Colic is one of the common problems of parents rearing their babies. It is very common for babies and it becomes a burden seeing them become irritable, fussy and cry out loud for no apparent reason. Managing colic starts with identifying the presence of which since other conditions can have similar symptoms. Identifying colic specifically leads to more effective treatment options as the care will be directed towards the actual problem. If you suspect that your baby has colic, the following symptoms can help you to specifically determine the presence of which:
- Crying vigorously for prolonged periods
The most common symptom of colic is crying for long periods, despite attempts to calm the baby. In fact, 100% of parents report that their babies cry vigorously for no apparent reason.
- Crying starts at the same time of the day
Babies with colic also cry at the same time of the day or night. This results from the usual feeding patterns leading to colic at the same time of the day.
- Presence of abdominal distention
Colic also occurs along with a hard, distended stomach because of the build-up of gas in the gastrointestinal tract.
- Symptoms start after feeding
Colic symptoms such as crying also happen after feeding and this symptom is reported by as much as 70% of parents having babies with colic. Studies reveal that colic may be due to feeding practices contributing to gas build-up and subsequently abdominal distention and discomfort after mealtimes.
- Disrupted sleep patterns
Another symptom of colic is disrupted sleep because of symptoms that begin during sleep time.
- Symptoms or crying stops after passing gas or bowel movement
Babies usually become comfortable once they pass gas or defecated for the reason that gas buildup in the stomach and intestines is already released relieving abdominal distention and pain.
Aside from these, babies with colic also tend to arch their backs when crying signifying intense irritability. If you are a parent and these symptoms occur in your infant, you would want a fast or prompt treatment to stop the discomfort. There are various treatment modalities that can be employed; however, make sure to consult your pediatrician before giving medicines or herbal remedies to your baby.
Homeopathic remedies are available for the management of colic. These are generally safe and do not produce side-effects. An example of a homeopathic remedy is colic gripe water that can be given to infants to relieve abdominal distention and gas formation. Eucalyptus oil and tea tree oil can also be used externally as a counterirritant. You can apply a small amount on the abdomen of the baby to provide immediate pain relief. However, make sure that babies are not allergic to these oils.
To address colic at its root cause, the feeding patterns of babies need to be changed. More hypoallergenic milk formulas should be used to ensure that babies do not experience digestive problems that can lead to colic. Breastfeeding should also be promoted since bottle feeding increases the likelihood that babies will swallow air from their feeding bottles. Besides, breastfeeding is the best feeding practice for children less than 2 years old.
Colic can be a disappointing and helpless situation both for parents and their babies; however, there are remedies that can be employed to help the precious little ones. Consult your pediatrician for more effective and safe colic treatments.