03 Sep How To Deal With Colic As A Mom
If your baby falls ill with colic, it can often leave a mother feeling helpless. The incessant crying leaves one feeling utterly helpless and defeated. However, there is light at the end of the tunnel! There is a way you will be able to deal with a colicky baby. But first, you need to understand exactly what colic is.
Did you know, Colic isn’t actually a disease or illness. Yes, it has been linked to abdominal pain caused by wind. But no real sickness has been linked to the syndrome just yet. Many moms assume colic is a type of ailment your baby can contract. Colic is, in actual fact, just excessive crying. Generally, the colic rule of thumb is; three hours of crying per day, three days a week for three weeks on end. If your baby is crying that regularly, there is a high chance they are suffering from colic. Even though colic has no long-term harm to your baby’s health, it can cause severe mental strain on you and your family. So, what do you do to solve the colic crisis?
What Colic is Often Blamed On
More often than not, babies are misdiagnosed as being lactose intolerant. This is then linked directly to the cause of colic as indigestion caused by lactose intolerance leads to great discomfort. There are three cases in which a baby can actually be suffering from lactose intolerance. Remember, even if your baby is lactose intolerant temporarily, you can still breastfeed. Just remove dairy from your diet and see if this makes an improvement to their system.
- Congenital Lactose Intolerance: this is an incredibly rare condition. But in this case, the child will actually suffer from having absolutely no lactose within their system at all. In fact, this condition is so rare that most paediatricians will never see it within their professional career. The lack of lactose in the baby’s system means they cannot process the lactose from their mom’s milk. In these cases, the mom will need to put their child on a soy-based formula. But as we previously mentioned, this case is extremely far and few between.
- Primary Lactose Deficiency: this deficiency will only develop between the ages of three and four years old. Furthermore, this is a common development for most people. At this time, the gut develops in such a way that it can no longer support mass amounts of lactose intake. This is why most adults are mildly lactose intolerant, as we just do not develop in a way in which we can process lactose anymore.
- Lactose Overload: this occurs when your baby’s stomach does not produce enough lactase to actually digest the milk they consume. This can be caused by a virus which attacks your child’s stomach lining, causing the tummy to not be able to process the lactose correctly. However, this is also an uncommon cause of lactose intolerance and should be thoroughly checked before being diagnosed.
Things To Do To Reduce Colic
There are no guaranteed ways to cure colic, however, research has shown there are ways to reduce it. Read on below for a few top points to follow if your little one is suffering from this syndrome.
- Cuddles: believe it or not, the simple form of cuddling is the best way to reduce colic. If your baby is crying relentlessly, snuggle up with them. This has been proven to reduce crying between 43 – 50% according to Medela international.
- Sounds: some babies have been noted to calm down when white noise or vibrations are introduced. Something such as a car ride or swing on a rocking chair accompanied by white noise in the background can help sooth your child dramatically. Sometimes, even soothing, lullaby music can do the trick. But this could also make things worse.
- Stimulus: when some babies are overstimulated, this can worsen their colic. If this is your child, your best bet is to swaddle your baby is a quiet, dark room. This will help your baby relax and soothe them faster.
- Burping: as colic can be a side effect of an uncomfortable abdomen, try burping your little one frequently. This will release any gas which may have built up throughout the day and could be causing discomfort.
What To Do When You Suspect Colic
If you suspect your baby is suffering from colic, you should take them to see a doctor. Even though colic will not harm them, they may be crying due to an underlying medical ailment. If your child is vomiting, you notice blood in their poop or star to run a fever, you should take them to the doctor immediately as these are not linked directly to colic. Also, if one of the above mentioned soothing techniques doesn’t work for you, try another. Remember, all babies are different.
How To Handle Colic As A Parent
Sometimes, you need to admit that you are struggling. There is no shame in doing so. A colicky baby can be a really tough situation to handle. Look for support from friends and family. Never feel ashamed for getting a little frustrated by the situation. A colicky child can be hard. If you need a shoulder to cry on or ear to listen, give Breastpumps & Beyond a call. We have a trove of veteran mums in our team who will be able to help you through this trying time. But above all, remember that colic is only a phase and that it will pass.