Whats is Colic?

In the world of infant health, colic is known to make otherwise healthy babies scream and cry uncontrollably for extended periods of time, colic has no known cause.

Before you start to panic, here's how to tell the difference between crying and colic:

  • Crying can usually happen at any time of day while Colic usually occurs at the same time of day, often more in the evening.
  • Crying continues though out the day, and adds up to about two hours. Colic lasts for extended periods, generally more than three hours.
  • Crying happens at any age while Colic begins at about 2 to 3 weeks, and disappears by 4 months for 90 percent of colicky kids
  • Crying may be from hunger, fatigue, boredom, wet diapers; stops after these issues are addressed. Colic is not soothed by attending to these needs


How to soothe a colicky baby?

Luckily, when it comes to comforting a colicky baby, you have to try multiple things and then settle at what really works for your baby as all the infants are different. Here are a few tips - 

Rocking chair - Because gas is believed to be one of colic's chief culprits, gentle rocking can help babies not only calm down but pass gas. If you don't have a rocking chair, try an infant swing if your baby is at least 3 weeks old.

Vacuum - White noise can distract baby from his discomfort. Instead of buying a sound machine, turn on the vacuum cleaner, dishwasher or washing machine.

Warm towel - When placed on the abdomen, a warm towel can assist gas movement and reduce heartburn. You could even try giving you infant a warm bath, that’ll help with colic as well as distract the baby.

Drive in the car - A ride in the car can do wonders for colicky babies. But since petrol isn't getting any cheaper. For a more fuel-efficient alternative, try an infant seat with low-intensity vibration.

Gripe Water - Invented by English pharmacist William Woodward in the 1840s, it has been used ever since to settle babies troubled by colic, wind and tummy pains. The original Woodward’s Gripe Water contained around 3.6 per cent alcohol, as well as bicarbonate and dill. In the Nineties the formula was revamped to get rid of the alcohol. It is still a favoured remedy - even though there remains no scientific evidence to prove that it actually works.

Colic drops - There are a lot of colic drops that are available in the market that can help colicky baby. Speak to your baby’s practitioner for help on this.


Some Everyday ideas to help reduce colic.


Anti-Colic Bottles - If your baby is bottlefed or combination (both breast and bottle) fed, it might be worth trying anti-colic bottles. These specially-designed bottles have internal vent which is supposed to eliminate the vacuum and air bubbles in a milk feed, thus helping to reduce burping, wind and digestive discomfort. There are lots of brands who now make anti-colic bottles and you should be able to get one from the market pretty easily.


Baby Massage - Try and include a massage in your baby bath routine, not only will it be good for your baby and make the bond between both of you stronger, it’ll also help in colic. During a bout of colic when your baby is really unsettled, try giving him or her a gentle tummy massage, moving your hands in a clockwise direction (following the direction of your baby’s intestines) which encourages the trapped wind to move the right way. You can also move your baby’s legs towards his or her tummy to ease things. Holding your baby’s knees together, gently bend the legs at the knees and push them towards the tummy. Hold the legs in this position for a count of six. 


Winding - Regular burping during and after a feed will help prevent the wind becoming trapped in the bowels causing discomfort.There are lots of different winding techniques to experiment with. Sitting your baby upright or stretching them out on your shoulder are good positions to help bring up a burp. If your baby usually settles well and drifts off to sleep contentedly, only to wake half an hour later screaming with pain, it is worth trying to wind them again just in case there is a bit more wind to come out.

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