Sparkles & Stretchmarks: A UK Parenting & Pregnancy Blog: How To Help Ease Colic

Friday, 2 September 2016

How To Help Ease Colic



Colic is a name you hear a lot when you have a new baby, but how many of us really know exactly what it is or how to help ease the pain for our little ones?

When Sailor was born, it was immediately obvious that he was a much more vocal baby than others had been. He seemed to cry a lot more frequently, and the cry was more high pitched and urgent than I'd been used to before - as though he was in pain. He was always squirming, always bringing his knees up when he cried - I assumed he just had trapped wind and tried my best to burp him as usual, but after a while my Mum pointed out that his symptoms suggested colic.

I had to look it up to understand what it was.

Colic is defined as "repeated episodes of excessive and inconsolable crying in a newborn baby who otherwise appears to be perfectly healthy."
 The condition affects up to 1 in 5 babies (though true figures may be higher due to lack of diagnosis) and can be incredibly upsetting for baby and parent alike.
So we knew what was causing the problem, but what could we do about it?

It's awful to see your child in so much pain and the feeling of being helpless to be able to ease it is awful, but thankfully, as I found out, there are some things you can do.

The first thing to do is get familiar with the symptoms, these can include:
  • intense crying bouts.
  • crying in the late afternoon or evening that lasts several hours.
  • your baby's face being red and flushed when they cry.
  • your baby clenching their fists, drawing their knees up to their tummy, or arching their back while crying.

So you're sure its colic, so now how to treat it?
One of the first recommended steps is ruling out milk sensitivity when a baby shows signs of colic, which your Health visitor or Doctor can assist you with but if these come back clear then how can you help to ease your babies suffering?

Here are some things to try:
*Baby wearing - holding a baby kangaroo style and walking about can help to dislodge any trapped wind, and ease the symptoms of colic. We loved using our Papoozle in the early weeks and it really did help  Sailor to settle.
*Try a gentle massage - there are lots of Youtube videos showing the best massage techniques to sooth colicky babies. We also found using the Tiger In The Tree hold position really helped too, again this can be looked up on Youtube.
*Try adjusting your diet if breastfeeding - cutting out certain foods can help to ease the symptoms too.
*Products such as colic drops can be a great help, these are usually either administered directly to baby or mixed with their feed and can greatly reduce their discomfort. We used these with Sailor and found that they worked brilliantly!
I hope these tips are useful if your baby is suffering, the good news is that most babies grow out of colic within the first 6 months.
Good Luck!

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