Everything you Need to Know About Colic

Everyone knows that babies cry, and it’s something you expect when you have a newborn. But what happens when your baby seems to cry constantly, without ceasing, even when fed, dry, and healthy? If your baby cries for more than three hours a day, more than three days a week, for more than three weeks, seemingly for no reason, it’s probably colic.

Colic typically starts around two weeks of age. If your baby was premature, it may start a little bit later. It usually goes away on its own by about three or four months, but it can feel like it goes on forever! The baby’s sex, birth order, and breast or bottle-feeding status don’t seem to have anything to do with colic, and colic doesn’t affect kids as they grow up.  If a baby has colic, he or she may cry with no clear reason, seem to be in pain, clench fists, stiffen arms, arch the back and curl the legs.

What causes colic? There’s no clear answer, but doctors have several different theories. It could have to do with gas or the spasms of a growing digestive system, or it could be due to hormones that cause belly pain. Too much stimulation may lead to colic, especially if the baby is sensitive to light or noise. The developing nervous system could contribute to colic, or it could be an early form of childhood migraines. It may also be the result of fear, frustration, or excitement. Your little one may turn bright red and swallow so much air that the belly becomes tight and swollen. Often, colic starts at the same time every day, typically in the evening.

If you think your baby has colic, see the pediatrician to rule out other problems, including a sensitivity to formula or breast milk, acid reflux, stomach issues, or trouble with eating too much or too little. You also want to make sure that it’s not an infection, inflammation of the brain and nervous system, or an uneven heartbeat. Sometimes, what people think is colic is actually an injury to bones, muscles, or fingers, or eye trouble.

What can you do if your baby has colic? Because there’s no clear cause, there’s also no clear cure. Ask your doctor for advice, and take heart in knowing that colic is only temporary. When your baby is fussy, make sure he or she is not hungry. If you’re breastfeeding, pay attention to your diet and ask your doctor whether medications you’re taking could be contributing to the problem. You might want to avoid caffeine and chocolate so that you don’t overstimulate the baby, and steer clear of potential allergens like dairy products and nuts.

You can also try to sooth your infant by trying things like:

  • Change your baby’s position, walk around holding her, rock or massage his back.
  • Try a pacifier.
  • Swaddle the baby.
  • Hold your infant, skin to skin.
  • Try white noise or the sound of a heartbeat.
  • Go for a car ride.
  • Use a swing or vibrating seat.

While you’re trying to calm your little one, make sure you and your partner are taking care of yourselves. Colic can be overwhelming for a parent, and healthy parents are at the heart of a healthy family. At the Center for Vasectomy Reversal, we love helping people start healthy, happy families. We pride ourselves on helping men improve their fertility through uncompromising, concierge-level patient care. Under the direction of Dr. Joshua Green, our team provides state-of-the-art treatment for men who need a reversal of their vasectomy or have other fertility concerns. To learn more, contact us through our website or call 941-894-6428.