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Newborn Care Topics..

You are here : home > Newborn Care > Related Articles for Newborn Care > Colicky Babies

Colicky Babies

Colicky Babies

Sometimes babies cry incessantly for hours without any reason. Parents get worried on seeing their bundle of joy,  crying. This could be due to colic and this is not a disease. Colicky babies are healthy.

Every parent's worst nightmare

Suvarna Datta recounts her experience when her daughter Prerna had colic. I knew that babies cry, but I thought it was just something that happened in the middle of the night, or when they were hungry, wet or sleepy. I could deal with that. But one day my baby started crying and she went on for hours and nothing that I did helped. I nursed her, changed her diaper, sang to her, carried her, took her outside to the park but the terrible wailing wouldn't stop. I just felt like pulling all my hair out and screaming.

Parents who have survived babies with colic can probably still hear the banshee wails echoing faintly in their brains and are probably wiping their brows with relief that it's all over. Colic is a parent's worse nightmare. Parents can do little more than watch as their baby curls up into a tight ball, squeezes his eyes tightly shut, clenches his fists, and opens his mouth to scream till he is red in the face. And this can go on for hours without a break. 

Colic normally raises its ugly head when the baby is two or three weeks old and it doesn't go away for a long time. The crying usually reaches a peak after six weeks, but by the twelfth week, the wailing would either have stopped miraculously or would be on the wane. 

Why does it happen?

Colic is still a bit of a mystery to most doctors. They are pretty much in the dark about the causes of colic or how to differentiate between a child who cries a lot and one that has colic. Of course, that does not mean that there aren't a great many theories that have been put forward, most of which have been dismissed. Here are some of the more popular ones. 

One theory attempts to link colic to the development of an allergy to something the baby ingested or something that the mother ate (if the baby is breastfed). Naturally, there is a school of thought that theorized that colic is hereditary, but there is no scientific evidence to back up this theory. Another hypothesis explains the crying related to colic as a result of the pain caused by the violent contraction of the digestive tract when the baby passes gas. The current favourite propagates the idea that colic may occur because the inhibitory responses of infant brain have not developed enough to inhibit the crying and so on and so forth. There is one thing that has been established though, and that is that parents who are smokers are more likely to have colicky babies. Nobody knows why, but it's a fact. If you're expecting a baby and you smoke, give up. It's not worth it, because if your baby gets colic, you'll really regret it. 

Is there a cure?

Obviously, since the cause of colic is unknown, it would be too much to expect a cure. At any rate, parents needn't worry because colic is not a disease. Even though your baby may scream as if he were being murdered, colic does not leave any permanent emotional or physical scars. Colicky babies are healthy. They develop normally and as quickly as babies that don't have colic and display no behavioural problems in the future.

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Jeff meeks
Jeff meeks.6 years ago
My daughter had colic so I did some research on the internet for solutions. I wanted something natural at first and tried gripe water. It did not do it for us. I looked up the fact that the bay's digestive system is still forming and that I should not introduce new substances (even herbs) at that time.

I went to Wikipedia and found the infant binder and tried it. It worked fine. Just takes a bit to warm the tummy. It is like a massage which they say is also good. We did that too.
Meenal.6 years ago
nice article!it reminded me of the time when my baby was small and had colic. She used to cry a lot and we were just helpless.
Prashant.6 years ago
is gripe water safe for the baby? what are the ingredients as I am concerned about chemicals in it?
Mamta.6 years ago
I have been giving gripe water to my baby after my mom suggested it to me. She was also giving this when i was small and we didn't have any colic problems.
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