. Swaddling can also be used, with or without cuddling.

•           Use motion. This can be as simple as rocking your baby, putting your baby in a baby swing, or taking baby for a car ride.

•           Massage your baby. This can bring relief for the pain baby is feeling. Especially massage the tummy, as this can help baby relieve gas.

•           Lay your baby on his back and gently move his feet in a “bicycle peddling” motion. This is another way to help baby release gas and may help relieve pain.

•           Give baby a warm bath. This soothes some babies.

•           Sing to baby or play soft music on a CD or MP3 player. This may help soothe baby.

Regardless of which methods you try to soothe your baby, make sure to give yourself time to relax. It won’t hurt your baby if you let someone else care for her for a few minutes, or even leave her in her crib so you can step outside and catch your breath. In taking care of baby, make sure you also take care of yourself.

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This entry was posted in About Your Baby.


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