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  1. Hello Dear,

    Thank you for writing to us at MediMetry.

    Colic is a common problem during the first few months of the life of a baby. Usually it starts around 4-6 weeks and peaks at 3 months and then gradually decreases and settles. For the parents its a very distressing situation as baby cries vociferously and without apparent reason. Mostly it happens during the late afternoon or evening times. We as pediatrician also wonder what causes these colic or crying episodes as lot of research has been done on this subject but there has not been any conclusive reason/causes.

    In an otherwise healthy and well-fed baby, colic symptoms include:

    1. Predictable crying episodes:- A baby who has colic often cries about the same time every day, usually in the late afternoon or evening. Colic episodes may last from a few minutes to three hours or more on any given day. Your baby may have a bowel movement or pass gas near the end of the colic episode.

    2. Intense or inconsolable crying:-Colic crying is intense, sounds distressed and is often high pitched. Your baby's face may flush, and he or she is extremely difficult — if not impossible — to comfort.

    3. Crying that occurs for no apparent reason:- It's normal for babies to cry sometimes. Crying usually means your baby needs something, such as food or a clean diaper.

    Crying associated with colic occurs with no clear cause.

    4. Posture changes:- Curled up legs, clenched fists and tensed abdominal muscles are common during colic episodes.

    Colic Treatment:-

    Any crying which is excessive and with no apparent reason, before treating it as colic, parents should consult. As many serious illness can also be present initial symptoms are crying, so your pediatrician will examine your baby and reassure that nothing obvious serious condition is present. If yes, then only go ahead with medication which might help in relieving the crying episodes.

    1. Gas relieving Medications: Available over-the-counter, gas relief medications such as simethicone (Colic Aid, Colimex DF and others) probably won't do much to ease your baby's symptoms. These medications are generally considered safe, except for babies who have to take thyroid replacement medications.

    2. Probiotics: These are healthy organism or bacteria which normally resides in our gut lumen. Research has not still shown any conclusive beneficial result from their use in such babies.

    Lifestyle changes and colic home remedies:-

    Tips regarding baby feeding:-

    a. Proper positioning and latching of the baby while breast feeding
    b. Consider change in mother's diet: A breast-feeding mother's diet likely doesn't play a role in baby's colicky symptoms. However, in families with a history of allergies, removing potential allergens from your diet might uncover an unknown food allergy in your baby. If you breast-feed, your baby's doctor may suggest that you try eliminating foods most likely to cause allergy — such as dairy, peanuts, tree nuts, wheat, soy and fish — for two weeks to see if your baby's symptoms improve.
    c. If baby is on formula milk, then may be switching formula might help. As formula milk is also prepared from cow's milk so your baby may be reacting to that.

    Changing to a type of formula called hydrolysate infant formula (Similac Expert Care Alimentum) might make a difference if your baby is allergic to cow's milk or has a milk intolerance. You should see a response within two days of changing the formula. If there's no improvement, you can switch back to the original formula.

    Tips for soothing the baby:-

    1. Hold your Baby: Holding closely or swaddling in a light blanket or putting them high on shoulder/prone on mother's thighs while she is sitting and patting may help in crying in some babies.

    2. Keep your baby in motion: Gently rock your baby in your arms or in an infant swing.

    3. Sing to your baby.

    4. Turn up background noise.

    5. Use gentle heat or touch. Give your baby a warm bath. Softly rub your baby's belly.

    6. Give your baby some private time. If nothing else seems to work, put your baby in his or her crib for five to 10 minutes.

    When you run out of ideas:-

    1. Never shake your baby: If your frustration is over, your baby's crying threatens to boil over, hand your baby to another trusted adult. If you're alone with your baby, put him or her down somewhere safe, such as in a crib.

    2. It's OK to let someone else give you a break.


    Hope this answers your query. Feel free to write back to us with follow-up questions.
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