Colic – what is it?
Infant colic is a sharp cramping pain in the abdomen, which for a long time and regularly bother a child from 3 weeks to 3-6 months. Colic is not considered a disease or pathology that threatens the health of the baby, but, of course, can significantly complicate the life of the whole family …
The exact cause of colic scientists, unfortunately, have not yet established. Most agree that colic is a natural stage in the development of the baby’s gastrointestinal tract.
The appearance of colic may be due to:
- swallowing air when feeding,
- adaptation of the digestive tract to food through the mouth instead of the umbilical cord,
- the development of intestinal microflora,
- deficiency of digestive enzymes, overeating or gas buildup.
How to find out true colic?
Sometimes it seems to young parents that any long and seemingly unreasonable cry of a baby means colic. This is not entirely true!
The child may cry from colic, or from increased gas formation, general discomfort in the tummy, overheating, insufficient air humidity or even accumulated lack of sleep.
Nevertheless, true colic is fairly easy to recognize by the characteristic behavior of the baby. With colic, a well-fed and sleepy child in the late afternoon suddenly begins to cry long and inconsolably for no apparent reason.
He does not calm down on the handles, screams, presses his legs to his stomach, is experiencing obvious discomfort … But after a while, he suddenly subsides abruptly and rather strolls or quietly falls asleep as if nothing had happened.
Experienced pediatricians also advise identifying colic according to the “rule of three”. True colic usually begins after 3 weeks of a baby’s life, lasts up to 3 months and happens at least 3 times a week.
Of course, these figures are rather relative. It is just important to realize that colic is a systemic and regular situation, and not one-time episodes of incomprehensible crying.
How to help your baby with colic?
Unfortunately, there is no effective medicine that could “turn off” infantile colic. Any measures to combat colic in a baby should be taken in combination and should be aimed at alleviating his condition and helping him through this natural stage.
First and foremost, of course, it is worthwhile for the child to do a simple massage in the tummy area. Massage should be open palm, strictly clockwise, neat stroking movements with light pressure.
The procedure should take no more than 3-5 minutes at a time.
After the massage you can do light gymnastics with your baby. Especially well suited for dealing with colic exercise “bike”, but you can just bend the legs at the knees several times, lifting them to the tummy and lowering them back.
In addition, by agreement with the pediatrician, you can give the baby dill water, simethicone-based preparations (to combat increased flatulence) or lactase (with a lack of digestive enzymes). It is necessary to select these means with the doctor, taking into account the peculiarities of colic in a particular baby.
How to avoid swallowing air?
Of course, it is equally important to deal with one of the most common causes of colic and discomfort in the gastrointestinal tract – the ingestion of air during feeding. Air can get into the esophagus for a variety of reasons: an uncomfortable feeding position, improper nipple grip, too small a baby’s mouth, an incorrectly chosen bottle or nipple.
If the baby is breastfed, it is necessary to ensure that it is correctly gripping the nipple. In addition, the baby should not bend, slurp or choke in the chosen position.
After each feeding, you need to hold it vertically for at least a few minutes, waiting until it releases the air that has entered.
If for some reason a baby receives a mixture or expressed milk, it is better to choose special anti-colic bottles that prevent air from entering the stomach. For example, the popular English brand Tommee Tippee all bottles – antikolikovye.
In addition, Tommee Tippee has bottles with enhanced anti-colic effect and power supply indicator, which are equipped with ultra-sensitive valves located along the entire length of the tube and at the base of the bottle. These valves prevent the ingress of air into the child’s stomach, which significantly reduces the likelihood of painful colic.
It is good if the anti-colic bottle also has replaceable nipples, which allow you to adjust the speed of food entry into the baby’s stomach. In this case, the nipple should facilitate a simple and proper grip, imitating the natural elasticity, shape and mobility of my mother’s breast – such as the nipples in Tommee Tippee bottles.
What is equally important for proper feeding is that the Tommee Tippee bottles have an ergonomic and compact shape that helps ensure close contact between mother and baby. This helps the child to calmly eat food, without haste and without being distracted during the process.
And of course, remember about one of the main factors of successful struggle with colic – the calmness of mother and other family members! Do not be nervous and do not worry, because your excitement can be transmitted to the baby.
Remember that colic is a natural age stage that will definitely end one day!
Learn more about Tommee Tippee on the official website of the brand.