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When your baby has colic

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Although you have done everything you can to make baby comfortable and stop crying, but nothing has worked. Many things can make a child fretful, but you may consider the possibility that the child is colicky. And if the problem is colic-the baby has pain because of trapped wind in the intestine.

Colic may not be a health condition in itself as experts say, but it makes a baby feel uncomfortable and crying for hours. And when your baby cries without stopping, it is not easy for mother to relax with the knowledge that the baby is feeling this amount of discomfort, but is not able to say what is wrong. It is torture.

But to make you feel better and not to worry that you are not doing something right, know that colic is common among newborn babies with as many as one-third of them being known to have colic at the first few months of life.

But what makes it difficult for mother and baby is that feeding time becomes trying times for both of you. A baby would normally feed and snuggle comfortably to sleep. But with colic, he is not comfortable with his feeding and cries for hours afterwards.

The cause is not yet known and there is no physical sign to show that it is abnormal. It is thought that it is caused by contraction of the stomach as trapped wind enters the intestine. Acid reflux is suspected to be another cause.

Some mothers try to deal with it on their own and manage successfully but it does not mean that your remedy may work to relieve your son of his pain because your baby’s needs may be different from another woman’s child.

However, healthcare professionals say that you should aim to stop wind entering the intestine; that would be the way you feed baby; propping up the bottle while baby is lying down, for example, is not ideal. Baby could suck in air if there is an opening in the teat of the bottle. Prop baby up when she is feeding. If you bottle-feed use a teat designed to prevent swallowing of air. With a regular teat, feel the teat as to allow no air to be trapped in.

Mothers who breast-feed may have to change their diets. A study done on colic found that about 70 per cent of breast-fed babies cried 20 per cent less within one week when their mothers stopped to take cow milk, eggs, nuts, wheat, soy and fish. But to help your baby and be able to get that needed rest, you will have to stop eating all of them- not picking what you should eat and what not to eat.

According to the research, a baby who could not tolerate any of these foods was up to 80 percent not likely to take the others with comfort. If the recommendation is adhered to strictly, your baby is expected to cry less within one week if you have not eaten them for two weeks.

But you can go back to eating your favourite foods-gradually though and eat them one at a time so you will be able to identify the culprit-whether it is fish, eggs or nuts that is the cause of the colic.

Some drugs are recommended to disperse wind. However, the common practice of gently winding the baby before and after feeds is still recommended. Sit the baby on your lap and gently rock her. You could also hold her across your shoulder and pat the back gently, the result may be burping.

If you have observed that it happens in the morning or evening when baby cries for a long time, make the baby very comfortable and stay calm. Feed the baby, and then rock him gently while you talk soothingly to him. Dance and sing; we have songs to calm a crying baby, sing them to your baby.

Be assured though that colic stops, more often when baby is about four months old. At this time, the digestive system is more developed. But if it has occurred to you that this your new baby cries more than his sister did at that age or that you have not known a child to cry like this one, consult the doctor.

Although you have done everything to make your baby comfortable and stop crying


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