Colic in Newborns

Colic is one of the common causes of discomfort in newborns. For the new moms and dads it is intolerable to watch their newborns crying inconsolably. Despite proper care, about 10 to 25 percent newborns experience colic pain.

Diagnosing colic
Pediatricians follow a simple rule of thumb to diagnose colic in infants. A baby is said to suffer from colic, if within three months of age the newborn cries for at least three hours at a stretch, for at least 3 times a week.

Causes of colic
Several factors may be responsible for colic. A specific factor or a combination of factors might cause colic in the newborn. Most health experts believe that colic pain occurs as the immature digestive system of the newborn is gradually adapting to the digestion process. The muscles of the gastrointestinal tract, which are associated with the digestion process, are not developed enough to produce the right rhythm needed for transporting the food through the digestion tract.

Moreover, absence of probiotics or beneficial bacteria in the stomach might inhibit proper digestion. In breastfeeding infants, the faulty diet habit of the mother could trigger digestion problem in the baby, causing colic. If the lactating mom eats foods that cause gas formation, such as cruciferous vegetables, trace elements of these foods could enter the newborn’s digestion tract through breast milk, triggering gas formation and bloating. Traces of allergens might enter breast milk through the food and beverages taken by the lactating mother, which might irritate the digestive tract of the infant, causing pain and discomfort.

Difficulty in digesting formula milk can produce colic pain in infants. Soymilk and cow milk are often associated with colic in newborns.

Colic remedies
The symptoms of colic, characterized by prolonged period of crying that occur nearly everyday at the same time, usually starts when the infant is two to three weeks old. The regular bouts of crying could continue up to three to four months, after which it would subside naturally. Most parents become restless when the colic episodes occur in the infants. It is imperative that the parents of colicky babies should maintain their calm. Giving the baby gripe water is a time-honored treatment for colic. To prevent colic, moms should check their own diet. Limit intake of foods that could trigger gas formation or allergies. Feeding your baby breast milk and avoiding formula milk, until your baby is at least six months old, could prevent colic developing from formula milk intake.