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Infant colic

The term infant colic refers to a pattern of intense crying episodes, usually in the afternoon, lasting about two or three hours a day, which takes place in a healthy and well-nourished infant.

It is very common (between 10% and 20% of all babies suffer from it), and despite being a mild condition, it is usually a cause of concern for parents, especially if it is the first child. This paternal anguish causes multiple night visits to hospital emergencies, since parents spend many nights without being able to sleep.

It usually appears around 10 or 15 days of life, and persists until 3 or 4 months at most. Although he may appear hungry, he is not usually reassured by food or other attempts to comfort him.

Why is it produced?

Certain infants appear to be more susceptible to colic than others. The causes of infant colic are not well known, considering multiple factors without a scientific explanation, despite the fact that this disease, which is not a disease, was described in Pediatrics books almost 50 years ago.

It has been attributed to:
  • Bad eating techniques.
  • Immaturity of the intestine with little evacuation of the swallowed air that reaches it.
  • Food allergies.
  • Maternal diet.
  • Lack of parental experience (young parents, first child…).
  • Other factors

Symptoms of infant colic

The attack usually begins suddenly, usually in the afternoon or at night. The child cries intensely without stopping for quite some time, even several hours. The gut is taut and bulging, with the legs bent. The flushed face and tightly clenched hands often show the baby’s distress.

The episode may not end until the child is completely exhausted, but there is often apparent relief from having a bowel movement or breathing out.

Diagnosis and treatment

Infant colic is diagnosed mainly by the symptoms (intense crying, abdominal pain on palpation, tense and bulging gut …) that it presents and by the exclusion of another organic pathology that may produce similar symptoms.

No treatment provides effective relief. Still the most used are:

  • Dimethicone: to increase the ability to eliminate gases.
  • Carminatives: given before milk feeds, but they do not usually prevent colic.
  • Enemas or rectal tube: they can take away abdominal pain in a moment.
  • Herbal tea-based preparations, infusions with star anise.
  • Special milks (casein hydrolyzate): proteins from the cow’s milk, which may not be well tolerated by the child, are removed and replaced by these special milks.

How can it be avoided?

Although there is no immediate effective remedy, there are a number of recommendations that can prevent these crises:

  • Do not lengthen the feedings too long (no more than ten minutes). The nipple hole should be large enough to allow a constant amount of milk to pass through.
  • It is advisable for the baby to be in a relaxed environment. The restlessness and excitement of the parents influences the tranquility of the child. Leaving the house and leaving the child with a responsible person for a few hours can be beneficial.
  • It is very important whether the baby is breastfeeding or bottle feeding that the feeding technique is correct. The child should not fall asleep during the feeding as this makes him swallow air.
  • In order to promote burping, the child should be kept in an upright position halfway through the feed. At the end of it, the baby should be incorporated, supporting his face on the shoulder, gently tapping him on the back until he burps.
  • When seizures occur, they should be laid face down on the mother’s lap or on a hot surface. Some children calm themselves by holding them, others by placing them in the crib. You can use the lullaby, the rocking of the crib, the stroll or car ride …
  • Sometimes relief comes from passing air or stool, either spontaneously or with the help of a suppository or enema. It is necessary to avoid both excessive and insufficient feeding of the child because this favors its distension and causes discomfort and discomfort.
  • It is recommended to massage the gut to help evacuation of air, while providing heat in the area.
  • Identify allergenic foods in the breastfeeding mother’s diet to avoid them (she should not drink more than half a liter of cow’s milk a day).

Go to the pediatrician

Finally, it is necessary to point out that, despite being a non-serious condition, sometimes the crying of a baby can be due to other causes, which in some cases can have important repercussions for health:

  • The whitish plates of thrush cause erosions that cause pain and impede the correct feeding of the child.
  • Superficial tear of the anus, very common in constipated babies.
  • otitis, urinary infection … that often appear without fever at these ages.
  • A hair in one eye.
  • Gastrointestinal diseases: strangulated inguinal hernia, intussusception and others.
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Hello Readers, I am Nikki Bella a Psychology student. I have always been concerned about human behavior and the mental processes that lead us to act and think the way we do. My collaboration as an editor in the psychology area of ​​Well Being Pole has allowed me to investigate further and expand my knowledge in the field of mental health; I have also acquired great knowledge about physical health and well-being, two fundamental bases that are directly related and are part of all mental health.

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