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Would You Know The 3 Warning Signs Of Colic?

Aug 21, 2008
It's no secret, babies are prone to crying. Crying is their way to communicate to their parents that they want something like food, sleep or a new diaper. But, it can also be a sign of pain, or discomfort like that associated with colic. How can we tell normal baby crying from colic baby crying? Check below to discover three warning signs of colic.

Crying predictably

Also known as the "rule of threes." If a baby cries for three or more hours a day, three or more days a week, for three consecutive weeks, but is otherwise healthy and thriving, she can be diagnosed with colic. The crying jags usually start early evening and may last until well after bedtime. Your baby may be extremely gassy and pass some gas towards the end of the colic episode.

Out of control crying

Baby's cry will be intense and inconsolable. A colicky baby seems to be in pain, and the crying is indicative of this. The face will more than likely be extremely red. And any attempt to comfort will seem almost impossible. Because of the extreme crying, your baby will swallow too much air which results in gas.

Posture change

You will notice your baby tends to curl up her legs, clench her fist and have tense, rigid stomach muscles.

What are the Causes of Colic?

Despite thorough research, no single cause for colic has been narrowed down. The fussiness a colicky baby demonstrates has many different causes. In order to help your baby, you need to become familiar with several different colic remedies to help soothe your baby's pain.

Some possible theories of the cause of colic are:

* Problems digesting proteins like lactose and others.
* Acid Reflux (stomach acid flows backwards into the esophagus)
* Intestinal cramps from an immature digestive system
* Too much air being swallowed which leads to gas being caught in the digestive tract
* Too much mental stimulation on an immature nervous system

Barry M. Lester, Ph.D., director of the colic clinic at Brown University, states that of the approximately four million babies born, 800,000 suffer from colic. His book Why is My Baby Crying is a valuable resource for parents of babies with colic.

In his book, Lester indicates you can differentiate between a "normal" baby cry and a "pain" cry.

"The pain cry is usually high-pitched, loud, and of sudden onset and includes long periods of breath-holding," Lester writes.

Parents of colicky babies can assure you, the cry you witness is a "pain" cry. If you think your baby's cry sounds like she is in pain, please call your doctor right away. There may be other conditions present other than colic.

Parents who watch their baby suffer from signs of colic suffer as well. They might feel utterly helpless. However, there is a light at the end of the tunnel. Colic will more than likely disappear by the third month of life (although some cases have been known to last up to 9 months).

If you doctor confirms that your baby is suffering from colic, don't despair. Although colic will probably disrupt your schedule and make you feel like an incompetent parent, you're not. Colic is not your fault, and there are lots of tools and remedies available to help soothe your baby and make her happy and comfortable again.
About the Author
Cherie Stirewalt is a colic baby survivor and outlines the colic remedies she mastered to soothe her baby's crying. Download her white noise mp3 and get started on stopping your baby's colic today!
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