What is Colic?
Colic is a common problem in most babies that can develop in the initial few weeks after their birth. A baby tends to cry inconsolably for a long period of time, probably due to excessive accumulation of gas followed by pain in his stomach. This happens because the baby’s digestive system takes a couple of months to become fully functional. As the digestive system strengthens, the condition improves, and within five to six months, your baby's colic should have improved.
Though theories abound, some of these symptoms can be a good indicator of your baby being colicky:
- Your baby cries consistently, often during the same time of the day, for example, late afternoons or evenings.
- Baby’s stomach looks a little distended or enlarged. He would probably stretch or pull his legs and pass gas as he cries.
However, some simple measures may help your baby to a large extent to overcome this stressful condition:
- Try to feed baby every two hours as a routine for the first few months. Do not wait for baby to cry to express his hunger pangs. If baby gets too hungry, there are chances that he may gulp air along with large amounts of milk, causing abdominal gas pain.
- While feeding baby, try to keep baby propped up straight on your lap, so that the milk flows smoothly into his stomach, or else he’s likely to trap some air along with his food.
- Ensure to burp him at regular intervals while feeding, which will help ease out air bubbles from his belly.
- If breast-feeding your baby, try to avoid consuming heavy milk protein (like cow’s milk) or other dairy products, as these foods can put pressure on your baby’s delicate digestive system and cause discomfort.
- Once you start to bottle-feed, ensure that the nipple of the cap is not too small or too big, allowing the liquid to flow evenly and smoothly.
- Lay baby on his stomach across your knees and gently rub his back to dispel the gas.
- Babies love the feel of gentle movements. So, pick him up and gently rock him while singing softly or take him out for a short walk. These steps can help calm baby down and even put him to sleep.