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.
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
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
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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- The Indiaparenting Team