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Have A Baby With Colic? Here’s The Education And Advice You’ve Been Looking For
Do you think your baby has colic? Did your doctor scare you to death when he said your newborn was a colicky baby? If you’re unsure or uneducated about the subject, you’ve come to the right place. Many new parents are scared and uncertain when their newborn is “diagnosed” with colic. We have written this article to educate and guide you during this uncertain time. If you have a colicky baby, you may be out of your mind, and the last thing you need is to stay awake at night searching for knowledge and answers. Trust me, I know. Well, the good news is that I already did it for you. The bad news is that the good news ended there. There is nothing good about colic, and there is no sugarcoating it. Maybe with some knowledge and experience I can help you calm down. Also, here are some good tips and tricks if they help you along the way. Let me start by explaining my experience first and then we’ll take it from there.
When our son was born, the nurse carried him out of the nursery and bragged that he was the quietest baby in the room. Oh, we are lucky, so lucky to have the quiet baby, or so we thought. We had no idea why he was waiting for us.
In the second week of the little boys life, our oh so quiet baby turned into a screaming, crying sound barrier breaking monster! He didn’t just scream, he screamed for hours, and it happened more and more. We were confused and confused. How can this happen to us? It was so quiet when we got it. It didn’t take long before we took her to the doctor. They said to try to change her formula because the blue, similar bottles they give at the hospital are a little hard on some newborns’ stomachs.
Four days later we were at the doctor again. The new formula had the same effect, but now he was spitting up frequently to go along with it. As you can guess, they changed his formula again and told us to wait another four days to see how he reacts. This process continued until we reached the fifth formula. When you go through this every day, it seems like an eternity. I can’t even explain how frustrated and upset we were.
One day I was watching the baby while my wife was shopping and I finally reached my boiling point. The baby cried for so long that I picked him up, put him in his carrier and went straight to the pediatrician’s office. Entering the office, I walked to the front desk and placed the carrier with our screaming baby on the table. When she asked what was wrong, I simply said “this, this is wrong” and pointed to the carrier. After being seen, the doctor said the baby was colic and needed some time to grow out of it. Colic, what was that? I’ve heard this word before, but I wasn’t sure what it actually was. And time, who had time to wait for the baby to grow out of it? We’ve lost our minds and we’ve only been parents for a few weeks!
Desperate for a better answer, my wife and I decided to take it upon ourselves. We weren’t the first couple in the world to have a colicky baby, so the answers had to be there. We wanted to do this the old fashioned way. Research, trial and error. We bought literally every book that had the word colic on it. We read and read and read. I stayed up at night reading and highlighting while my wife asked her girlfriends and surfed the internet. We also realized that there are a lot of filler and worthless books that waste our time and energy. With that said and done, it’s safe to say that we’ve both become extremely knowledgeable in all things colic. Unfortunately, we learned that there is no real cure for colic, but there are many ways to manage it. Sorry to let you down, but these are the facts. However, once we were properly educated on the matter, we were better equipped to deal with it. We still had to approach the hands in part, but we were ready. We are here to share our education with you so you don’t have to waste your time. Plus, we went through it from start to finish and were able to help our friends and family afterwards. Thus, without further ado, we speed up the colic here and now.
Studies show that forty percent of babies are colicky, wow! Beginning between the first two and three weeks of life, colic or infantile colic is described as a condition in which a healthy baby often cries for long periods without reason. An episode of colic can last from one to four hours! The crying is usually extremely loud and is sometimes accompanied by clenched fists, a flushed face, a distended stomach, or bent/pointed legs. You will notice that it is much more difficult to soothe your baby during a colic episode. Often the crying starts shortly after feeding, but it can happen at any time. Also, as in our case, a baby with colic usually has the worst time around the early evening. I remember joking about the sunset and it turned from a baby to a werewolf! Remember that all babies cry, especially during the first eight weeks of life, which is known as the “fussy” period. We are specifically talking about excessive prolonged crying that falls into this category. Don’t assume your baby has colic because he cries and looks uncomfortable. The number three is a good indicator. Crying for three hours at a time, three days a week, for more than three weeks. Yes, that kind of crying! There is no real evidence of what causes colic. Experts are still unclear in their studies because these babies have no actual health problems. The only good thing is that colic usually clears up on its own within twelve to sixteen weeks. Do the math and that’s three to four months old. So if it comforts you to know that it’s usually a timed event, then go for it, you’ll need it. Things started to improve for us by the end of the second month, and by the middle of the third month everything was back to normal. Many new parents are a little confused about the symptoms of colic and attribute other symptoms to colic itself. Remember that a baby with colic is otherwise a healthy baby, and any other symptoms should be brought to the attention of pediatricians. Diarrhea or blood in a baby’s stool is not a symptom associated with colic. Also, while it may be common for a colicky baby to spit up occasionally, actual vomiting is not a symptom. Please do not be afraid to keep in touch with your pediatrician if you are unsure about anything. This is a critical time in your baby’s development, and doctors are aware of this.
