Infant Colic

Happy World Pharmacists Day 2017
24th November 2017
Inflammatory Bowel Syndrome
24th November 2017

Understanding Infant Colic

  • A common problem in infants.
  • Colic defines periods of inconsolable crying without any discernible reason although the baby is healthy.
  • Onset is usually within a few weeks of birth and disappears, often very suddenly by the baby’s fourth month.
  • It is important that a doctor first rules out other causes of crying before a baby is considered to be colic.
  • Colic is not a serious problem but distresses other family members – it is important to take breaks and support each other!

Signs and Symptoms

  • Excessive, intense crying or screaming episodes, lasting for few hours and is often worse in the evenings
  • Baby draws up legs, clench fists and grimace
  • Passing of wind, usually at the end of a ‘colicky’ period.
  • Flushed face.
  • Stomach appears distended after feeding.
  • Other symptoms may include refusal to eat and difficulty falling or staying asleep.

Causes of Infant Colic

  • Cause not completely known.
  • Infant colic is thought to be caused by:
    • Excessive amounts of air swallowed during feeding or crying
    • Spasm of the intestine
    • Indigestion and hunger
    • Food allergy
    • Lactose intolerance
    • Gut flora

Self-Care Measures

  • Reduce air swallowed by the baby during feeds:
    • Use a slow flow nipple for feeding
    • Feed babies in an upright position
    • Burp them adequately after feeds
  • Soothing measures (e.g. pacifiers, rocking etc.) are often effective to calm babies during colic periods.
  • Cuddle cure (5 S’s) :
    • Swaddling the baby
    • placing baby on Side or Stomach,
    • Swinging the baby,
    • whisper a Shh sound in the baby’s ear
    • give the baby something to suck on (e.g. a dummy).
  • Gentle rubbing of the baby’s tummy in a clockwise direction using almond oil.
  • Apply warmth on the baby’s stomach with a warm towel.

Dietary changes may help in some colic cases where allergies are the cause

Avoid

  • There is no generally accepted treatment but to provide comfort until the baby outgrows the colic period.
  • Colic drops
    • contain simeticone an anti-gas agent that breaks down bubbles in milk feeds in the stomach thus allowing swallowed air to be brought up more easily by the baby.

Consult a pharmacist at Lovy Pharmacy when choosing a supplement for your condition.