Tips for moms: what to do if a newborn has colic

What is colic

Of course, interfering in a dispute between a mother-in-law and a daughter-in-law is a thankless task. Therefore, I do not presume to judge you. But I can provide a qualified view of the nature of the origin of colic in newborns and, accordingly, the correct actions of parents in such cases.

First of all, I note that all experts agree on the natural causes of colic in the abdomen in newborns. They are considered as one of the manifestations of the adaptation process during the period of the infant’s organism getting used to new conditions of existence, a new environment.

Until recently, it was believed that colic is associated exclusively with the restructuring of the gastrointestinal tract and the formation of useful microflora in it. Now the opinion about the neurological nature of the origin of such spasms is gaining more and more popularity. Scientists provide evidence that colic can be considered a “companion” of headache (migraine).

I will not go into the scientific details of the explanation for this statement. But many adults will attest that under severe stress, a person experiences severe discomfort, one of the symptoms of which is stomach cramps and pains.

It is quite possible that the baby is also experiencing a huge nervous shock from the abundance of new impressions that literally fall on him in the first months of life. Indeed, it is during the period when colic begins in a newborn that he gradually comes to realize himself as a being separate from his mother. He understands that now on his own and must independently provide for his life.

Imagine a similar situation. How will you feel after a sudden hit on another planet, where you even need to breathe differently? Of course, panic is guaranteed with all the accompanying symptoms.

Agree that the described condition is very similar to what a newborn should experience. Also, this “symptomatic picture” fits well with the fact that in all babies colic begins exactly in the same period and abruptly disappears in everyone, regardless of the intensity and quality of treatment (whether the parents of the baby drink dill water or nothing at all do – colic disappears).

Thus, we have two theories regarding colic in a newborn, and, accordingly, recommendations for what to do. Both have their supporters. Moreover, the second theory, thanks to modern medical research, is receiving more and more confirmation.

Signs of colic

The main symptoms of colic in a newborn are associated with the condition of the tummy. He becomes tense and bloated. There are other symptoms as well:

  • the baby squeezes the legs;
  • sometimes releases gases;
  • may try to push;
  • his stool changes.

In addition, there are noticeable changes in the behavior of the child. It:

  1. becomes moody and restless (especially immediately after feeding);
  2. often, for no apparent reason, begins to cry;
  3. does not calm down for a long time;
  4. may temporarily refuse to eat.

Colic usually manifests itself in the form of seizures, which periodically “roll over”, and then relief comes.

Colic causes

So, based on the above information, it follows that the causes of colic are of two types.

Reasons related to intestinal problems:

  • The baby is born with sterile intestines, i.e. it does not yet have those beneficial bacteria that accompany and facilitate the process of digestion. Therefore, this process occurs with certain difficulties;
  • During the period of microflora creation, the balance of beneficial microorganisms often changes. Exceeding the level of concentration of certain species can cause discomfort in the gastrointestinal tract, lead to the development of dysbiosis;
  • Lack of food enzymes due to improperly organized breastfeeding can cause false lactase deficiency. To avoid this, you need to breastfeed correctly, change breasts on time when feeding, and follow the rules of breastfeeding.

This is an online course, which means that you and your baby do not need to go anywhere. You will review the course at home and begin to properly feed the baby, this will reduce the manifestation of colic.

  • While eating or crying, the baby may swallow air that enters the intestines.

Also, colic in a newborn during breastfeeding is associated with errors in the diet of a nursing mother. There is an opinion about the existence of certain foods that cause colic in newborns. These include:

  1. vegetables: cabbage, onions, tomatoes, corn. 
  2. nuts;
  3. cow’s milk and products that are produced from it. 
  4. products containing caffeine;
  5. dishes with hot spices.

But such a theory is highly unlikely. In my course on safe eating while breastfeeding, I will give you a detailed outline of a safe diet for breastfeeding mothers that helps 99% of the time. It successfully protects the baby from allergies, and you can be sure that the soreness in the baby’s tummy is NOT related to your nutrition in any way. 

