Related Terms :

  • Infantile Colic


Principal Proposed Natural Treatments

Other Proposed Natural Treatments

The mere thought of a colicky baby is often enough to strike fear in the heart of the parents of a newborn child. A baby with colic may cry for hours despite the parents' attempts at consolation; although the colicky phase will eventually end, it may seem like an eternity while it continues.Colic is generally defined as excessive (frequently inconsolable) crying that lasts for more than three hours at least three days per week, continuing for at least three weeks; additionally, there must be no medical problem causing the crying.Other symptoms frequently associated with colic include pulling the knees up towards the stomach, a hard and/or swollen stomach, and excessive gas. Crying occurs most often in the evening. Colic typically ends by the age of 4-5 months.Colicky babies may be at an increased risk of abuse at the hands of exhausted and frustrated parents. Additionally, the parent may not properly bond with the child because of feelings of inadequacy and anger, leading to developing behavioral problems as the child grows.No one knows for sure what causes colic, although there are many theories. One view attributes it to painful digestive cramps and/or excessive gas caused by allergic reaction to foods (such as milk). Another theory suggests that some babies may simply have a sensitive temperament, possibly compounded by a parental inability to respond to the infant's needs. Finally, what we call colic may just be an extreme version of normal infant crying, or an increased perception of normal crying by parents with less tolerance for it. The antispasmodic and sedating drugs dicyclomine and dicycloverine appear to be effective for colic, 1 but they can have dangerous side effects in infants and are not recommended. The gas-relieving drug dimethicone is also sometimes recommended, but evidence suggests that it does not work. 2

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