The most prominent and common colic symptom that all babies seem to share is excessive loud crying. There may be no apparent reason for it. Daily crying may last for more than three hours a day and may repeat itself the following day or every other day for up to four times a week. They can begin crying at any time of the day but many parents get the worst bouts in the evening. This irregular pattern can last up to a little over three months.
Other baby colic symptoms include facial redness, coldness of feet, fisted hands and a general appearance of distress or even pain. Babies with colic may also stretch their legs taut and then fold up their legs. They may also pass wind and have hard tummies. Of course, colicky babies typically do not want to eat when they are crying and may have trouble sleeping.
One other enduring symptom is a parent’s inability to comfort or soothe their baby. A baby may not stop crying in spite of various soothing techniques. Crying may stop after an effective soothing technique has been discovered. Crying may also cease on its own after three hours or more.
Looking for Clues
Sometimes it may be tempting to immediately conclude that a baby has colic once its starts to cry uncontrollably. Your primary responsibility and goal however, is to try to determine the real cause of crying. Your baby may not really be having colic. You need to rule out possible causes to prevent serious consequences.
Even when baby colic symptoms are present, try to rule out other possible factors. Other possible causes of crying may be wet diapers, baby fatigue, hunger, thirst, discomfort and too much warmth. You may be able to take note of these common causes of crying by making notes on events or situations before and during your baby’s crying bouts. You may be able to get some insight on possible crying triggers.
In some cases, distressed crying may really be due to some serious medical condition or injury that may not be so obvious to you. This is why it is important to pay your doctor a visit if your baby continues to cry for more than three hours. The pediatrician would know if baby colic symptoms are really behind your baby’s crying pattern or something else. Colic is not a serious medical condition. Your doctor may prescribe medicine to relieve stomach discomfort caused by gas. He may also offer various suggestions on soothing techniques. Often though, relief from baby colic symptoms differs from one baby to another.
The crucial point here is to remain level headed and calm when your baby experiences colic. Losing your grip may only make things worse for you and your baby.
Colic Tip #1
Be Patient: Colic problems will lessen with age, so realize that things will get better in the future. In the mean time, try to stay calm, reassuring and loving. The best thing for your child is a well-rested parent.
Colic Tip #2
Feed Less But More Often: Whether breast feeding or bottle feeding, try feeding a baby with colic half as much as usual and twice as often. Little tummies can’t handle getting too much too fast and the breakdown of lactose can cause an increase in intestinal gas.
Colic Tip #3
Enlist Help: One if the best things you can do if you have a colicky baby is to give yourself a break and get away from it all. Get your spouse, parents, aunts, uncles or even a babysitter to lend a hand for a while so you can rest and recharge your batteries.