The first signs of colic might arise when baby is only two weeks old. Things like lots of crying for no reason--and it might seem like baby is in pain--even if baby has a full belly and a clean diaper; clenched fists and an arched back when crying; or turning bright red or paling around the mouth when baby cries.
So, what even is colic? In short, a pain for tired parents. There aren’t any clear causes--it could be gas, a growing digestive system, fear, frustration, or even excitement, or perhaps none of the above. On the bright side, colic doesn’t mean that baby isn’t healthy.
If your baby is crying for more than three hours a day, three days a week, for more than three weeks, she might have colic. Just take a quick trip to the doctor, because a few problems (like over/undereating, uneven heartbeat, eye trouble, infection, food allergies or intolerances, or an injury to bones or muscles) can look like colic.
How can I handle this?
Sometimes baby can suck in a lot of air when she cries, causing gas, so simethicone drops (that relieve the problem) can be used as a sort of treatment. Keeping baby in a peaceful, non-stimulating environment for a while can help calm them and their system down. And changing a breastfeeding momma’s diet to avoid dairy or other highly allergenic foods could help. All of these center around other problems that might look like colic, but they’ve been found to help.
The trick isn’t really to help baby, but to help yourself. Nonstop crying is pretty much every parent’s nightmare, so it’s needless to say that it’s not much fun. Keeping calm can keep your baby safe--as a lot of colicky babies can get shaken baby syndrome or abusive head trauma from an angry parent. We all know we don’t want that for our kiddo.
If you’re having a hard time with the crying, it’s okay to let them cry. Leave them in a crib or a safe environment for a bit until you’re calm. And it’s always okay to get help from a mother or a sister or a neighbor. You might be half-insane from all of the tears, but chances are someone that hasn’t dealt with it for as long will be okay for a short amount of time.
It’s one of the trickiest conditions, but on the bright side, it almost never persists after baby is about three or four months old. There are other resources across the internet and in medical care that can help your case individually and be a great support to anyone who has to go through this rough patch. Best of luck, my friends.