Know the Causes, Symptoms, and How to Manage Colic in Babies

Know the Causes, Symptoms, and How to Manage Colic in Babies

written by : MAKUKU - 23 Oct 2023

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Colic in babies is a normal condition and not a symptom of disease, especially if it occurs in newborns. This condition is usually characterized by crying for hours and is difficult to control.

Babies who experience colic can still grow normally like other children who may not have had colic as a child. One of the triggers of colic is the discomfort felt by the baby, whether it is related to digestion or air temperature. Colic itself occurs because babies cannot yet express what they are feeling.

But, moms and dads don't need to be confused and worried because of this. Come on, see the full explanation in this article along with the causes and how to deal with colic in babies.

What is colic?

Colic is a condition when a baby cries non-stop for hours and for no apparent reason. This is because the baby is still unable to express the discomfort that the baby is feeling.

Colic often makes parents worry and babies feel very uncomfortable. Colic usually occurs in healthy and well-developed babies. Some characteristics of colic in babies include:

Intense Crying

Babies with colic tend to cry intensely and repeatedly, often at certain hours of the day, for example in the afternoon or evening.

For No Apparent Reason

Even though parents have checked the baby's basic needs such as eating, changing diapers, and making sure the baby is not sick, babies with colic still cry for no apparent reason.

Head and Legs Bend

During colic, the baby may show symptoms such as bending the legs, tightening the abdominal muscles, and moving the body.

Can't Be Soothed

Attempts to soothe the baby with a sling or feeding may not work during the colic period.

Colic Usually Lasts Several Weeks

Colic in babies usually lasts a few weeks to a few months, then will slowly subside as the baby gets older.

Causes of colic in infants

Colic in infants is often associated with abdominal discomfort. While the exact cause of colic is not fully understood, there are several theories and factors that may contribute to this condition. Some factors often identified as causes or triggers of infant colic include:

Cow's Milk Incompatibility

Some babies may have difficulty digesting cow's milk proteins, which can result in abdominal discomfort. More suitable milk options for them may include special formulas that contain more easily digestible proteins.

Lactose Intolerance

Some babies may have lactose intolerance, which is the inability to digest lactose (the sugar in milk). This can be the cause of stomach discomfort.

Acid Reflux

Acid reflux occurs when gastric juices back up into the esophagus. This can cause discomfort and irritation in babies, and in some cases, result in colic.

Gassy Stomach

Babies are often prone to a gassy stomach, which can result in discomfort and colic. Factors such as air swallowed during feeding or the baby's diet can affect the stomach.

Fatigue

Babies who are tired or overstimulated are often more prone to colic. They may struggle to sleep or feel more fussy.

Immaturity of the Digestive System

 A baby's digestive system is still not fully mature in early life, and this can lead to tummy discomfort.

Environmental Stress

A stressful or overly noisy environment can make babies feel uncomfortable and become fussy.

Symptoms of colic in infants

Symptoms of colic in babies can include a variety of signs and behaviors that can make both babies and parents feel uncomfortable. Some common symptoms of infant colic include:

Intense and Distressed Crying

One of the most typical symptoms of colic is intense and distressed crying. This crying is often very strong and can last for hours. This intense crying often makes the baby look very uncomfortable and in pain.

Predictable Crying Times

Babies with colic often have predictable crying patterns. For example, they may tend to cry at the same time every day, often in the afternoon or evening. This pattern can make parents feel frustrated and anxious.

Postural Changes

Babies with colic may show changes in posture that reflect abdominal discomfort. This may include tightening the abdominal muscles, bending the legs, or moving the body. These postural changes often occur during colic attacks.

Inability to be Soothed

During a colic attack, babies often seem difficult to soothe. Attempts such as holding, feeding, or smoking the baby may not be effective in calming their crying.

Refusal to Eat

Some babies with colic may refuse to eat or only eat small amounts during a colic attack.

Signs of baby colic to watch out for

Colic in infants is generally not associated with changes in urination or defecation patterns, stagnant weight gain, or crying sounds that sound like screaming. Colic is a condition that is more related to the baby's intense and repetitive crying patterns, especially at certain times, for no apparent reason.

However, there are some signs and symptoms that you may need to be aware of and require medical attention if you see them in your baby. These signs may not always be related to colic, but could be a sign of a more serious health problem:

Changes in Urination and Defecation Patterns

Drastic changes in a baby's urination and defecation patterns, such as an increase in frequency or a change in color, texture, or odor, can be a sign of a digestive problem or infection that requires medical attention.

Unusually Strong Crying Sounds

If the baby's crying sounds are unusually strong, or if the baby appears to be in great pain, consult a pediatrician or pediatric health worker immediately. Abnormal crying sounds can be a sign of a medical problem.