After the doctor declares that your baby has colic, they usually change the formula, if they haven’t already done so before reaching this conclusion. They may change it several times until they find the right one for your little one, so only buy cases from the stuff after the medical trial period is over. I’ve seen this happen too many times and some formulas can be very expensive. The last thing you want is to be stuck with a case that didn’t turn out well after a week. Be patient while introducing the new formula. Sometimes it seems to work and on the fourth day everything falls apart. It takes a little time for the baby to get used to the new formula, so wait until the doctor advises. Check with your health insurance provider, as some, but not all, of the more expensive “specialty” prescriptions are covered. Some babies with colic develop or end up with some form of reflux, and the doctor may prescribe a prescription medicine or an over-the-counter antacid. Another problem associated with colic is gas or air. Bottles such as the Dr Browns brand have an air regulator and can be useful. Sometimes these babies drink too fast and trap a lot of gas in their stomachs. If your baby is snapping the bottle at an uncontrollable speed and making loud swallowing sounds while feeding, you need to slow down. Change their nipples to null or preemie nipples. The holes in these nipples are smaller and slow the baby down as they cannot pump out as much formula as quickly. Some new formulas have a sandy or gravelly texture to slow down the flow through the nipple and settling in the baby’s stomach. These formulas must be prescribed by a pediatrician. On that note, please DO NOT switch formulas unless instructed to do so by your doctor. I have seen this done by parents desperately trying to help their babies with what they heard from another mother. Every baby’s digestive system is different, and what works for some may not work for others. Switching too many formulas too quickly can irritate a little one’s digestive system. Breastfed babies are in the same boat. The only advice for breastfeeding moms is to make sure the baby finishes the first breast before switching to the next breast. If they switch breasts before they are done with the first, they may end up with little fat, which allows a lot of milk sugar to quickly reach their tummy, making them irritable or colicky.
However, this is a good way to soothe a colicky baby. If the baby is not being fed, obviously feed it, but be careful not to overfeed it, they are not looking for extra food here. Be sure to burp them more often during feedings as trapped air is never pleasant. Many people recommend vibrating rocking seats, if this works for you, then by all means go ahead. Based on my research and my own experience, I’m not a fan of this, and it hasn’t worked very well for me. Hip fluids and colic cures are a waste of money. If someone were to invent a miracle drug, our doctors would prescribe it like antibiotics to colic children. If these products help put your mind at ease then go for it, but there is no proof that they work. They didn’t work for us either. What works is a great swaddling routine. Swaddling is a godsend if your baby loves being swaddled. Some parents report that their babies hate it, if that’s you, skip it, but if not, keep it nice and comfortable. Learn to be a polo master. A nice, comfortable swaddle simulates a womb-like atmosphere for your baby. A gentle rocking/rocking motion repeated while they are nicely swaddled will also enhance the soothing sensation. If your baby buys a pacifier, it’s definitely time to give it away. While rocking, you can carefully hold the pacifier inside with two fingers. Loud calming sounds you make or a white noise machine also set the mood. Many people claim that traveling in the car calms a colicky baby, and I agree, it can provide temporary relief. Unfortunately, we can’t drive all day, and if your baby is anything like mine, red lights can be sulky!
As for the literature, there aren’t too many useful books on the subject. Mostly you will find money suckers who claim to cure your baby. These creeps only feed on desperate parents who would pay anything for a little help, so don’t patronize them like we did. The only helpful book on the pancreas after sifting through so much is The Happiest Baby On The Block by Harvey Karp MD. We highly recommend your book. So give it a try and good luck to you!
Whatever happens, make sure you don’t stress yourself deeply about this issue. If you feel like you’re going to lose it, call a friend or relative and see if they can help or take a break to collect yourself. In the end, your health is just as important as theirs, and your baby needs you during this difficult time. Always remember, this too shall pass, you are not alone.
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