Colicky babies are those babies who cry incessantly for hours without any reason. Read the following article to know more about the causes, symptoms and cure of colicky babies.

Colicky Babies

Having a baby is one of the best feelings in the world. Seeing the little bundle of joy fills the hearts of the parents with limitless happiness and joy. Such is the level of ecstasy and elation that even responsibilities that come along with the baby do not seem like a burden. However, just as human nature it is, the excitement and enthusiasm fades away with time and the responsibilities start taking a toll on the sleep and the daily routine of the parents. While everything else can be handled what gets onto the nerves is the incessant cries of the baby. Though mostly babies cry only when they are hungry or when irritated, there are some babies who cry incessantly for hours without any reason. No matter howsoever you try to console and calm the baby, every effort of yours seem to fail. You try to feed it, take it out for a walk, sing to it a lullaby and even change the diapers and clothes, but nothing seems to bring down the terrible wailing. Such is the state that at one point you are tempted to pull your hair out in desperation. However, this isn't the time to get irritated or annoyed or even worried as to what is wrong with the infant. You need to understand that your baby may be having colic, a condition where the infant cries or screams frequently for extended periods, without any observable reason. Read the following article to know more about colicky babies.
Causes of Colicky Babies
There are several theories and hypothesis behind the cause of colic in babies, but none has been proven yet. Few have been listed herein.
  • One probably theory about the cause of colic is the development of an allergy to something the baby ingested. Since the digestive system of the baby is not as developed as adults, the food does not easily pass through the digestive tract, thus causing problems.
  • Certain foods consumed by lactating mothers contain chemicals and allergens. While feeding, these chemicals may pass on to the baby via breast milk, thus causing gas and bloating in the infant.
  • Another theory suggests that colic is the outcome of the pain caused by the violent contraction of the digestive tract when the baby passes gas.
  • Infants often while being fed swallow air along with the food and liquid. This increases gas and bloating further adding to the discomfort.
  • Recent studies have linked the cause of colic to the smoking habit of the parents. 
Symptoms of Colicky Babies 
  • The most common sign of colic is when the baby cries continuously and loudly from 1-3 hours at a time, for about three or four days in a week.
  • During the condition of colic, infant sucks with vigor, gulping down the formula and along with it air. Though transient relief is achieved from the food, it does not remain for long as the infant is attacked by another episode of evident gastrocolic cramping and pain, due to the air which was swallowed and thus starts crying out again.
  • Often colicky babies reflect symptoms of having flatus (gas or air in the intestines) and borborygmus (movement of air and fluid in the intestines), due to which they feel the discomfort and thus start crying.
  • Some colicky babies may have spasmodic attacks that last only a few minutes, whereas others may appear to be in pain all day.
  • Common physical symptoms of colicky babies include face getting red, knees pulled to the chest, clenched fists, cold feet, flailing arms and legs, and an arched back.
  • Colicky babies may have some gastroesophageal reflux, but do not have vomiting, diarrhea, persistent abdominal distention or poor growth.
  • Baby with colic may have difficulty in falling or staying asleep. Inappropriate sleep may further cause uneasiness and disturbance, thereby causing incessant crying.
  • While the babies can cry anytime, most of the colicky babies cry more in the early evening or late afternoon. Also, symptoms occur around the same time each day or night, often after meal times, and usually ending as abruptly as they began. 
Treatment for Colicky Babies 
  • You can use calming techniques like rhythmic motion which may involve rocking your child in a cradle or in your lap in a rocking chair. Holding the baby in your arms and walking up and down the room is also a good way to soothe the baby.
  • You can use the traditional Indian method of baby massaging. In this practice, the baby is stroked in a continuous, flowing movement from head to feet, using light stroking and deeper massage technique.
  • You can also put your baby in the soft baby carrier that allows you to keep it close to your chest without you having to hold the baby quite literally. Proximity to your body would help calm down the baby and would also help you do all your work as your hands would be free.
  • Singing or dancing is age old methods to calm babies. Hold your baby close to you or prop it on your arm. Glide around the floor to the sound of your own vocal support or to recorded music.
  • Babies have a strong habit of sucking irrespective of their need for food. Thus, if you are held up with something and just want to buy a few minutes so that you wrap up the work, pop in a pacifier into the mouth of your baby and watch it suck the same to relax itself. 
Hope this article on colicky babies help you deal with your little one. If the problem persists, visit a doctor as soon as possible.

Related Categories:   Newborn | Toddler | Baby

By Age Group
Development Stages
Baby Products