Cracking the Colic Puzzle: Decoding Symptoms and Finding Soothing Solutions

Cracking the Colic Puzzle: Decoding Symptoms and Finding Soothing Solutions

Colic has a way of making its presence known in about 20% (1 in every 5) little ones during their first months of life. It's not an easy thing to witness, let alone deal with, but it's often marked by those heart-wrenching screams and what seems like tummy discomfort.

You know, it can really be heartbreaking when your tiny bundle of joy is crying up a storm and you're left wondering, "Why?" Trying to figure out what's bothering them can be like solving a mystery. Is it hunger, a soggy diaper, or maybe just plain old tiredness?

A major colic clue tends to be the crying marathon. If your baby is serenading you with their cries for over 3 hours a day, on at least 3 days a week, for a whole week straight, colic might be the cause. And oddly enough, these cries typically show up after meals or as the sun starts to set, rather than in the bright morning hours.

I know it can be a bit like riding an emotional roller coaster when you're trying to soothe your little one through colic. It's not always a smooth ride, and that's perfectly okay. Patience becomes your partner during these times. Soothing and calming might not always go as planned, but remember, you're right there beside your baby, offering them love and comfort every step of the way.

Here are some signs to watch for if colic is causing your baby some discomfort:

    • Crying until their face turns redder than a tomato.
    • Clenching their little fists tightly.
    • Pulling knees up to their tummy
    • Arching back
    • Throwing their head back and then curling up.

Now, if any of these symptoms are putting on a show, it's a good idea to pay a visit to your pediatrician or general practitioner. They'll be able to figure out whether colic is the culprit or if other things like food allergies or sensitivities might be in the mix. These signs could also point to things like discomfort from temperature, hunger, illness, injury, or even acid reflux.

Knowing when to give the doctor a call is crucial. If your baby can't be comforted, their feeding habits change, they shy away from touch, their cries sound more painful, or if you notice issues like diarrhea, fever, or excessive vomiting, it's time for a pediatrician pit stop. When in doubt, it's better to err on the side of caution, especially when your little one's health is on the line.

When your baby does have a bout of colic, here are some tricks you can try for comfort:
      • Cuddle them when the tears flow.
      • Keep them upright while feeding to dodge air bubbles.
      • Try using an anti-colic bottle if feeding with a bottle.
      • Burp them after meals.
      • Gently rock them on your shoulder.
      • Give them a little rocking action in their crib or stroller to coax out burps.
      • Warm baths might do the trick.
      • Some soft background noise like the TV or radio can be a nice distraction.
      • Stick to their regular feeding routine.
      • Pull out the Reese's Peanut Butter Cups or pint of Ben & Jerry's for your own comfort...

The reality is, there's no magic fix for colic—it varies from baby to baby. Wrapping your head around treating colic can feel a bit like chasing your tail until you pinpoint the cause. Tweaking your diet if you're breastfeeding, like saying goodbye to dairy, might helpApplying gentle pressure to their spine or skull (a technique called cranial osteopathy) could work too. This is something you should try with an experienced osteopath, not on your own. You can also try an anti-colic bottles to at least lend a hand in alleviating those troublesome symptoms linked to feeding hiccups. These bottles aren't miracle workers, but they do their part by making sure your little one gets just the right amount of milk or formula during each feeding while also minimizing the intake of pesky air bubbles.

bottle intended for colic symptom easing

 Remember, it's always a good idea to chat with your pediatrician or general practitioner if colic's got you puzzled. Gathering information early on can help you be more prepared and better able to spot those warning signs before they catch you off guard and wear you down. You got this, mama!