Signs & Symptoms of Colic

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Are you not sure if your baby is just crying or actually suffering with colic? In addition to the symptoms shown in the “What is Colic” post, there are a number of other common signs and symptoms of colic, including: –

  • Cries are loud, piercing and continuous. Your baby will be not so much crying as screaming
  • Crying occurs at the same time every day (usually in the late afternoon or early evening)
  • Crying seems to occur for no reason, it’s not because your baby is hungry, tired or has a dirty nappy
  • Baby pulls their legs up, clenches their hands into tiny fists and tightens their abdominal muscles
  • Your baby closes their eyes, or opens them very wide, furrows their brow and even hold their breath briefly
  • Bowel activity increases and you may notice your little one passing a lot of wind or vomiting occasionally, you may also notice the stools are a little loose
  • Your baby may be very active, frantic even and their face may turn a bright red colour
  • Your baby won’t settle down to sleep or eat, no matter what you try

 

 

What Causes Colic?

Whilst the exact cause of colic is unknown, many experts do know it’s not the result of anything genetic, related to anything that happened during pregnancy or birth or related to parenting skills. There are a number of common theories behind what causes colic: –

  • Overstimulation = One possible explanation is related to over stimulated senses, newborns have a built in mechanism for tuning out sights and sound around them, which allows them to sleep and eat without being disturbed. Near to the end of the first month of life, this mechanism disappears which leaves babies more sensitive to the stimuli in their environment. With so many new sensations, some infants become overwhelmed and often cry towards the end of the day. To release that stress they cry and cry and cry. Colic often stops when a baby learns to filter these stimuli.
  • Immature digestive system = Digesting food is a big task for a baby’s gastrointestinal system, particularly in a newborn baby. As a result, food may pass through too quickly, not breaking down completely, this can then result in pain from wind and gas in the intestines.
  • Acid Reflux = Many research articles have discovered GERD (gastro-oesophageal reflux disease) is sometimes a trigger for colic. Infant reflux is often the result of an underdeveloped lower oesophageal sphincter, the muscle that prevents stomach acid from flowing back up to the throat and mouth and this irritates the oesophagus. Symptoms include frequent vomiting, poor appetite, and irritability during and after a feed. The good news however is that most babies outgrow GERD before the age of one.
  • Food Allergies = Some experts believe colic is the result of an allergy to milk protein (or lactose intolerance) in formula fed babies. Much more rarely, colic may be a reaction to a specific food in mums diet if breastfeeding. Either way, allergies or sensitivity can cause tummy pains that may set off colicky behaviour.
  • Tobacco exposure = Several studies also show that mums who smoke during or after pregnancy are more likely to have a baby with colic. Second-hand smoke can also cause problems. Though there is a link, it is still unclear how cigarette smoke can cause colic. The bottom line for many reasons is don’t smoke or let anyone else smoke around your baby during pregnancy or after birth.

The MAM anti colic bottle has a vented base, which prevents air bubbles mixing with breast-milk or formula and has proved to reduce colic in 80% of babies who use it. The MAM Teat, which is made of silk silicone, is silky soft to feel as familiar to mum as possible, and has a 94% baby acceptance rate.

 

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You can get a free sample MAM anti colic bottle and soother on the MAM online shop by using the code: TRYMEFREE

Free sample MAM anti colic bottle and soother

 

 

From MAM
The information contained in this Blog is for general information purposes only. The information provided by anyone other than MAM, such as midwifes or sleep experts for example, is provided by those third parties in their own professional capacity. The inclusion of that information does not imply a recommendation by MAM nor does it endorse the views expressed within them. Whilst MAM endeavour to keep the information up to date and correct, we make no representations or warranties of any kind, express or implied, about the completeness, accuracy, reliability, suitability or availability with respect to the newsletter or the information, products, or related graphics contained in the newsletter for any purpose. Any reliance you place on such information is therefore strictly at your own risk.

Posted in: Calming, Feeding

About the author
Kate Hilton
Katie Hilton is a dual qualified nurse, midwife and health visitor. Her experience has been mainly in labour delivery, postnatal and public/family health setting within both the hospital and community. Katie has experience working with families in both the UK, North America and Asia. Her specialist areas include infant feeding, sleep and child development. Katie currently practices independently as a Midwife and Health Visitor and provides specialist advice to parents and families on behalf of the parenting press and nursery industry brands.