Infant Colic

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Infant Colic

  Autor Adina Hrincu Data: 18.02.2009

Infant Colic

The word "colic" comes from Greek - kolikos - bowel disease. Colic is some character spasmodic pain in the abdomen, accompanied by the child's anxiety and agitation. It appears from the age of two weeks and usually disappears within 3-4 months of age. It is reported by a vigorously and inexplicable crying at a healthy and satiated child. Approximately 20% of infants are affected by colic. Infant colic is not a danger to his health, but of course, frets parents. Infant colic is one of the most "complicated" problems faced by new mothers, because children seem to be suffering so much and without remedy, that the most become desperate.

The causes of colic

The exact causes of colic are not known, but they have been incriminated as follows:

  • Bowel spasms, still underdeveloped
  • Overeating
  • Separation from mother
  • Child temperament (colic occurs more commonly in children with sensitive temperament)
  • Undeveloped nervous system
  • Sensitivity to products consumed by the mother that reach to the child through breast milk
  • Stress and anxiety of parents that are sent to the child
  • The explosion of hormones after birth (maternal hormone - progesterone - is responsible both for the muscle activity and sleep)
  • The air inhaled by the baby during suckling
  • Sensitivity to cow's milk proteins
  • Other conditions (e.g. urinary infections, colds, ear infections, cystitis, etc.).


Babies who have colic cry more than other children. When they cry, they move their arms and legs; they are restless and seem to be in pain. Sometimes they flex their arms and legs and then relax them. They may blush or bruise from crying. When the baby cries more than 3 hours per day, the crying is most likely due to colic. Infants with colic are agitated toward the end of the day, but colic can start at any time of the day. The children are restless, do not find their place, are screaming loudly, tighten their legs at the swollen belly; and if we approach the ear we can hear noises in the womb.

So if your baby has these symptoms, it could be colic:

  • Uncontrollably crying of the child in the afternoon or evening
  • The little squeeze the fists tight
  • Cannot sleep or wakes up very often
  • The face suddenly turns red
  • The legs are cold
  • Some children refuse to eat
  • The child is restless, constantly moving
  • Raises the head and tighten their legs to the tummy

Seizures usually last 10 to 20 minutes, but usually are repeated. Although these symptoms may occur at any time of the day, they are conspicuous in the afternoon or evening and not during meals. However, colic and timing could not be explained. Radiological examinations, showed the presence of colic during air blocked in the gut. Spasmodic pains of the intestine are caused by strong contractions of intestinal muscles. They are consequences of an excessive diet, an inflammation of the intestinal mucosa caused by toxic substances reached in the milk from mother's diet, such as tobacco, coffee or alcohol.

Treatment and prevention

There is no patent medicine to calm baby's colic. However, in the pharmacy, we can find drugs that reduce symptoms and eliminate bloating (e.g. Espumisan, SabSimplex). Treatment addresses to these symptoms. Pain diminishes or even stops with -with his belly on the mother's bare chest. Body heat and heartbeat of mother calm the little.
If your baby is crying because of colic, it is also recommended to gentle caress baby's womb, wrapping the baby in a soft blanket, riding the baby in the pram, riding of the child in a car seat specifically for infants, putting a warm bottle on baby's abdomen (it should not be hot), rocking the child in a special chair or a swing, spinning the child (we need to ensure that he can hold his head), a warm bath, pacifiers.

How to feed the baby

  • The baby should be fed more often and in smaller quantities.
  • If he is fed with infant formula (milk, cereals), consult your doctor about changing it. Heating milk to body temperature may be also useful.
  • You shall try to use smaller teats with a hole, if it takes less than 20 minutes to empty a bottle of milk.
  • Determine which product from baby's rations causes colic to your baby and try not to use it anymore. It is good to know that onions, spicy foods, cabbage, and caffeine may increase colic. For this reason, breastfeeding
    mothers should strictly follow their diet and meals schedule. . Try to change your child's diet, in case you give him mixed food.
  • Avoid feeding your baby quickly.
  • At the end of the meal, help him with his little 'burp', thus avoiding bloating. Sometimes babies with colic respond to different ways of being held in arms or spin. They should be kept slightly on the shoulder and massage on their back. They should be kept straight, as this position can help them to eliminate gas.

Learn to recognize the child's crying

Excessive crying of the baby can be caused by other types of acute or chronic diseases. Therefore, we must first convince ourselves that these events are not a sign of disease and do not motivate any crying by having colic. Colic can be frustrating for you, but you must stay quiet and calm. Whenever parents feel frustrated and angry because of this, it is better for children as for some time to be supervised by someone else. If there is nobody who can help parents, the best is that the frustrated parent settles a little, watching TV or listening to the radio, but not before ensuring that your baby is well. Crying does not affect your baby. It is important that the frustrated parent calm down a little to care adequately for the child.

Read the English version of this article: Infant Colic