Being a new parent is overwhelming, to say the least. If you’re like most new moms, you have no idea what to expect when it comes to your newborn baby. Even if your baby seems healthy and happy, there may be something lurking beneath the surface that can cause stress and frustration. It's called colic, and it affects up to 20% of babies in their first few months of life. Fortunately, there are ways for new moms to recognize colic before it becomes a problem and steps that can be taken to help their babies feel comfortable again.
What Is Colic?
Colic is defined as excessive crying in babies under four months old that cannot be attributed to any other medical condition or illness. Crying is an important way for babies to communicate with us; however, if a baby cries for more than three hours a day for at least three days out of the week for three weeks or more, then they may be suffering from colic. Colicky babies will often clench their fists, draw their legs up into their chest area, arch their back, and seem inconsolable.
What Causes Colic?
The exact cause of colic is unknown; however, some experts believe that it could be caused by an immature digestive system or nervous system, gas buildup in the stomach due to air swallowing while feeding or crying too hard, overstimulation from bright lights or loud noises, food allergies or sensitivities such as dairy products or formula ingredients. It is important to note that all babies cry but prolonged bouts of crying are not normal and should be addressed by your pediatrician immediately.
What Can I Do About Colic?
If you think your baby might have colic, there are several things you can do to try and reduce the symptoms and make them more comfortable:
Feeding - Make sure you burp your baby after each feeding session so as not to allow any gas build-up in their stomachs. You should also eliminate any potential food allergens from your diet if breastfeeding as these could be causing discomfort in your little one.
Swaddling - Swaddling is a great way to help comfort a fussy baby as it creates a feeling of security like being in the womb; this will help reduce any overstimulation they may feel from bright lights or loud noises which could trigger bouts of crying.
Rocking - Gently rocking your baby back and forth can also help soothe them during times of discomfort; this helps remind them of being rocked inside mom’s womb which will create feelings of safety and security thus calming them down quickly!
White Noise - Playing white noise such as an ocean wave sound machine at low volume can help muffle outside sounds while providing gentle background noise which helps block out loud noises that may trigger bouts of crying.
Colic can be difficult for both parents and caregivers alike; however, understanding how best to deal with it is key! Taking steps such as eliminating potential allergens from mom’s diet if she’s breastfeeding or using white noise machines can really make a difference for fussy babies who suffer from colic!
It's important not just for parents but also caretakers who may look after the baby on occasion (such as family members) understand how best they can help soothe the baby when they become uncomfortable due colic symptoms! As always don't hesitate to reach out to your pediatrician immediately if you have any concerns about possible medical issues your newborn might have! Communication with experienced professionals is key! Good luck mama! You got this!