Dealing with a colic baby is definitely a frustrating episode for parents, but let’s not forget that this is an even more uncomfortable period for babies as well. After all, the baby is constantly crying uncontrollably due to some form of discomfort, and they can only communicate this through crying.
But what are the causes of colic and what can be done to help your colicky baby? Let’s break this down for you and get your baby the help they need.
What does colic look like?
Colic is commonly linked to symptoms such as:
- Crying as if in pain for no apparent reason at the same time of the day
- Drawing up of the legs or arching of the trunk
- Clenching of the fists and turning all red
This rollercoaster colic ride of screams and cries can take a toll on parents, even with the promise that it usually subsides within a few months. There are a few causes of colic, especially with relation to their little stomachs. This includes:
- An underdeveloped digestive system
- Experience of possible food allergies and other intolerances
- Gas or indigestion within the stomach
If you are sure or you think that your baby might be experiencing colic due to the above reasons, there are a few measures you can take to ease the process & help your little one overcome it.
How do you avoid colic for your baby?
If your baby is crying due to gas or indigestion, you will need to look into how you’re currently feeding your baby. A lot of air going into the baby’s system during feeding sessions can cause digestive discomfort as the baby’s digestive system is still weak.
If you’re breastfeeding, looking into your diet is vital because what the mother eats is passed on to the baby and can affect them. You might need to work on your latch too.
However, if you’re bottle feeding, then you can try to change the method either by feeding the baby upright, feeding less but frequently or get an anti-colic bottle teat.
Certain formula milks contain specific protein that can interfere with the baby’s digestion process, so you may want to look into changing the formula milk brand too.
After feeding care
Besides that, the way you hold the baby while feeding and after feeding to burp them is equally important. This aids and supports digestion hence holding the baby upright eases the process. You can also massage their back while trying to burp them or rock them a little while walking to relieve them.
Comforting a colic baby
Mothers can also place their babies on the chest and stroke their back which at the same time allows the mothers to ‘steal’ some rest too. This is a lovely bonding session which not only calms the baby but the mom as well.
Babies who are going through colic, tend to be worked up and stressed out as they are unable to soothe and console themselves. Mothers or caregivers can assist by:
- Living more skin-to-skin contact,
- Providing security by swaddling the baby,
- Singing and massaging,
- Playing some white noise,
- A warm bath, or
- Going for a walk indoors.
Be kind to yourself
Living with a colic baby isn’t the easiest thing to do but it will pass. It doesn’t cause any side-effects to the baby but can be challenging for the parents. Caring for a constantly crying baby is really difficult for the parents who might get overwhelmed with emotions. Ask people around you to help out with the baby when necessary. Do not harm the baby in any way as excessive shaking can cause damage to the brain and in some rare cases, sudden death to the baby. Here are some useful tips to keep in mind about colic:
- Don’t feel bad or at fault because you didn’t cause the colic
- Colic isn’t permanent and will go away eventually
- Colic isn’t an indication that your child is unhealthy
Getting the right bottle helps
By using the right baby bottle paired with the right baby teat, you can prevent colic and keep your baby happy. You can find out more about this in our article on how to choose the right anti-colic bottle for your baby.
We recommend our award-winning MAM Easy Start Anti-Colic Bottle that comes with a patented vented base, which allows babies to drink at their own pace and without interruption from the first day.
This bottle is best paired with the MAM Teat which is easily accepted by 94%* of babies thanks to its SkinSoft™ silicone surface and its unique flat shape, which feel so familiar to babies. This makes it easy for you to switch between breast- and bottle feeding with your baby. Find out more about it here!