“Colic,” the dreaded word no parent wants to hear, and no baby wants to experience. About one in every 10 infants get colic. A first sign that may indicate your baby is colic is he/she seems to be fussy and cry all the time. It was originally thought that colic was always caused by gas, especially when witnessing how uncomfortable baby seems to be during bouts of uncontrollable crying. They often kick up their legs in a manner that indicates cramping and pain, but train of thought has changed on that theory, today it is thought that for some babies it’s temperament that plays a role. Some babies are more sensitive to their environment than others, being sensitive to noise, smoke, temperature changes, and other things in their natural surroundings. Gas and bloating can still certainly be the cause of a colicky baby. If you are not breastfeeding your baby an allergy to infant formula should also be suspect. Many infants are lactose intolerant, which improves as they get older when they start to make the necessary lactase enzyme. Consider lack of contact, as some babies seem as if they can never be held enough and need more cuddling to feel secure. To calm and soothe crying babies try holding your baby in a gentle bouncing motion while walking. Gentle movements help calm hyper-sensitive babies, as does gentle swinging and riding in a car. Providing baby with a background of white noise, such as running water, a washing machine, or vacuum cleaner can also be very helpful. Some mothers swear by the small environmental machines that play sounds of wind chimes and water falls with chirping birds and the ocean waves can help soothe and calm baby. If all else fails a nice warm bath and light patting massage may do the trick. You may also consider trying colic drops or gripe water to relieve trapped gas, which are available without a prescription. If nothing you try seems to work then a trip to the doctor would be in order. The good news is most babies will outgrow colic by 6 months of age.
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