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Baby Colic and dealing with it

Todays Date: December 15, 2018

Expecting a baby? Planning all day long about how’s it going to be, the way you’ll handle things and of course the baby. Thinking all throughout your maternity leave about how things would change after the baby, wondering how her smile would be and how gentle would be her touch. All your dreams and expectations with the best phase in your life can be converted into a nightmare and the one such major reason is Baby Colic or ‘persistent baby crying’. Agreed that it is difficult to find a baby that never cries but here we are talking about the long and endless sessions of babies crying without any reason.

Colic usually occurs between a newborn’s second week and up through the third or fourth month, and is usually defined as a baby who cries and fusses for more than 3 hours a day, 3 days a week for 3 weeks (the so-called rule of 3s). It is actually very difficult to cope with a child who screamed and screamed for hours on end, without the ability to express what was wrong. No wonder it can push an already overwhelmed new mom or dad over the edge into bickering, exhaustion…even depression and aggression.

Dealing with it::

In past few decades, doctors recommended treating colicky babies with sedative medications, analgesics or anti-spasm drugs, but all of these have been stopped because of potential serious side-effect, including death. Currently, the first approach most commonly recommended in healthy babies is to use non-medicinal, noninvasive treatments like emotional support or the rhythmic calming of the “5 S’s.”

There is a broad body of evidence showing that soothing measures, such as pacifiers, strong white noise and jiggly rocking are effective in calming babies during crying bouts. These techniques form the core of the “5 S’s” approach:
1st S – Swaddling (safe swaddling carefully avoiding overheating, covering the head, using bulky or loose blankets, and allowing the hips to be flexed

2nd S – Side or stomach (holding a baby on the back is the only safe position for sleep, but it is the worst position for calming a fussy baby)
3rd S – Shhh sound (making a strong shush sound near the baby’s ear or using a CD of womb sound/white noise);

4th S – Swinging the baby with tiny jiggly movements (no more than 1” back and forth) always supporting the head and neck;

5th S – Sucking (Letting the baby suckle on the breast, your clean finger or a pacifier)

Persistently fussy babies with poor weight gain, vomiting more than 5 times a day, or other significant feeding problems should be evaluated by a healthcare professional for other illnesses (e.g. urinary infection, intestinal obstruction, acid reflux). Otherwise, crying from an overreaction to the gastro-colic reflex is usually easy to resolve with the “5 S’s.” And, since pain does not disappear with simple calming measures, the rapid reduction in crying when using the “5 S’s” makes it unlikely that the fussy baby is in pain. Treatment to follow the initial calming down!

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