Stop going on about colic…
Once he starts smiling, people around him respond. They gaze at him and he gazes back. He watches the curtains flapping by the window. Then grandma visits and she can’t take her eyes off him. With this new attention, his excitement rises to a level that makes him uncomfortable but, alas, he has not yet developed the ability to self-sooth. As the stimulation and stress levels rise he starts to get distressed. He becomes tense and begins to strain and groan, especially late in the day.
His parents become anxious, “Is he constipated? Why does he writhe and arch his back?” Soon his distress level makes him cry and scream. He is picked up and passed hand-to-hand around the family who gaze at him, trying to fathom the cause of his discomfort. The parents ask advice from neighbours to Emergency Departments and the cascade of advice starts. (from here)
Must be colic hey? I actually don’t understand why or how so many people casually throw out “oh he’s got colic” when they clearly have no idea what colic is or what they are talking about.
Colic is uncontrollable crying in an otherwise healthy baby. You can’t have crying, you wouldn’t say oh she’s got uncontrollable crying. It is horrible and heart wrenching to listen to a baby cry and be unable to sooth them, therefore do some research yourself, and describe it correctly. Grrr. People usually assume it is to do with trapped wind as babies pull their legs up (babies always pull their legs up) and therefore instantly resort to over the counter medications such as gripe water or Infacol moving on to Dentinox and maybe a little Gaviscon thrown in. Why? Why are we all so desperate to shove medicine down our babies as soon as possible? Babies in Africa are just carried with their mothers, fed when needed and cared for – they don’t have this over whelming obsession with colic and related medicines. Why is our colic worse?
And on the issue of trapped wind, what is with the continual patting, rubbing and jiggling our babies to get out this wind? It’s not held in with an iron door, it’s an air bubble. It’ll come up – the vomity dribble comes up, what stopping the air? Babies burp perfectly well at other times, surely as long as they are sat up and able to breath and relax if they need to burp they will. Plus babies who are crying need to burp because they are gulping air and crying NOT crying because they need to burp, anyway, I digress…
As far as I can see there are two sensible approaches to dealing with this uncontrollable crying – making sure the baby is getting enough to eat and making sure the baby is getting enough sleep. Done. Considering the crying occurs in the evening that gives 20 hours in the day (ish) to focus on the other bits. Babies generally “grow out of colic” (can you “grow out of crying?”) by around 3 months, coincidentally the time that feeding routines are properly established and babies have more control of their environment.
I guess this simplistic view will irritate some, particularly mothers who babies have had “colic” and feel they did everything they could to help them. There is however considerable research that backs this up and I promise I have done my research. Firstly the cure for colic is often found through proper breastfeeding and ensuring the baby gets all the fatty milk and empties one boob. And secondly bore the baby to sleep this guy might actually be my hero, as I somehow found an article that pretty much summed up all the things I had been moaning about! (and he says bee in my bonnet!)
So stop those bees buzzing and relax, lets just give our babies the chance to feed and sleep properly and maybe there will be less of this catch all term “colic”
PS this post is also awesome!