An infant with colic cries for no apparent reason. Pick up some tips on how to soothe babies with colic.
Colic can strike any infant between 2 weeks to 6 months of age. It usually disappears on its own accord when the baby is 6 months old. Medical science cannot confirm the causes of colic. Some of the possible suspects are an immature digestive system, stomach spasms, immature nervous system, gas pain, imbalance in hormones, allergy to formula milk, exposure to pollution or cigarette smoke, tension or emotional stress in the baby's environment.
Colicky babies cry often and continuously. The period of fussiness varies in the frequency and timing. Evening hours are more demanding as the drop in temperature seems to aggravate the colicky infant more.
You may suspect your infant to be having colic when she cries with flailing arms and legs, clenches her fists, arches her back and seems to hug her legs towards her tummy. A colicky baby has a tight and bulging abdomen and cries whenever she is laid on her back to sleep. A common belief is that wind or gas enters her tummy whenever she lies on her back and wails, worsening her colic. A tried and true method would be for the baby to sleep sideways. Somehow, this position is good for colicky babies as wind/gas does not enter into her tummy when she sleeps in this position. There are commercially available pillow sets which enable baby to sleep safely sandwiched between 2 pillows.
There are no fool-proof methods of comforting every colicky infant but there are a variety of methods to try each time the colicky infant cries. Cuddling your baby in an upright position warms her tummy and soothes her. Burp baby after every feed and in-between feeding to remove air swallowed in stomach to reduce excessive gas. Carrying baby with you in a front pack has the same effect as cuddling your baby upright. You can rest your tired body by rocking and cuddling baby in a rocking chair. Give baby a pacifier to comfort herself with the extra sucking. Distract baby with a ride in her stroller or a drive in your car. A rocking cradle or swing provides rhythmic movement to comfort the baby. Sometimes, playing soothing music from cassettes or the radio can also help to comfort baby.
Colic can make parents upset and tired. It helps to keep in mind that colic will usually disappear between baby's third and sixth months. Recognize that colic is not baby's fault nor yours. Accept it and deal with it calmly. Get rest whenever possible to relieve your stress. Arrange for some help from a family member, relative, friend or babysitter. Give yourself some free time to renew your energy and return refreshed to handle your baby lovingly.