Colic is one of the most common problems in babies. In fact, it is so common that this is the kind of thing that you will be prepared for even before it occurs being a major topic in all baby books in your bookshelf.
Colic begins as early as two to three weeks and reaches its peak when the baby is about two months old. After which, symptoms and episodes will slowly die down and at fourth month, there will be no more episodes.
Until now, medical experts cannot find what exactly causes colic to occur. It just happens to babies without any real or specific reason. However, there are a host of possible causes that may influence or worsen a colic episode. Here are some of them.
- Allergy to cow's milk or powdered milk
- Lactose intolerance
- Allergy to the foods that the mother take in and transferred to the baby through breastmilk
- Increase in the intestinal gas brought on by foods that usually produce gas in the stomach such as broccoli, onion and beans
- Underdeveloped digestive system that may cause strong contractions in the stomach
- Hormonal changes in the body of your baby
- Anxiety of the mother and postpartum depression
- Overfeeding of the baby
Often, the only sign that parents will get is nonstop crying that can last from an hour to as much as five hours! This can be really hard to take for parents especially those who are not used to their babies crying too much. For first-time parents the first episode of colic can be panicking as they do not know why their little angel is crying so hard.
Crying can be the result of a lot of things. This is why it is important for parents to really know the other signs and symptoms of colic in babies before they panic or in some cases not panic.
Predictable crying episodes
Although this will not be evident at the start, a colicky baby will have crying episodes at specific time of the day. This can either occur at day or at night, often after a meal. These episodes will recur at approximately the same time and it can last from just a few minutes to hours. It can occur once every week or everyday of the week. It really depends on the baby and because there is no known cause, parents just have to patiently wait if there will be an episode for that day.
According to some experts, colic is brought on by gas in the stomach that causes an ache. Babies will often excrete bowels or pass gas near the end of the episode. This will relieve the problem.
Positions of the legs and arms
Babies who have colic will manifest their pain in the way they will draw their legs to their abdomens to squeeze them in. Their hands will also clench into fists and their abdominal muscles will harden. Some babies who cannot take the pain will trash around and become really wild. Their screams and cries will get louder and louder.
This is one of the main symptoms of colic in babies. In fact, most parents think that if their babies cry, they are either hungry or having a colic. The cries of a colicky child is loud and intense. There is no room for a weak and sickly cry. Their cheeks will often become red from the exertion and they will be difficult to comfort.