Colic: You Can Get Through It

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Colic has been defined differently for decades now. Wikipedia defines it as: “A condition in which an otherwise healthy baby cries or screams frequently and for extended periods without any discernible reason.” MayoClinic’s definition is: “Colic is often defined as crying more than three hours a day, three days a week for more than three weeks in an otherwise well-fed, healthy baby.” Since there has never been a known cause or reason for colic, there has never been a cure or remedy. Since colic has been found to be more common in bottle fed babies, many researchers have had the opinion there is something gastrointestinal causing colic, though to this day there has been no reason or remedy proven.

For parents dealing with colic themselves on a daily basis, its literally a mental prison. There is no escape or off button. There is no sleep. Ever. The feeling of not being able to respond to the childs needs, or provide something needed to the baby, can bring about depression, stress, exhaustion, low self-esteem as a parent and/or anxiety. Every parent wants to provide what’s best for their child. When that desire is taken from the parent, anger and helplessness sets in. Parents are not responsible for causing colic in their infants, blaming themselves does nothing to help the situation and only causes more grief. Having a baby that develops colic does not mean he/she is unhealthy.

There are some small techniques that can be used to help the situation: Try to think positive, colic almost always goes away by 3 months of age, 6 at the most. If breastfeeding, limit certain foods such as: citrus, anything spicy and caffeine. Give a warm bath and rub the baby’s stomach. Swaddle baby and go for a walk outdoors if possible. Go for a long drive and give baby a pacifier. Sometimes it becomes so overwhelming for parents, taking a break and getting away for a bit is ideal. For this approach, call a trusted family member or friend to watch baby. TRUSTED is the key work here. Parents should consider risks of shaken baby syndrome, this is a severe form of abuse caused by an inexperienced sitter who resorts to violence due to the stress of a constantly crying baby.

There are online support groups for parents of colicky babies. When you talk to other parents who are going through the same situation, it helps tremendously.

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