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Help, My Baby Won’t Stop Crying! Is My Baby Colicky?

Help, My Baby Won’t Stop Crying! Is My Baby Colicky?

28 April 2014 / Category: News
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baby colicky Parents commonly wonder if their infant’s crying can be blamed on colic, and if so what can they do to help? Babies that are 5 months or younger and cry for 3+ hours nonstop, for seemingly no reason, at least 3 times or more each week, might be colicky. Colic typically starts in children that are at least 2-3 weeks old. Colic isn’t chronic, and it will not predetermine the future health of your child, and one day, we promise, all of the crying will come to an end. We provide answers to the question, “Is my baby Colicky?” to help you better understand colic and what you can do to help soothe your baby.

 What Make My Baby Colicky?

Gas is a common symptom of colic and by releasing a bowel movement your baby can start to feel better, but don’t be tricked into thinking colic is caused by gas. While colic impacts up to 40% of all babies, it’s not fully understood why some babies are colicky and others are not. No studies reveal any conclusive differences in the chance of colic between babies that are bottle-fed, breast-fed, male, female, or born first, second or third. Colic doesn’t seem to discriminate, although different researchers presently carry different opinions on what is really to blame. Some believe that colic is a trait common in nervous or sensitive babies, while others believe insufficient healthy bacteria in your child’s intestines cause colic. This ideology has led some to try giving their colicky baby a probiotic. Important to note, a recent study examined by the Washington Post states that out of a sample of 167 infants, half given a placebo and half given a probiotic, almost none experienced colic-related changes taking the probiotic, and instead just slept around 47 minutes less each day than the infant subjects given the placebo probiotic (Learn More).

 How To Help Soothe Your Colicky Baby

 The only way a baby can communicate is through crying, and so when they are hungry, thirsty, tired, or uncomfortable, they are going to cry to express this, all in hopes of you coming along to fix it. When your baby continues to cry after you have checked off all possible reasons, it might be related to colic. Some parents can identify a difference between a colicky cry and a typical cry; colicky crying is often described as louder or shriller. The bad part about all of this crying is that it doesn’t help your baby one bit, instead it only increases the amount of air your baby ingests, ultimately causing their stomach to become gassier. So how can you help?

Here are 6 ways to soothe and relieve your colicky baby:

1. Distract your baby by turning on music or playing something visually stimulating.

2. Lay your baby over your lap so that their belly is against your legs, and then rub their back.

3. Try burping throughout your child’s feedings to see if this helps prevent future colicky episodes.

4. Car rides can be soothing to some children, so too can constant low noises—think, the clothes dryer or a fan.

5. A pacifier can work wonders and can be extremely calming to babies. It also helps keep their mind busy.

6. Create a calming bedtime ritual. Jean Tworney, a clinical social worker and part-time professor at Alpert Medical School, has found throughout her research that babies who enjoy a calming bedtime routine are less likely to display colicky tendencies (More Information). Try slowly transitioning your child from playtime to sleep time by rocking them in a chair, turning down the lights, and/or playing soothing music. 

Don’t Forget To Take Care Of You

If you are not feeling 100%, you can’t parent to the best of your ability. That’s why it’s so important to take care of yourself, so that you can give your baby the best life possible. Babies that cry a lot deprive parents of sleep, and without enough sleep you are at a greater risk for post-partum depression and a number of other issues no parent deserves to suffer through.  Make sure you are getting healthy levels of shuteye by asking friends and family to step in and help, it’s worth it to preserve your health, mentally and physically.

When To See Your Local Urgent Medical Care Center For Colic

It’s important to see a doctor if your baby is crying nonstop and you’re unsure why, it might be colic but it might also be something else. Symptoms such as frequent diarrhea, fever or vomiting, are not consistent with colic and may require urgent medical attention. Colicky babies are healthy in every sense; they eat well, enjoy human contact, and regularly pass normal stools, they just cry a lot and this crying often includes gas (See here) .

Don’t just assume your child is colicky, having your baby checked by a doctor can identify if something unrelated is actually to blame.

If you think your baby might be colicky, Urgent Medical Center can provide answers, helping you and your baby find the relief you deserve.

About the author

Jonathan Kudrowitz Mr. Kudrowitz is a graduate of Nova Southeastern University’s Physician Assistant Program (MMS) and also completed a master’s degree in biomedical science (MS) at Florida Atlantic University. Jon is certified by the National Commission on Certification of Physician Assistants and is a member in good standing of the FAPA and AAPA. He joined UMC in 2009 and shares a commitment to delivering high-quality care with the utmost compassion, respect and attention to his patients.

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