Does my baby have colic?If your baby is regularly distressed and crying, you may be wondering if he or she has colic.
What is colic?
Colic is a common, but temporary, condition which causes excessive crying in an otherwise healthy baby. The exact causes of colic are unknown, but it’s thought that it can be caused by milk sensitivity. This is because in the first months of life, some babies are unable to break down lactose, a complex sugar in breast and formula milk. This is called temporary lactase deficiency. It can cause wind, bloating and discomfort, and one of the main symptoms is inconsolable crying. The condition affects up to 1 in 5 babies and although the crying is not harmful, it can be incredibly distressing for parents. Health visitor Dawn Kelly, explains more about the cause of colic in the short video below:
Does my baby have colic?
As a rule of thumb, if your baby cries for three or more hours a day, for three or more days a week, it could be colic. You may also notice that they have a red or flushed face, draw-up their knees and arch their back, along with the severe or intense crying. Dawn Kelly explains what to do if you suspect your baby has colic:
Tips for soothing a colicky baby:
Soothing techniques can help, but every baby is different, so don’t get disheartened if one doesn’t work for you. Sometimes, just holding them up can provide comfort, but avoid picking up and putting down too much, which can simply over-stimulate your baby and cause more crying. You could also try cradling your baby face down on the forearm and gently swinging them, or carrying them around in a papoose or sling. Other soothing techniques to try include giving your baby a warm bath or trying some baby massage. Continuous movement, such as pushing your baby backwards and forwards in the pram, can sometimes help, and lots of babies are soothed by ‘white noise’ (e.g. the sound of a running washing machine). Watch some of these techniques in practice with health visitor, Dawn Kelly:
Colief® Infant Drops
Colief® Infant Drops are clinically proven to reduce colicky symptoms associated with temporary lactase deficiency. They contain the natural enzyme lactase, which breaks down the lactose in the milk by up to 70 percent, making it more easily digestible. Find out more at www.colief.com
Coping with a crying baby can be distressing and it’s important that you take time out if you’re finding it hard to cope. Don’t forget you can phone your Health Visitor for advice or speak to them in person during clinic hours. The charity CRY-SIS also offers valuable support. If you’re worried that your baby is more seriously ill, you should seek medical advice as soon as possible.