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What the f*@k is colic and what can i do to help?

You may of heard this word branded about willy nilly. You may have had a family member or friend tell you your baby has colic if they are unsettled.


But . . . what the hell is colic?


Colic is described as excessive crying that starts from 1 – 2 weeks old for on average 2-4 hours per day with the crying peaking at 6-8 weeks.


I know, I know all babies cry. It’s their first way of communicating with us to ensure their needs are being met.


However, a baby with colic will typically cry non-stop for those 2-4 hours, rather than on and off throughout the day. These crying episodes generally occur mostly in the early evening onwards.


So what causes colic?


The most common reason for colic is over stimulation and over tiredness. Babies hearing is sensitive from birth so they will be picking up on all those little environmental sounds throughout their day and by evening these can be over whelming. Plus, you know how grumpy we can all sometimes get if we are tired and just want to sleep!


Baby has been tucked up nice and snug for a long period in your uterus, warm, cosy and safe and suddenly they are thrust into a world of bright lights, noise, smells and different temperatures. Some babies adjust to the outside world faster than others.


Another reason is trapped wind and gas. This is commonly caused by the intake of air during feeds. Due to the design of the stomach and the oesophagus, wind can become trapped in the stomach and baby will need help to get this out which will bring relief.


Baby suffering from colic symptoms

So what can I do to help?


Wonky winding means having baby on your right shoulder so that they are tilted over to their left so that the trapped wind has chance to pass up through the oesophageal sphincter.


Baby massage can also help mechanically move wind and gas to the end of the bowel for baby to pass. Touch also releases the love hormone oxytocin which can help to relax you and baby and endorphins, which is our bodies natural pain reliever.


Formula fed baby’s need their bottles the opposite to James Bond. They need them stirred not shaken. Shaking the formula in the bottle with increase the presence of air bubbles which will make things worse. Swirl it or use a sterilised spoon to stir.


Breastfeeding mummies can check that their latch is secure, by ensuring that baby’s nose is to the nipple and that their head is able to move freely.


There are also other reasons why colic may be triggered such as tongue tie, baby’s clothes, lactose intolerance or altered gut microbiome.


Remember – it’s not your fault.


I know have distressing colic can be. My first had colic and would scream nonstop for hours in the early evening. It feels like the night and the crying will never end and everything can feel overwhelming.


It's ok to be triggered by the sound of your baby crying nonstop.


Try taking a breath in for 4 through your nose and gently out for 7 through your mouth.


Make sure baby is on their play mat or leave them with another adult and go in to another room.


Try baby massage or baby yoga.


Talk honestly to other parents in baby groups or on baby forums – you will most likely find at least one other parent who can relate.


Kelly xxx


Additional support can be found here


PANDAs - https://pandasfoundation.org.uk – offer information as well as email, telephone or Facebook group support


Cry-sis helpline – 08451 228 669


Cry-sis website - https://www.cry-sis.org.uk -advice and guidance


NHS baby buddy app – information and 24 hour text support



If you would like to try out my FREE tummy massage routine, specifically designed to break down pockets of gas then click the button below.



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