Colic is usually defined as inconsolable crying for at least three hours a day, at least three days a week, and at least three weeks in a row. The good news is that colic isn't a disease and it won't cause your baby harm in the long run. But it is a very tough thing to go through for both baby and parents.
Medical practitioners do not definitively understand or agree upon the cause of colic but there is research to support a number of contributing factors – including over-stimulation, food intolerances, over feeding, digestive tract immaturity and intestinal gas, to name but a few. There is also information that suggests a burp or a bowel movement can end a colicky attack, further supporting the theory that intestinal gas is a contributing factor.
Without a definitive verdict, one of the most common contributing factors is still believed to be gastrointestinal discomfort and there is information which suggests intestinal gas and internalised air to be a cause based on symptoms where babies' bellies often look swollen, feel hard, and make a rumbling sound.
There’s nothing that is certain to ease colic, but here are some tips from baby health company, closer to nature, to help ease colic in babies.
- Check with your GP, to rule out any possible medical causes.
- Over-the-counter preparation like Infacol, Colief or gripe water may assist but check with your GP first.
- If breastfeeding, taking care to let your baby drain the whole breast, before offering her the other one.
- You could also try cutting out anything from your diet that seems linked. The usual suspects are dairy products, spicy dishes, caffeine, alcohol, strong-tasting veg like cabbage, sprouts and onions, wheat, and citrus fruits or juices.
- If you're bottle-feeding, aim to reduce the amount of air your baby ingests by experimenting with vented bottles and teats, and keeping the bottle upright during feeds so milk is always covering the neck.
- A baby can ingest air in two ways when feeding from a bottle: either by air mixed within the milk or as they suckle at the teat. The new advanced comfort range from closer to nature is specially designed to help reduce air bubbles in the milk and to encourage a good latch-on at the teat to help reduce the risk of baby ingesting air during feeding.