Causes associated with the appearance of migraines:

  • Sleep disorders: lack of sleep, excess, interruptions in the rhythm of sleep
  • Psycho-traumatic situations: harsh sounds, bright light, strong odors, cold, etc.;
  • Ignoring the diet and improper diet of a nursing mother;
  • Hormonal disruptions;
  • Change of weather.

I want to draw your attention to the fact that all these reasons are associated with natural processes that inevitably occur in the body of a newborn. In no case does the occurrence of colic indicate the development of any pathologies or health problems of the baby.

When does colic appear and disappear?

Colic is temporary. They usually develop in an infant 3 to 4 weeks after birth. The time how long colic lasts in newborns can be different. Usually from 1 to 4 hours of crying is the main sign that the child is suffering from colic and gas.

This period can last from 6 to 8 weeks. The latest period when colic in newborns disappears is considered to be 4 months of age.

How can I help the child?

And now the main question, which, as I understand it, is the main subject of your dispute: how to get rid of colic in newborns. Here I stand completely on your side, and on the side of the various manufacturers of colic drugs.

Of course, when a child cries, you always want to do something to calm him down. Therefore, mothers begin to give him medicine, give him special infusions and use a gas outlet pipe. These are the recommendations that existed several years ago. However, it has now been proven that these drugs have a minimal effect on colic in newborns.

Mom's baby on her belly

The effects of dill water, as well as tea containing fennel, anise, cumin or lemon balm, can be compared with the results of taking a placebo. Likewise, the drugs that are prescribed to relieve colic in a newborn do not affect the causes of these spasms.

Moreover, they can be harmful. It is important to understand that colic occurs during the formation of the body’s ability to function independently. Any artificially introduced components will only disrupt and “knock down” this process.

You can, of course, use a gas outlet pipe. But why? The child must learn to release gases on his own. How will he do it if he doesn’t practice himself? 

Some mums start giving medicines that contain bacteria and enzymes needed for digestion. However, the body will reject them, they will not take root in the intestines and will not multiply there, as many mothers think. No, these drugs, like all others, have a temporary effect and are completely eliminated from the body.

Breast milk contains all the necessary bifidobacteria and lactobacilli to aid intestinal maturation. Focus your energies on proper breastfeeding. 

Baby is watching

This is how nature intended and it should be so. Stuffing a baby with drugs can only worsen the already immature intestinal microflora.

Remember, there are not so many effective ways to treat colic in newborns. In more detail about what really helps during colic and gas problems, as well as the secrets of helping a child with anxiety.

Follow the link, see the program of our lesson and take part. You don’t need to go anywhere. All training takes place via the Internet.

However, in no case do I urge you to do nothing at all and just wait for the colic period to end, helplessly watching the suffering of the newborn.

Mom can significantly alleviate the baby’s condition during this period. After all, the most important thing that helps with colic in newborns is the love, care, care of his parents. The child needs to be made to feel that the connection with his mother has not been completely severed, that he has not been left without support.

Here are the basic guidelines:

  1. Maintain constant tactile contact. Take the baby in your arms, hug him. You can put the baby on your stomach and stroke it on the back;
  2. Breastfeed. And the sucking process itself, and the feeling of warmth from your body, and the beneficial components of breast milk – all this will only improve the condition of the newborn. It can be applied to the breast very often without observing certain time intervals;
  3. Protect from stress. Use “white” noise to calm the baby. When you sleep at night, create a twilight in the room. Do not expose to extreme cold (leave the hardening procedure for a later period);
  4. Provide a cozy, comfortable environment to keep the newborn feeling protected;

It is still important for him to be in a small space, the boundaries of which he can feel (as it was in his mother’s stomach). Therefore, put your baby to sleep in a small cradle, bathe in a small bathtub. Swaddling can be used. 

  1. Massage for colic in a newborn. In this way, you will stimulate intestinal peristalsis. In addition, soft stroking movements deliver pleasant sensations and give you the opportunity to relax. A child will feel a similar effect if you put a warm diaper on his stomach.

I want to note that during the period of colic in a newborn, mother has to spend a lot of energy and patience. This is very exhausting, so you will need support from loved ones. Ask for help with household issues while you care for your little one and help him get through a difficult period of infant anxiety.

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