What Is Colic?
Six Possible Reasons That Can Provoke Digestive Discomfort In Infants.
A baby that is having intestinal cramps, or painful gas passing through the bowels, or having difficulty processing and digesting food or having digestive problems is sometimes found to suffer from what is referred to as colic.
About 1 baby in 5 will get colic, and among those that do there are those that will seem to violently rebel against this pain and express their inability to cope with this situation by very loud and persistent crying. Sometimes, a parent will perceive or think that the crying will turn into what seem to be uncontrolled screams of anger.
Let us not forget that babies are totally helpless, especially during their first two years and that this makes them extremely vulnerable. The loud yelling might be a first indication of their character, but in this case, even if they try to express rebellion against the pain, it is the only action they can undertake to react and ask for help.
They are not rejecting help or trying to aggravate their parents or caretakers, they are only stuck in a horrible nightmare of pain, yet, sometimes, it so happens that some people will perceive this in this manner.
At this point, the infant sometimes will not accept cuddles or soothing until its discomfort goes away and in most cases, this so-called “rebellion” is the only way they have of asking the parents to help soothe while learning how to cope with the adversity of pain.
Medicine has not been able to solve the problem with a pill or a syrup and it is not yet known why this problem exists, nor what causes it. All that is known for certain, is that it will pass when the child grows older, usually between 8 and 10 months of age.
The most common possible causes of intestinal discomfort that are suspected as possible causes will often be ascribed to these:
- Gas: too much air in the bowels.
- Allergy: difficult digestion of certain food types.
- Reflux: baby’s stomach is still adapting to processing food.
- Gassy foods: some foods create gas in the digestive tract while being processed.
- Incomplete burping. After the first burp, there is often a second one.
- Incompatible bottles that cause too much air swallowing.
- The digestive system still needs to mature.
- Excessive sensibility to certain food types.
Once the cycle of baby screaming starts, it is difficult to break from it, but with a bit of persistence, a touch of patience and some loving determination, it most certainly can be done!
And it needs to be done, because a yelling baby can be very disruptive to family relations!
There is a large amount of tricks and tips derived from past experience that can come to the rescue to help try and cope with the situation. The knack is in finding the right balance of “action” ingredients that are the best fit for parent and child. This can be difficult to find at first, because one has to proceed by trial and error.
What is important to know, above all, is that learning to cope with pain and adversity early in life will be transmitted from parent to child and is absolutely vital to the child’s well being for the future. Depriving a baby of love will not help, neither will allowing the baby to throw what sometimes looks and feels like his tantrum all the time. The two extremes have to be reconciled by finding the middle road.
Yet remember that it is impossible for a baby less than 2 years old to throw a tantrum for the simple reason that it doesn’t know what it is yet. Only a parent or caretaker can perceive things as such and sometimes, people who do this will experience extreme stress themselves because of it.
Coming to grips with the constant crying because of belly ache with loving care and attention helps the child understand that one is there to help deal with the problem, that one is abundantly loved and that rebelling against the situation is not productive, on the contrary, it will only aggravate the situation.
All this cannot be explained to a newborn, it has to be transmitted through patient tender loving caring action from the parents or care givers.
Sometimes exhaustion will drive some parties to extremes. This is when sometimes a parent will try to literally shake some “sense” into the baby and the baby is harmed. Unfortunately, it is the most common reason that causes babies to be harmed and this is referred to as the “Shaken Baby Syndrome”. Almost always the parent or care giver had no intention of harming the child, but it happens nonetheless.
There are cases when doctors feel it is necessary to inform authorities when they have a case of shaken baby syndrome and sometimes authorities will prosecute the abuser. In some cases it has been found that nannies were responsible.
What parents need to know is that it is neither their fault or their baby’s, that they are not inadequate and that there is no need to feel guilty about the situation. That will allow them to take a step back to review the situation, gather their strength to organize a colic battle plan and get to work finding the solution that will solve the screaming baby situation.
As for nannies, it is best for the parents to be blunt and upfront with them so they can find out whether they are not entrusting the care of their child to someone who can’t deal with the stress that the yelling of a colic baby causes.