One of the main challenges that new parents tend to face with their babies is colic. It is a combination of baffling behaviours that is mostly seen in a newborn baby. The exact cause of colic is unknown, but there are many ways to treat it.
Some common signs of colic in babies:
To understand whether your baby is colicky, you need to look for the following general symptoms.
- Baby cries at the same time every day (usually late afternoon or early evening).
- There is no apparent reason behind the crying.
- Baby pulls up his/her legs, clenches his/her fists and generally moves the legs and arms a lot more.
- He/she often closes his/her eyes or opens them very wide, furrows his/her brow and even holds his/her breath briefly.
- Bowel activity may increase and they may pass gas or spit up.
- Eating and sleeping are disrupted by the crying.
- Baby frantically seeks a nipple only to reject it once sucking has begun. Or he/she may doze off for a few moments only to wake up screaming.
These general symptoms may vary, but if any of these signs are seen in your baby’s behaviour, it may be because your baby is colicky.
- Colic starts at the age of around 2 weeks if your infant is full-term (or later if premature).
- It goes away on its own by the time babies reach the age of 3 or 4 months.
- Your baby's sex and birth order doesn’t affect it.
Simple Remedies to treat colic
Once you have identified the reason behind your baby’s colicky behaviour, you should know how to treat it. For new parents, it must be frustrating, as you try ways to soothe your baby, but it barely ever works. You have to make sure that you don’t try all the tricks at once, as that is going make the situation worse.
Here are some ways in which you could help your baby and yourself.
1. Respond to your baby’s cries
Crying is your baby's only way of communicating his/her needs. Studies show that responding promptly to your baby's cries will reduce crying in the long run.
2. Calm surroundings
Trying to make the environment peaceful might help your baby relax. Dim the lights and speak or sing in soothing tones. Keep some noise, but minimise all other distractions.
3. Apply pressure to baby’s tummy
Some colicky babies find relief when a little pressure is applied to their abdomen. The power of touch can be very soothing for both mother and child.
4. Play soothing music
A crying baby might respond well to soft classical music. Some infants enjoy the sounds of nature or the whir of a fan. Making sounds like "shh" or "ahh" might also help. Experiment with a few things and find out what your baby likes.
5. Cuddle your baby
Cuddling your baby helps soothe your baby to a great extent. It gives your baby a sense of security and closeness.