colic in babies

Baby Colic – What Is Colic?- Symptoms, Signs, and Remedies

Colic is one of the most common problems that newborns suffer from. Characterized by intense crying for a prolonged period of time accompanied by stomach aches, colic can make most new parents uncomfortable and panicky.

colic in baby

Colic is defined as frequent, intense, and prolonged fussiness or crying in a newborn baby. It can be extremely frustrating for both the infant and the parents because the distress of the baby for no apparent reason may cause them to worry. Also, it gets worse when no amount of consolation brings any relief. The episodes of colic in babies usually occur during evenings and may go on for the whole night as well. The colic episodes may occur mostly when your baby reaches the age of 6 weeks, and it may decline when they reach the age of 4 months. The excessive crying may resolve with time, but the stress makes it difficult to manage the baby.

Here are some symptoms associated with colic:

Intense crying that may seem like the baby is in pain and may including screaming

The baby may become extra fussy even after they have stopped crying

They may develop a particular time when they start getting grumpy and start crying, and the episodes may usually occur during evening

Discolouring of the face causing the baby’s face to become pale or red especially around the mouth area

Tension in the body including clenched fists, arched back, pulled up legs, stiffened arms and legs, and tension in the abdomen

The gas or bowel movement may also be disrupted during the time.

The passing of gas and relief from indigestion also helps in providing relief from colic as indigestion, and gastric issues are the primary reasons why babies become colicky. In order to make your baby pass gas and get relief from colic, you can lie the baby on his/her tummy and massage the back or you can apply a tummy roll on that contains hing and saunf, which help the baby to pass gas.

Other symptoms of colic include:

  • Change in posture
  • Extreme fussiness
  • Back arching
  • Clenching of fists
  • The main causes of colic in babies are:
  • Milk allergies
  • Immature digestive tract
  • Choking of passage
  • Overfeeding or underfeeding
  • Sensitivity to Formula milk

No mother can see her child in pain so here are some simple remedies to soothe your baby’s colic-

Hing Massage – Hing or asafoetida is a spice that is commonly used in traditional Indian cooking and it also possesses antiseptic and antibacterial properties. It helps to treat stomach problems, indigestion, and irritable bowel syndrome. It has been used since times immemorial to cure colic in babies.

How to use: Just mix a pinch of hing in lukewarm water and dip a cotton ball in it. Now massage it on your baby’s tummy in a clockwise direction. Avoid touching the baby’s navel.

Fennel Oil – Fennel or saunf is known to relieve gas, relax the intestines and eliminate discomfort in the digestive tract. All these properties make it an apt way to relieve colic in babies.

How to use: Massage your baby’s tummy with a few drops of fennel oil.

Swaddling – One of the best ways to calm a colicky baby is to swaddle him/her. Even if your baby resists swaddling, he/she feels extremely secure once inside the swaddle. Swaddling can also help to calm your baby when he/she has colic.

How to use: Wrap your baby snugly in a swaddle and see the difference in some time.

Peppermint Oil – Peppermint or pudina lends a very refreshing taste to food and is known for its antispasmodic properties. Peppermint oil is considered to be another effective remedy in treating baby colic.

How to use: Mix peppermint oil with a few drops of coconut oil and massage on the baby’s tummy to give a cooling effect.

Warm Bath – A warm water bath can work like a miracle to soothe your baby’s colic. Warm water helps to ease the pain and provides relief to your baby.

How to use: Fill a small tub with warm water and allow your baby to sit in it for a little while. In the winters, you may just put a washcloth dipped in warm water on your baby’s tummy to prevent him/her from catching a cold.

You can also use a tummy roll-on to soothe your baby’s colic pain. A tummy roll-on is specially formulated with soothing ingredients such as hing, fennel, and asafetida to provide relief to your little one.

There are so many baby feeding bottles available that are anti-colic. You should give it a try.

Note: If your baby doesn’t feel better in spite of the above remedies, you may contact your paediatrician for further investigation and treatment.

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