The first few months after the birth of your baby can be a trying time both for you and your baby, especially in the case of first time mothers. You baby is highly susceptible to illness and other problems. One such problem is colic. However, dealing with this can be easy and hassle free for you both if you keep in mind a few things.
The key is to know what to look out for and what step to take next. Colic refers to the problem of uncontrollable bouts of crying in an otherwise healthy baby. It is, however, a common issue, seen in 1 out of 5 babies, and therefore you don’t need to worry too much, though it can be quite unnerving as a parent.
Step 1 – Identifying the problem:
If you feel like your baby is acting out of the ordinary with regard to crying, that is something to look out for. Colic crying can be differentiated from normal crying based on its intensity, duration, frequency, and pitch. Moving away from the technical terms, this basically means that while normal crying is sporadic due to discomforts faced by your baby due to reasons related to hunger, fatigue, and wetness (diaper wetting), colic crying tends to be periodic and long lasting. Once you satisfy the wants or rid the baby of discomfort, they tend to stop crying, but a colic baby cries for hours on end for no apparent reason. Colic crying is also higher in pitch and ear piercing in nature. This crying is diagnosed as colic if your baby cries for more than three hours continuously, or for three or more days in a week. It also tends to happen at the same time of day, generally in the evening. Additionally, your baby may resist feeding and may exhibit a lack of response to usually comforting gestures.
Step 2 – Finding a solution:
It’s important for every parent to remember that colic is not a disease and will not have lasting effects on your child and his or her health. There is no specific solution for resolving the problem that is colic as the exact reasons for it are still a mystery. However, while it doesn’t have any physical repercussions, it could cause mental distress and therefore tension between you and your baby. As a healthy relationship and attachment is a key to the healthy development of your child, it becomes important to find a way to cope with colic so as to eliminate negative effects. Although, at times, you’ll probably want to pull your hair out, remember that the storm does pass.
One way to ease your mind would be to consult your pediatrician. Even though it’s not a disease, your baby’s doctor can check for any additional problems such as gastrointestinal issues. These can be cured by regulating feeding and any formula you may be using; check for food allergies and other disagreeable consumables such as excessive dairy products.
The most effective way of dealing with your colicky baby is communication. No, I don’t mean talking to your baby as you stroll through a park; that’s a sure way to get you a one way ticket into an insanity ward. No. Communication is necessary in the form of observation and feedback. Observe how your baby reacts to different stimuli. Identify which stimuli agitate him/her, which ones your baby is indifferent to, and which ones have a calming and soothing effect on him or her. DO NOT try every commonplace method of calming down your child – such as rocking or bouncing him/her, as that may further agitate the baby. It’s important to create a calm, relaxing environment which would induce your baby to sleep. This is guaranteed to bring you both some peace of mind.
Most babies get over colic by the time they are 5 months old, peaking at 6 weeks. Follow this simple guide and you and your baby will be in top shape. Babies are attuned to our emotions. This means that your anxiety is affecting your baby as well as you. So remember to be calm and help your baby help you to help it.