Colic in babies is one of the most common issues in the first months of life. Although this often annoys new parents and makes infants feel uncomfortable, there is plenty you can do to provide relief. If the baby is breastfeeding, mother’s diet plays a key role in colic, and some regular daily care can also help!
Baby colics: when do they appear and how long do they last?
Baby colics usually begin after the first 2-3 weeks of life. Often, experts follow the “rule of three” to determine if an infant is suffering from colic. According to it, a baby has a strong, uninterrupted cry for at least 3 hours a day, for at least 3 days a week, for more than 3 weeks! Crying usually gets worse in the evenings.
Of course, if you do not have time for counting, you will most likely be able to understand when your baby has colic from the loud crying and his tendency to bend his legs towards the belly.
Which are the reasons for colics?
There are several factors that may be responsible for this phenomenon. There are many theories that argue that the underlying cause is baby’s immature digestive system, which is why the colic declines after the first three months when it has developed better. Another key factor is the mother’s diet when the baby is breast-feeding.
Baby colic and mother’s diet
Many times when the mother is breast-feeding, what she eats greatly affects the appearance of colic in the baby! If the baby is sensitive or allergic to any of the foods consumed, then the crying begins! But what foods are those that are mostly considered responsible for the colic?
- Common allergens. The first thing you need to get out of your diet are common allergens such as cow’s milk, soy, nuts, eggs, fish, chocolate etc. If this is the cause, the change will appear within the next 3-5 days.
- Foods that cause gases. We all know pretty much which they are: legumes, cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower, onions. So if they cause gases in adults, imagine what they do in your baby’s gut!
- Garlic and spices.The same happens here. Very often we call these foods “heavy”. So if they cause digestive disorders in so many, they are more likely to affect the sensitive digestive system of an infant.
- Alcohol and coffee. It seems that these two habits, in turn, burden the colic. Be sure to limit them as much as you can and if you can’t give up your favorite coffee, enjoy it after you’ve breastfed.
- Some fruits. There are several fruits that you should avoid as they are associated with an increase in colics. Among them are strawberries, oranges, pineapples, blackberries, grapes, mangoes, and tomatoes. Their negative effect seems to be probably due to the small seeds they contain.
And now the big question: what is left to eat? There are still foods out there waiting for you! You can consume – always carefully and observing their effects – soups, apples, pears, avocados, sweet potato and potato, beetroot, pumpkin, mushrooms, meat and chicken, carrots, corn. Avoid peels and seeds.
You can also try small quantities of fish and eggs, as in most cases they are well tolerated but cautious as they are allergens. Beverages with herbs like chamomile, fennel, cardamom soothe and improve digestion.
Supplements for colic
Probiotics are an excellent choice for babies with colic! They balance intestinal flora and aid in digestion and bowel function. A study by the American Academy of Pediatrics (2007) found a dramatic reduction in colic in 95% of infants given probiotic supplement (Lactobacillus reuteri), compared to 7% improvement in the simethicone group.
In general, each baby is different. It takes patience and observation to find out what is bothering him/her.
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