Colic differs from ordinary crying, in that the baby can be incolsolable crying turns to screaming, and the ordeal last for hours. Doctors sometimes diagnose colic based on the ‘rule of 3s’: at least 3 hours of crying, at least 3 days per week for at least 3 weeks.
A textbook case of colic will be when baby pulls knees up, clenches fists. Bowel activity may increase and gas may be passed. Eating and sleeping are disrupted. Colic usually begins during the 2nd or 3rd week of life, gets as bad as its going to by week 6, and usually clears by3/4 months.
There is no increased likelihood of colic due to bottle or breast feeding.
- Episodes of crying, pulling legs up to chest, tummy appears to rumble
- Cause not known
- Parent is not at fault
- Made worse by over-handling the infant, baby can sense the anxiety
- Resolves at 3-4 months of age
Coping with Colic:
- Try to have "Time out" for each parent
- "White noise" e.g. washing machine, car
- Colic remedies: Lactose intolerance – could try to add lactase drops (Colief) to milk for min 3 days. If no benefit seen after a week, discontinue. Alternatively, if formula fed, try low lactose feed, but again switch back if no benefit seen. Products containing Dimethicone (INFACOL or DENTINOX) may help with trapped wind.
- Soya based formula are not recommended. Phytoestrogen content may impair reproductive health of child in later years. Use a lactose free formula instead. If breastfeeding then the mother can try to avoid dairy produce for a week to see if this improves condition.
- It is very important to speak to your GP or PHN or Pharmacist if you feel you are not coping with the distressing crying associated with colic.
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