Infant and Children | January 15, 2019 | Author: Naturopath
Infantile colic is a common condition of new babies and causes significant stress to parents. It is described as 'insistent crying in otherwise healthy babies with no discernible cause'. Symptoms usually appear in the first month of life, peak at about 6-weeks of age and may disappear at about 4 months of age. The outburst of distress will often occur at the same time of day or night and may go on for hours. Colic is indescriminate, affecting male or female babies and breast or bottle fed.
Whilst it is normal for a baby to cry, continuous crying for long periods of time can be very distressing for parents.
The main symptom of infant colic is crying for more than 3 hours more than three days per week. Baby may go red in the face, draw legs up towards tummy, clench fist and arch back – appearing like they have pain, and is hard to pacify.
First it is important to rule out other more serious causes. This might include:
Serious symptoms such as vomiting, constipation, fever, trouble breathing, lethargy and poor weight gain are definitely concerning and need medical attention.
Generally, the reason for colic is unknown, but there are some theories as to possible causes. These include:
Having a check-up with your medical practitioner is first step when it seems baby is crying excessively for no apparent reason. Once the doctor has been able to rule out other possible causes and parents are reassured that their parenting is by no means to blame.
Following some guidelines can be helpful especially for exhausted and stressed parents.
Studies have found the probiotic strain L. reuteri may be effective treatment for breastfed babies with colic. Other Lactobacillus species - L. delbrueckii subsp. delbrueckii DSM 20074 and L. plantarum MB 456 have proven helpful in relieving gas-forming bacteria and may be helpful in the management of wind and flatulence.
Change formula. Switching to a hydrolysed formula is an option for formula-fed infants.
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Adjust Diet. If breastfed, mum should eliminate stimulating foods from diet. These include: Coffee and caffeine containing drinks/foods, chocolate and even cow milk products can help.
Expert Advice. Call on the help of a lactation specialist/mother nurse to ensure baby is feeding correctly – latching on. If bottle-fed, check the teat is correct for baby's age.
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Probiotics for infantile colic: a systematic review https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4225660/
Infantile Colic: Recognition and Treatment. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/2644744