Colic is one of the most common problems in babies during the first few months. The problem is so common that parents already know how to deal with it even before it occurs. Ways in dealing with colic have been passed on for generations through of mouth or through baby books and digests.
Colic is a problem that everybody seem to know but few can understand. In fact, up until now, scientists and medical experts still do not know what causes colic. All they seem to know is that it is characterized by a pain in the stomach and abdominal area; but where this problem roots from… well that’s something that they are still trying to determine.
Many believe that colic is genetic. This means that parents who suffered from colic when they were babies will also produce babies who will also have colic. Some put the blame on allergens that babies get from their food or from the breast milk that their mommies give them. Others think that colic is just gas that gets stuck inside the still developing systems of the baby.
Colic begins as early as three weeks of age. For premature babies, onset will be a little later because their bodies have not yet developed. Colic episodes will peak at around second month of age and will begin to decline on the third month. Often, episodes will cease during the fourth month of the baby.
Colic symptoms are so obvious that it is impossible for parents miss them. In fact, some sings are so “in-your-face” that parents sometimes tend to panic because of fear that something more major is happening. Colic is actually not a serious problem in babies. Unlike in horses when it is considered to be an emergency and matter of life and death, colic in babies will just cease on their own. Of course, it is important that you also know what differentiates a colic episode from something that is really major. What you think is just colic can be something already serious.
This is why it is also important that you consult your pediatrician when colic starts to ensure that it is really colic that you are dealing with. Since there are no tests that can pinpoint to colic, the most that doctors can do is to exclude other possible causes of crying and screaming episodes. Among the problems that may cause the same reactions are intestinal blockage, infection in the abdomen, an ear infection and sometimes even a scratch in the baby’s eye. Other reasons are obstruction in the digestive tracts, hernia and problems in the bowel.
Since there is really no specific cause of colic, treating or curing colic is impossible. The only thing that parents can do is to make sure that their babies become as comfortable as possible when they are suffering from a colic episode.
One of the things that you can do is to walk your baby and to wrap him or her up in a swaddling. You can also have him listen to some soothing music that will calm him down during an episode. It is important that you do not overfeed your baby, something which most parents will do when their babies cry. Also, check with your pediatrician if your baby is allergic to some foods or liquids that he is taking in. Sometimes allergens that can cause colic can be passed from the mom to the child through breast milk.