Being a parent to a new baby can be full of adjustments. Your routine will likely change as you adjust to the different demands of your newborn and learning how to discern their cries comes with a big learning curve. It can cause anxiety when you can’t figure out if your baby’s cries are normal or if it’s something more than that. You may be wondering if your baby has colic and if so, how to fix it.
What is colic?
Colic is generally defined with the big three: three hours, three days, three weeks. This means that the baby has episodes of crying that is loud and inconsolable for what seems to be no reason at all for three hours or more a day, for three or more days a week for three or more weeks in a row. Colic can start as early as two weeks old and can usually worsen in the second or third month, and bouts can happen at any time of day or night. Medical experts are not sure what causes colic but there are a few main theories including:
• Possible acid reflux or food allergies
• Digestive system still developing
• Overstimulated environment
In addition to incessant crying, the baby may also show some other signs of colic including increased gassiness, clenched fists, red or flushed face, flailing arms and legs, arched back, or pulled legs up to the tummy.
What should you do if you suspect your baby has colic?
Having a baby that cries all the time can be stressful and exhausting. It can also make you feel helpless and confused on what you can do. If you suspect that you have a baby with colic, here are some things you can try.
Maintain skin-to-skin contact: This is an important thing to start right when the baby is born. It can not only help form a bond and connection with your baby, but it can also help limit the duration of crying spells as the baby ages.
Feed when needed: Some parents try to stick to a strict feeding schedule but with a colicky baby, sometimes schedules need to be tossed aside for a bit. Try feeding the baby whenever he/she is hungry, rather than sticking to a set schedule. This can sometimes help the hunger pains and keep the baby from long crying spells. After you feed the baby, be sure to burp every time, as this can help dispel the gas that forms.
Try new bottles: If you’re bottle feeding the baby, try switching to a different bottle or nipple to see if it helps reduce the intake of air that the baby takes in while drinking.
If nothing is working to soothe your crying baby, it could be time to make an appointment to visit your pediatrician. Your doctor can help confirm the case of colic and offer additional information on what might be causing the intense crying. It’s important to call your doctor immediately if you notice that your baby’s breathing is labored, if eating has decreased, or if the cries are sounding higher pitched than normal.
Remember, colic won’t last forever and even though it might make the days and nights seem long, it is something that will pass and don’t be afraid to ask for help. Contact our team to help find a nanny that can help walk alongside you and give you a break. Our experienced team of professional nannies have experience with babies and can give you another set of helping hands, as well as the peace of mind you need.