It is important to understand that this is not anyone’s fault and that infant colic is simply a common case observed in a number of newborns. To effectively cope with this situation, parents have to fully understand what infant colic is, to recognize the signs of colic and the first steps to be taken to help your baby.
Infant Colic Defined
Colic is the occurrence of loud, persistent crying encountered in infants and small children between two weeks and five months of age. This usually begins suddenly, often after a feeding, during the late afternoon or early evening. The bouts of crying can last up to several hours without any discernable reason.
Infant colic is not harmful to the baby but is very wearing and distressful to the parents. Ten to twenty percent of healthy babies (10% to 20%) may encounter this condition. It often starts when the baby is two weeks old, reaches its peak at three months and slowly subsides when the baby approaches four months old.
Signs of Colic
As a rule of thumb, a baby is considered colicky if the spells of intense crying last for three hours or more, for more than three days in a week, and for more than three weeks in a month. This is not an absolute rule since different babies may show different behaviors. Some babies with colic are simply fussy while others cry so hard their faces turn red.
A baby may demonstrate some of the following signs during an attack of colic:
- Irritable and fussy
- Loud continuous crying that may last for several hours and may occur anytime during the day or night but most often begin in the late afternoon or early evening.
- Demonstrates clenched fists and the legs are often flexed and extended straight out alternately
- Distended (bloated) or prominent belly
- The baby’s feet are often cold
What To Do if the Signs of Colic are Observed
Parents should not immediately assume that what their baby has is colic. The first thing you need to do is consult your baby’s physician to rule out any other possible cause of this observed behavior.
Your physician will advise you if your baby is healthy. In this case, your baby is experiencing colic. When all other possible conditions are set aside, you can now focus on how you can give your baby colic relief and ease his or her discomfort until the condition goes away.
Freelance Contributor: Hazel Zanoria