Significant Weight Loss

If the baby is not gaining weight or even experiencing significant weight loss, this could be a sign that the baby is not getting enough nutrients or is experiencing other health issues. This needs to be evaluated by a pediatrician immediately.

Other Changes in Baby's Health

If you notice other signs such as fever, excessive vomiting, severe diarrhea, skin changes, or very unusual baby behavior, consult a pediatrician immediately.

Complications due to colic in infants

The condition of infant colic can be very challenging for parents, especially for mothers who care for their babies. When babies cry intensely and repeatedly during periods of colic, parents often feel stressed, anxious and overwhelmed. The emotional impact of colic on parents, especially mothers, can include:

Stress and Anxiety

Dealing with a baby who cries constantly can be very stressful. Parents may feel anxious because they don't know how to calm the baby or because they are worried about the baby's health condition.

Postpartum Depression

Prolonged stress and feelings of anxiety can increase the risk of postpartum depression or baby blues syndrome. Parents may feel sad, discouraged, or even hopeless.

Guilt

Parents often feel guilty when their baby has colic. They may feel unable to take good care of the baby or feel that they are at fault in some way.

Anger

The loss of sleep and stress that comes with infant colic can make parents feel irritable or frustrated.

Feelings of Helplessness

When parents are unable to cope with a crying baby, they may feel helpless and worry about the baby's health and well-being.

Physical and Mental Fatigue

Caring for a baby with colic can be very tiring, especially if it lasts for days or months. Physical and mental exhaustion can be a serious problem for parents.

How to cope with colic in babies

Coping with colic in babies can be a challenge, but there are some strategies that can help ease baby's discomfort during a colic attack. Here are some ways that moms and dads can try:

Hold Baby

Gently holding the baby in an upright position can help relieve their discomfort. This can provide a sense of comfort and security to the baby.

Gentle Abdominal Massage

Perform a gentle tummy massage on the baby in a clockwise motion. This can help relieve the baby's stomach that may be full of gas.

Belly Lying Position

Sometimes, babies can feel more comfortable when placed in a position lying on the stomach on top of moms' arms. This can help relieve abdominal pressure.

Warming

Place a warm water bottle or a compress wrapped in a warm cloth around the baby's tummy. The gentle heat can help relieve abdominal discomfort.

Create a Calm Environment

A quiet and comfortable environment can help the baby feel more relaxed. Turn off loud noises and bright lights.

Swivel Baby

Sometimes, rocking the baby in a gentle swing or moving slowly can help relieve discomfort.

Car or Swing

Some babies feel comfortable when in a moving car or on a swing. A short ride or time in the swing can help soothe the baby.

Stop Diapers on Time

Make sure to change the baby's diaper regularly so that the baby is not left in a wet or dirty diaper which can make him feel uncomfortable.

Try Appropriate Milk

If you are formula feeding, talk to your pediatrician about whether to try a different formula if digestive problems are suspected.

Consult a Doctor

If you are worried about your baby's condition or are not sure how to deal with colic, consult a pediatrician. They can provide advice and exclude other health problems that may be causing discomfort.

Parent Support

Remember that you are not alone. Get support from your partner, family, or friends. Talk about your feelings and share the responsibility of caring for the baby.

Get Enough Rest

Try to sleep and rest as soon as possible when the baby sleeps. Fatigue can make handling colic more difficult.

Mom's Diet

If you are breastfeeding, consider monitoring the food you consume. Certain foods in the mother's diet can affect the baby. Consult a nutritionist or lactation counselor if necessary.

Conclusion

It is important to remember that colic in infants will usually subside with time as the baby gets older. Parents need to seek support, whether from a partner, family or friends, to help cope with the challenges of colic. If parents feel particularly disturbed or have deep feelings related to the impact of colic on the baby, they can seek advice from a pediatrician or a mental health professional for the necessary guidance and support.

To provide comfort to babies, moms and dads also need to pay attention to what they use. One of them is the diaper used by the baby. Choose the right diaper and be able to provide comfort to the baby. So that babies who experience colic will not be more fussy and their condition worsens due to leaky, damp diapers and even diaper rash.

MAKUKU Dry Care is the right choice of diapers for your little one. In addition to its good quality, the price of MAKUKU Dry Care diapers is also very affordable, starting from 50 thousand only. MAKUKU Dry Care diapers, which are available in unit packs or tins and also regular, have several excellent features such as:

Soft as a cloud diaper surface

Dry diaper surface throughout the day

Maximum absorbency day and night

Has 3 air circulation

Elastic waist design

MAKUKU Dry Care has two types of diapers: tape and pants. MAKUKU Dry Care can be purchased online and offline, moms and dads. (Aq/MKK)

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