Does your baby regularly fuss near day’s end? Does she cry as though in pain, pulling her legs up to the chest? Then your baby may have colic.
Colic is a condition which continues to leave doctors and parents baffled because its cause is virtually unknown. However, it’s comforting to know that babies eventually outgrow colic as pediatrician Dr. Todd Sorokon explains. “Generally it starts when kids are about one to 6 months of age and goes away by the time they are 6 to 12 months of age, so because of that, we think it may have something to do with the maturation of the gut or the nerves within the gut that is causing the pain.”
While medication to cure colic doesn’t exist, Dr. Sorokon says there are techniques such as gently rocking your baby, which can help. “We would recommend symptomatic treatment such as motion, and keeping a child in an environment that’s not too stimulating to try to help them settle.”
Pediatrician Dr. Jonathan Tolkin agrees that “taking the baby out for a ride in the car, or in the stroller or putting on some music or a noisy appliance” can help calm a fussy baby. As for changing your newborns diet, Dr. Tolkin believes that “if a physician is trying this treatment they should only give it a trial for three or four days. If it doesn’t work they should go back to the regular formula the child was on. Breast-feeding should never be discontinued.”
Colic is trying on anyone’s nerves. So if you’re at the end of your rope Dr. Sorokon recommends taking a break. “If parents are getting frustrated or upset at a child because they’re screaming, then my recommendation is to just put the child in a safe spot such as their crib or car seat and go out of the room for a minute. Once out of the room, take a couple of breaths to calm down or call a relative or friend to come in to look after the child for a few hours while you take a break.”
Rest assured, colic has nothing to do with a parent’s temperament or anxiety level. And while colic isn’t fully understood, one thing is clear – it doesn’t last for more than a few months.
Adapted from The Parent Report Radio Show. Any advice or information contained herein should never be a substitute for professional and/or medical advice, diagnosis and treatment. For more information please review Terms of Service.