Colic - Baby Blues with a Cure
Is It Colic?
Crying without reason, screaming that tears your heart out, curled up legs and balled up fists....yes, this is colic. Welcome to motherhood!
The official definition of colic, according to Dr. Morris Wessel in the 1950's, is “one who, otherwise healthy and well-fed, had paroxysms of irritability, fussing or crying lasting for a total of three hours a day and occurring on more than three days in any one week for a period of three weeks.”
According to WebMD, the diagnosis occurs when a healthy baby cries harder than expected in a "3" pattern: more than 3 hours a day at least 3 days a week for at least 3 weeks in a row.
According to the Mayo clinic, as many as 25% of babies are affected. Other statistics estimate that two out of ten babies will be affected. It usually starts a few weeks after birth but often improves by three months of age.
Although the causes are unknown, it is speculated that bottle fed babies experience this phenomenon more than those that are breast fed as well as those mothers who smoke during pregnancy.
What Can You Do About Colic?
So, what do you do? Well, some old fashioned remedies include:
- holding baby upright
- give a pacifier
- rock the baby
- belt out a tune
- have sounds/music in the background
- try a time out for five or ten minutes
- give baby a warm bath
- take baby for a car ride
Some say a regular feeding schedule, don't overfeed, avoid juices, avoid milk products if you are breast feeding, use a low allergy formula, walking with baby....etc. The list is long but no known "cure".
Is there an alternative? There are some natural remedies out there that do claim to treat the source of the problem, not just the symptoms. One of these is called Colic Calm. It includes aloe, ginger, vegetable carbon, chamomile, caraway, peppermint, lemon balm, blackthorn amd fennel, among other natural and safe ingredients.
Another remedy that has been used for decades is herbal tea. The herbal teas that you might want to try are chamomile, ginger, catnip, and peppermint. All of these teas help to calm an irritable tummy.
Something readily available at most drugstores is Hyland's colic tablets. Your pharmacist can be an incredible resource, just ask.