Infant care: How to manage colic

Colic is characterized by frequent crying episodes among infants. For first time parents, colic can be quite distressing due to the continuous cries of the infant. Luckily, there are measures that can help manage the episodes.

What should I do?

The initial step is to have the child assessed by a doctor to ensure that there is nothing wrong physically. This provides reassurance and makes it easier for parents to try out various measures to settle the child.

The second step is for parents to check themselves if they are getting enough rest. Remember that this is vital so that one is in good shape to care for the child.

How to cope with colic

Colic

Make sure that the child is comfortable. Check if his/her diaper needs changing or whether he/she is hot or cold.

The crying episodes and fussiness are part of normal development for most infants. These eventually pass after some time. Take note that there are some measures that can reduce the frequency, time span and how hard an infant cries and becomes fussy with the following:

  • Make sure that the child is comfortable. Check if his/her diaper needs changing or whether he/she is hot or cold.
  • Provide feeding if you suspect that the child is hungry or if the last feeding was more than 2 hours ago.
  • Speak softly to the infant, play soft music or sing to him/her.
  • Gently rock or carry the child using a sling or carrier. Oftentimes, movement and closeness to the parent can soothe the child.
  • Try to work out with what the child needs when he/she cries and difficult to comfort. Some might be bored and require stimulation by being held, spoken or rocked. Others are easily overstimulated and require quiet. You can turn the lights low and calm the surroundings.
  • Perform baby massage that can help calm the child.
  • Provide a warm bath
  • Stick with a feeding and settling pattern so that the infant knows what to expect and develop ways of self-regulating.

Various strategies using these measures work in varying ways for infants. It is recommended to try out each of these until the right one can alleviate the colic.

When to consult a doctor

If an infant shows restlessness, a doctor should be consulted to rule out possible medical issues. A doctor should also be consulted for the following:

  • These measures stated could not improve the symptoms
  • Infant develops other health issues such as GERD

Management

Testing such as an X-ray or blood test will rarely find any issues among infants with colic. The only time that the child requires testing is if the doctor suspects that there might be a disorder or infection that is responsible for making the infant cry.

Colic is hard to prevent. Among young infants who are carried a lot even when not crying usually have a tendency to cry and fuss less.

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