When pregnant you probably hear stories from parents about babies crying all night long. A big reason why most infants cry consistently is colic. This word colic simply refers to a muscle spasm (tightening of the muscles that cause discomfort and pain). Colic is therefore an uncomfortable and sometimes painful condition that happens as a result of muscle spasm happening in the baby’s tummy. Babies suffering from this condition typically cry more than other babies and have a more difficult time settling quietly and sleeping.
Is common a common condition?
Absolutely, according to reliable research 1 out 5 babies under the age of six months suffers from colic. Unlike common misconception, it does not favour a particular gender. It happens in both baby girls and baby boys.
When should I expect Colic to affect my baby?
When it comes to age this condition is most likely to affect your bundle of joy between 2 to 4 weeks after birth and typically lessens as the baby matures. Keep in mind that it s not a indication of bad health, it happens to babies who are otherwise healthy and thriving. In the beginning when the condition is still series, some babies can barely sleep through the night and are irritable throughout the day. At around 3 to 4 months symptoms decline significantly to 1 to 2 hours of crying daily. In some babies colic stops as early as 2 months while in others it may go on until they are 6 months.
Time of day
Colic predominately affects babies during the night and in the late afternoons. Experts still have no idea why it happens a certain time in the day. According to paediatricians, if your baby displays symptoms you suspect to be colic at a different time of the day; it is probably another issue such as gastro-oesophageal reflux illness.
Signs and Symptoms of Colic
- Crying frequently for no apparent reason
One of the key symptoms that your baby is suffering from colic is persistent and excessive crying especially during the late afternoons and night time. This will be typically accompanies by irritability and fussiness. The problem is that a new baby cries a lot anyway making it difficult for a parent to ascertain whether it is a baby being a bay or an indication of colic.
colic simply refers to a muscle spasm (tightening of the muscles that cause discomfort and pain
A reliable system that will help you figure out whether your bundle of joy is suffering from colic is the 3x3x3 rule also known as the Wessel rule of Threes. According to this rule, a baby does not suffer from colic if they don’t:
Cry for more than three hours daily
Cry for more than 3 hours for 3 days every week
Cry for three or more weeks in their first six months
- Predictable crying pattern
It is extremely important to take into consideration a babies crying pattern when trying to ascertain whether they are afflicted with this condition A baby with this condition will typically experience regular periods of restlessness and crying typically in the late afternoons and night-time. Colicky babies usually cry at the same time everyday while others cry typically the entire day but gets worse during the evenings.
Baby crying sounds
Since this condition cause pain and discomfort to a baby, the crying sounds are easily distinguishable. When a baby has colic, the crying sound is a typically a high pitched cream that is piercing. Additionally, they are virtually inconsolable.
A baby with this condition will typically experience regular periods of restlessness and crying typically in the late afternoons and night-time
An infant suffering from colic while take on easy to identify postures such as:
The baby’s legs will be pulled away from their stomach
Clenched fists which are a reaction to the pain
Typically frown (furrow their brow)
The face is flushed because of the pain and discomfort
In some cases a by tends to push the legs out straight and attempt to arch their back
When suffering from colic babies typically pass a lot of as during the intense crying period. You will also notice that their tummies become distended or a bit enlarged because of too much gas.
Peaceful ad calm the rest of the time
Colicky babies are peaceful and calm the rest of the time when not going through the pain and discomfort that comes with this condition. This is because after the strain, their bodies need rest, calm and peace to rejuvenate and strengthen. If you are not sure about the symptoms you can always talk to a doctor.
When to visit to the doctor?
It is advisable to seek a doctor’s help if you are anxious with the cringe or are unable to cope with it. This is especially recommended for new mothers who need constant reassurance that their bundle of joy is perfectly fine. Also seek medical attention immediately if the crying spells have other accompanying symptoms such as:
The baby is unable to feed well
Weakness or inability to move
If you feel like there is nothing you can do to calm them down
If you think your baby is injured or in too much pain
Vomiting and a swollen scrotum
Colicky babies are peaceful and calm the rest of the time when not going through the pain and discomfort that comes with this condition