Colic in newborns: what to do?
Why are there colic in newborns
Colic is not a disease, but just a sign of an infant's adaptation to a new environment. As soon as a child is 2–3 months old (in extreme cases - 4–6 months), all these troubles will pass and will never appear again! The word "colic" comes from the ancient Greek "colic", which means "pain in the colon." The baby experiences spastic (wave-like) pain in the abdomen - either subsiding or intensifying.
- colic in infants occurs at the 3rd (4th) week of life
- they last about 3 hours a day
- at least 3 episodes of colic per week
Why do babies up to 3 months suffer from abdominal pain, and later - no longer? The doctors have not yet found the exact answer to this question. It is assumed that the body of a newborn has a number of features that provoke the occurrence of colic in infants. Here are the main ones:
- Active intestinal motility due to immaturity of the brain
- In premature babies, problems with the tummy can occur later - in 2.5–3 months — and last for 5–6 months (versus 2-3 months in full-term babies)
- Increased gassing caused by immaturity of enzyme systems
- Hypersensitivity of the intestinal wall
- Food intolerance. Colic in a child can occur as a reaction to certain allergens.
Help with colic
In theory, everything is simple: you need to warm the baby’s tummy, help him “go to the toilet” - and the colic in the newborn will go away. In practice, you will have to patiently go through one technique after another until you find the optimal one that suits your one and only baby. So, here are some ways to warm your stomach (all exercises need to be done long enough - from 40 minutes to several hours):
- Lie down, lay the child on your stomach and gently stroke him on the back, quietly lulling him; put a warm (from under the iron) diaper on the baby’s tummy (or wrap it tightly around the baby’s belly)
- Put the baby in a sling - so that his naked belly snuggles tightly against his mother's (or, for example, his father's).
- Put the baby on its knees, tummy down. Gently shake your valuable “load” and simultaneously stroke the back
- Put your child’s belly down on his hand (this exercise is best done by fathers!): The baby’s head lies in the parent’s palm, legs hang on both sides of the elbow. Now raise and lower your hand with a peanut - at the same time and pump up your biceps
But these measures can be taken in order to help the baby get rid of excess gases:
- Do the exercise “Bicycle” with the child’s legs, bending and unbending each alternately
- Try to massage your baby's belly
- Hold the child over the bathtub or the sink in the Mountain Eagle pose: the baby leaned back on his mother’s chest, and she supported him with her legs wide apart and drawn to her tummy
- Use a special vent pipe, but only if all of the above does not help. Frequent use of such a device leads to constipation!
How else to help a child with colic
Help with colic with my mom’s diet
If the mother breastfeeds the baby, then interrupt the hepatitis B or reduce the volume of her milk when colic appears! First of all, you should exclude from your diet foods that most often provoke the development of colic in newborns: whole cow's milk, cottage cheese, cheese, condensed milk, nuts, eggs and chicken (mayonnaise and chicken stock too!), Soy and soy products, white bread and pastries (abdominal pains may be a reaction to wheat, for example). Only a food diary can find a true “criminal”.
Attention: If the baby doesn’t feel better in 2-3 weeks, it doesn’t make sense to follow a diet anymore - that means the cause of colic is not at all connected with my mother’s food
Help with colic if feeding is mixed or artificial:
- Buy an “anti-colic” bottle - with a special device that prevents air ingestion
- Choose the right food. There are special mixtures for children with colic - hypoallergenic or with the addition of prebiotics
Prevention of colic in newborns
Moms are advised not to abuse dairy products (especially whole milk) - and from the very moment the baby is born. Do not forget to spread the crumbs before feeding on the tummy for 3-4 minutes, and also gently massage his belly 30-40 minutes after each “meal”.
But it’s best to do colic prophylaxis even before the baby is born! Do not smoke or breathe tobacco smoke, do special exercises for pregnant women - and let your child be healthy and cheerful!
Although we said that colic in newborns is not scary, not paying attention to the child’s torment would be extremely wrong. In certain cases, you must immediately consult a doctor so as not to miss the development of a serious disease.
- Abdominal pain, combined with poor weight gain (or even weight loss) is a sure sign of a serious bowel problem!
- It is worthwhile to be careful if the child does not allow to feel his tummy even in the intervals between bouts of colic.
- Lack / loss of appetite, coupled with abdominal pain, is often the first sign of an infectious disease.
- If a child’s colic is combined with an increase in temperature above 37.40 ° C, then this can also be regarded as an alarming sign.
Important: Keep in mind that in the evening, a temperature of 37.2–37.4 ° C is considered normal for a baby. Such a slight increase in temperature is associated with the still immature processes of thermoregulation, as well as the frequent overheating of babies ("the child is cold, cover him, or catch a cold!").