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Definition. Colic is a condition that occurs in early infancy where a newborn baby will have bouts of prolonged crying, apparent abdominal pain and marked irritability. The onset of colic usually occurs a few weeks after birth and it disappears by 3 to 4 months of age. Often the baby cries at predictable times of the day and/or night. Parents know what it is like when their baby has colic. The baby has a hard time relaxing and going to sleep and so do the parents. The lack of sleep is hard on both the parents and the baby.
Etiology. What causes colic? There are numerous theories as to what causes colic. At this point none of them have been proven. So we really do not know what causes it. But here are some things that do seem to be associated with colic. First of all, the digestive tract of a newborn baby is immature at birth. Thus it is set up to handle only one thing- human breast milk. With colic it is thought that the intestines of the baby are going into spasm in response to too much gas or as a reaction to something in the formula or breast milk that they are being fed. These muscle spasms are very painful, thus the baby cries and cries for long periods of time, and it is difficult for the parents to console them. Babies on formula may be reacting to the cow's milk present in it. Cow's milk is a very common food allergen/reaction in children. Cow's milk has been associated with an increased frequency of ear infections in children that are sensitive to it. Try switching to a soy-based formula, a pre-digested formula or a hypo-allergenic formula.
The best thing is to breast-feed your child if this is possible. But mother's that breast feed do have to be careful about what they eat. The baby is exposed to whatever the mother eats via the breast milk! So moms, if your breastfeeding, you need to pay attention to what you are eating. You should keep in mind while your eating "Is this something I would want my baby to be eating?" If the answer is no, then don't eat it. Ideally breastfeeding moms should adopt as bland a diet (i.e. oatmeal, rice, bananas, etc.) as they can tolerate. This is tough, but after 3 to 4 months you can start putting more flavorful foods back into your diet. By this time your baby's digestive tract will have matured some and will be able to handle the exposure to more challenging foods. Moms that are breastfeeding need to avoid foods that promote gas i.e. beans, cabbage, cauliflower, brussel sprouts, broccoli, radishes, eggs, onions and green peppers. You also need to avoid foods that are spicy. Other foods that you need to check out for possible food reactions in your baby are dairy products, citrus, chocolate, tomatoes, caffeine (coffee, tea and sodas) and seafood. Of these, dairy products are a very common item that many moms find their babies are reacting to in their breastmilk. Try to avoid all dairy products (milk, cheese, yogurt, cottage cheese, ice cream and don't forget to read labels) for one to two weeks and notice whether the bouts of colic diminish or not (try rice milk or soy milk in place of cow's milk). If they diminish, you know you are on the right track. The biggest thing is to pay attention to what you are eating and how your baby is doing. If you suspect a particular food is causing a reaction in your baby, simply avoid it for a week or two and see what happens.
Treatment. So in addition to trying the above, what can parents do to treat spells of colic. NATURE DOC has an excellent product for treating newborn colic. It is an herbal oil called "Tummy Calm." Tummy Calm contains a combination of herbs that have a long historical use for treating upset digestion. Several substances in this product relax muscle spasms and alleviate gas pains. This is a perfect combination for colic. Tummy Calm helps the digestive tract to return to a state of relaxation. The baby is then able to relax and go to sleep, and so can the parents! It works great, it's safe and it's easy to use. Simply rub the herbal oil on the baby's abdomen. That's all there is to it! If you are interested in trying this product, click here on TUMMY CALM.
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