Crying & Colic: What You Need To Know
How Much Crying Is Normal?
All infants cry when they’re hungry. Some fuss when they have a wet or dirty diaper. Babies cry for many other reasons, though. It’s not always easy to figure out what’s going on.
It’s normal for a baby to have unexplained crying spells that total an hour or two each day. Parents can’t always determine the cause of the crying. If your baby isn’t hungry, wet, cold, hot or in pain, you feel like there’s nothing that you can do to fix it.
It’s not always your job to stop your little one from crying. Sometimes, we just need a good cry. As long as your infant is content in between crying spells, you probably don’t need to worry about it.
You should also make sure that your infant is in good health. If your little one is showing signs of a medical condition, such as a fever, swelling, pain when you touch them, lethargy or failure to gain weight, you should contact your infant’s doctor.
What Is Colicky Crying?
Every baby has crying spells that seem unexplainable. But some infants seem crankier than others.
Colicky crying is defined as persistent crying that lasts longer than three hours on more than three occasions per week. This type of crying doesn’t seem to have a specific cause and can’t be controlled by feeding or changing the baby.
Sometimes, a colicky baby will sound like they’re in pain. The crying may be a high-pitched scream. The infant’s face may turn red, and the child may seem agitated. During a colicky crying spell, babies may clench their fists, arch their backs or pull in their legs. They may be difficult to hold and console while they’re like this.
Colicky crying often occurs in the late afternoon or evening. Some parents refer to this as the “witching hour.” Remember that there may not be anything that you can do to reduce the crying. This can be frustrating for a parent. You don’t want to watch your child be in distress.
Remember that the crying spell will end, and the colic is not your fault. It may seem as though your child is rejecting you or you’re doing something wrong. You’re not.
You may want to hold your infant and practice soothing behaviors, such as rocking or singing to them, while they cry. It’s ok to put your baby down and take some time for yourself if you feel like you can’t handle the crying, though. Place your child in a safe space, such as the crib, and take a moment to breathe. A few minutes of meditating or taking in fresh air can do wonders for your nerves.
Any child can have colic. It is most common among younger infants. Colic can start around two to five weeks of age. It usually gets better by the time the infant is four months old.
What Causes Colic?
Doctors aren’t certain what causes colic. If you are concerned, you should bring your baby to a physician. Ruling out any medical issues can help you get peace of mind.
Healthy babies may have colic for a multitude of reasons. Some babies are sensitive to the environment. All of the lights, sounds and smells in the world may overwhelm the senses and make a baby uncomfortable until they get used to living outside of the womb.
Digestive issues may also play a role in colic. An infant’s digestive system is not fully developed at birth. The gut continues to mature throughout early childhood.
The microflora in a baby’s gut isn’t balanced in the early years. It stabilizes around two years of age. Therefore, your baby’s digestive system may not handle certain types of formula well.
Breastfeeding can help encourage gut health. Breast milk has beneficial bacteria, which colonizes the digestive tract and allows the body to create a healthy intestinal environment. Experts recommend that infants breastfeed exclusively for the first six months of life. If you are breastfeeding and your little one has colic, you might want to experiment with the foods that you eat to determine whether your baby is sensitive to some of them.
But not every mother is able to breastfeed. If you offer your baby formula, you may want to look into an infant milk that is designed to be gentle on digestion.
What’s the Best Formula for Colicky Crying?
A hypoallergenic formula can help improve symptoms of colic because it reduces the number of potential allergens that enter your baby’s digestive system.
The Hipp Hypoallergenic HA formula is appropriate for babies who are sensitive or allergic to milk protein. The proteins in this formula have been broken down so that they’re easier to digest. The formula is also free of other common allergens, such as soy and wheat.
Plus, the product contains probiotics, which help infuse the digestive tract with healthy bacteria. The prebiotics in the formula help to feed the “good” bacteria and promote gut health.
Hipp Comfort formula is another excellent option for babies with colic. Like the hypoallergenic formula, this product has reduced lactose and hydrolyzed proteins. European baby formula is also made with stricter standards than American brands.
Your feeding method can also help reduce digestive distress that could cause colic. Make sure that you burp your baby frequently during a feeding. Try to hold your child upright while eating so that they don’t swallow air, which can cause uncomfortable gas.
Remember that you’re doing a great job as a parent, and this is only one stage in your baby’s long life. At Tastyganics, we’re here to help you make that life as healthy and happy as possible.
- Jennifer Akiyama