What is worse than a crying baby? A baby that is crying because of colic. This is because a crabby baby can be soothed or distracted using several baby items. But a baby in the throes of pain is actually suffering. Also, colic is a pain that comes in waves and lasts for a while before the baby calms down. Yes, abdominal pain in infancy is a common condition that affects a large percentage of babies during their first few months. It is just as common in girls as it is in boys. It is just as common whether the baby is breast-fed or bottle-fed.
The main reasons of this uneasy condition are:
- A digestive system that isn't fully developed.
- Imbalance of healthy bacteria in the digestive tract.
iii. Food allergies or intolerances.
- Overfeeding as well as underfeeding
and, most importantly,
- Infrequent burping.
If you want to actually get to the root of what is causing your baby to be uncomfortable because of colic, keep a track of what you are eating - if your baby is exclusively on breast milk. Or, make detailed notes of what you are feeding your baby. Take the help of your pediatrician to devise a diet plan for yourself and your baby -and don't forget to discuss any vitamin supplements or herbal remedies you may be taking.
But when in the midst of a colic attack, there are several things you can do to soothe your baby.
- Hold & Cuddle Your Baby
A parent's touch is really magical. It not only reassures the baby, but the body heat that you transfer as you rock her / him, will also soothe the baby. Pick her / him up from the baby cot or baby pram and hold them close.
- Swaddle Your Baby
To an adult, swaddling might feel restrictive - like in a straitjacket. But to a crying baby, it’s like being back in the womb. Wrap your baby in a soft baby blanket snugly so they can’t wriggle their arms and legs free. Make sure to always place them on their back. Stop swaddling when they are able to roll over on their own. When you buy baby items or baby clothes, whether online or from a baby store, ensure the fabric of the blanket is natural and breathable. Elli Junior Nakheel Mall has some unique blankets that are fuss free and also especially designed for swaddling.
- Move With Them
Whether you are walking with your baby or simply rocking them back and forth. It might help you to know that in the womb, babies get used to a lot of motion. The movement might soothe them enough to make them get back to sleeping. For this reason, when you design a baby room or are buying baby furniture, you may want to invest in a rocking chair or a swing. A baby carrier will also help keep you from straining yourself. Simply bundle your baby in this unique baby product and carry her as you walk. This will also allow you to have a hands-free approach.
- Sing & Talk To Your Baby
Even though it may be tough, hold your baby close and sing and shush right into their ear. You don't have to be timid; do it loudly enough so that your baby can hear you over their own wails.
- Massage Your Baby
As mentioned in the first point, a parent's touch can be really soothing to your baby. All babies love skin-to-skin contact. Studies also prove that babies that are massaged seem to cry less and also sleep better. Undress your baby and use gentle and slow strokes on their limbs, back, chest and even face. You may want to check with the pediatrician before using any oils and lotions. For effective relief from colic, rub the tummy of your baby in a gentle clockwise motion, or bicycle their legs to relieve some pressure. This might make them release some gas too. Massaging your baby's back will also make them burp, and therefore, release gas.
If it seems that you’ve not made much headway, remember to take a breather from trying to pacify your baby. God knows how nerve wracking not being able to calm down a wailing baby can be for a parent. Sometimes it is okay to leave them with a babysitter, family member or trusted friend and step away from the situation. When no one is around to help, it is not selfish to leave your baby in the baby pram or baby cot for a little while as you gather your senses, or even warm some water for a soothing soak for your baby.
Be sure to take expert medical advice if your baby:
- Has diarrhoea especially if you notice blood in it
- Does not eat or gain weight
- Has a fever of 100.4 F or more
- Might be sick or injured
- Seems less alert or more sleepy than usual
If you are taking care of a baby that has a phase of colic, it is absolutely normal to feel overwhelmed, frustrated, and imagine yourself to be a failure. This is really far from the truth, and you know that!
You may also like to know that some babies just cry more than others. Keep watching this space for tips on dealing with babies by the Elli Junior community. And the next time your baby’s wailing gets you all knotted up, remember two things: It’s not your fault, and it won’t be like this forever.