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How to treat and cope with colic in babies?
Author - Dr. Suresh Birajdar DNB, FRACP Neonatology (Australia), M.D (PEDIATRICS), MRCPCH (UK)
Consultant - Paediatrician and Neonatologist at Motherhood Hospital Kharghar, Mumbai
A newborn often cries and fusses, particularly during the first three months. But when a much older and healthy baby cries or fusses for longer, i.e. more than 3 hours a day and three days a week, one can suspect it to be colic. Colic in newborn can be recognized by noticing the patterns in its crying.
Quick Fact: Colic can affect up to 30% of babies as people often neglect or misunderstand it.
What is Colic treatment?
Colic can cause stress for new parents due to the constant crying. Colic is something which shouldn’t be overlooked and should be treated or managed.
These specific steps can be implemented to reduce the crying of a newborn as to have colic, such as:
Holding the baby: Holding your baby in different ways can also help with infantile colic. You can try holding the baby across the arms of your lap and applying a gentle massage near their ribcage region. It is possible that your baby may have gas or abdominal pain , so doing so might help them feel relief from constant pain. You can also try rocking the baby in your arms in a swing like motion.
Comforting: You can act as a comforter for the baby by trying different movements like skin-to-skin contact, swaddling or singing for the baby. You can also try giving a warm bath, massage, and pacifier.
Visiting a Paediatrician: You can also visit a paediatrician to ensure your medications are safe for the baby. Besides, if you are using baby formula, you may have to opt for a different brand without having to change feeding patterns.
Feeding: What you consume can affect your baby as well. It is better to keep a track of what you eat. Avoid foods like caffeine, as they can act as stimulants and may cause allergies as well.
What are the signs and symptoms of colic?
The common signs and symptoms of colic are:
- Crying intensively
- Crying continuously without any reason, like hunger , fever
- Extreme fussiness
- Skin flushing
- Tensed body like arched back, tense abdomen or stiffened legs and arms
What causes colic and how is colic diagnosed
There are no apparent reasons that cause colic.. However, there can be some potential factors that can result in colic, as:
- Underdeveloped digestive system
- Lack or imbalance of healthy bacteria
- Food intolerances
- Food allergies
- Infrequent Burping
- Possibility of early childhood migraine
Colic can be diagnosed by your healthcare provider such as a paediatrician by simply noticing the frequency or pattern of symptoms.. Keeping track of when your baby eats, sleeps, its bowel movements and how often they cry can help in diagnosing the problem.
Can colic be prevented or avoided?
It is best to visit a paediatrician or child specialist to rule out any underlying reason for your crying baby. Once you are sure about it, you can adopt some techniques to cope with it in your day-to-day life such as:
- Try moving or swaddling your baby
- Keep your baby close
- Wrap him for relaxation
- Allow your baby to cry for a while when nothing goes your way.
Although it might seem like a bit too much, keeping a track of your baby’s daily routine can help analyse where the colic problem is erupting from.
At Motherhood Hospitals, we have a team of experienced super specialists backed by the latest in infrastructure and facilities. We have the best Neonatal specialists in Kharghar, Mumbai. Our Neonatology Department has expert neonatologists, paediatricians, paediatric surgeons, and nurses that are trained in new-born care.
Do take an appointment with the top Neonatal hospital in Kharghar, Mumbai. Meet our doctors, who will do the necessary investigations, identify the problem, and suggest the most appropriate treatment, enabling you to lead an active life.
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