Understanding Colic in Your Baby

Colic is defined as excessive crying and irritability in a child for more than 3 hours per day, more than 3 days per week for more than 3 weeks. The crying tends to be inconsolable but will resolve after a few hours. Colic is typically considered to be idiopathic but some of the common causes are dietary or related to intestinal microbiome.

Colic can begin when a baby starts drinking cow’s milk formula or if breast-feeding, and mom is eating foods that are aggravating to the baby. Typically it’s advised that breast-feeding moms eat a more bland diet, and avoid caffeine and spicy foods. If colic begins when solid foods are introduced, it’s likely that a food sensitivity exists.

Potential causes for colic: abdominal pain due to gas or reflux, abdominal pain due to immature GI tract, reaction to something mom or baby is eating, normal development, oversensitivity to stimulus, immature nervous system, etc.

The excessive crying that characterizes colic is stressful and exhausting for parents and baby. The best thing to do is see your doctor to rule out other causes of the pain and crying. Some treatment options for colic include:

  1. Probiotics – Studies show a reduction in colic symptoms in a 28 day trial. Be sure to talk to your doctor about which probiotics are right for your child.
  2. Elimination diet – For baby or mom depending on age.
  3. Carminative herbs like Chamomile, Fennel, etc. Talk to your doctor if this is appropriate before administering.
  4. Baby wearing
  5. Craniosacral Therapy

Sources: Fundamentals of Naturopathic Pediatrics by Dr. Jared M Skowron

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