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Babies with Colic: Every Parent's Frustration

Mar 24, 2008
It's not easy to try to understand babies. This is even truer among babies with colic. Many babies have this condition. When colic strikes, you can reasonably expect a very frustrated parent. What really causes colic and how can parents help their babies who have it?

Colic in Babies

Babies who have colic cry excessively for a couple of hours a day. They may stop crying after one bout and may or may not resume in succeeding days. Colic usually develops some weeks after birth and may continue a little after a baby passes his third month. The condition can strike at any time of the day but in some cases, colic may seem worse near or in the evening.

Aside from excessive crying, babies with colic may look like they are experiencing some kind of pain. They may have a lot of stomach gas and may turn red from prolonged crying. Their limbs may stiffen or they may alternately raise their legs towards their tummies.

Although your baby may seem to be in extreme distress, crying due to colic and not some other cause is not life threatening. The real challenge with handling colicky babies is controlling the amount of frustration and tension that parents or care givers experience.

Causes of Colic

Among some cultures, colic is commonly attributed to having too much gas in the stomach. This is a possible cause of colic but it has also been suggested that the gas is really just a consequence and not a cause of excessive crying. Other causes of gastrointestinal discomfort such as changing to milk formula are suspected to have some hand in causing colic.

In reality though, the real causes of colic are still unknown. It is also suspected that babies with colic may be more sensitive than other babies their age. This does not necessarily mean though that they will eventually develop sensitive dispositions as adults.

What is truly important is to establish that colic really is the cause of excessive infant crying. This will determine the appropriate remedy or response that you should deliver. Instead of colic, a baby may also cry because he is hungry or has a diaper rash. On the other end of the spectrum, he may be crying because he is experiencing a real medical emergency.

What to Do

If you are not sure what to do or if you suspect that the reasons for crying are far more serious, then you should see your baby's doctor immediately. It is often suggested though that babies with colic may stop crying when they are comforted. Of course, different babies find different things comforting. You may want to try a variety of techniques such as changing the way you carry him, cuddling him, singing to him or rocking him.

What is important to remember is that babies with colic do not have the condition because you have been a bad parent. You should also make it a point to know your own limits of frustration. Ask your partner to take turns with you caring for your baby if you feel that your patience has just boiled over.
About the Author
To learn more about what you can do for babies with colic visit our site at www.ColicSymptoms.org where you will find many helpful articles and resources about colic.
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