Common Reasons Why Babies Have Colic
As a new parent, you know exactly what I mean when I ask “why won’t my baby stop crying?!”. Whether it’s the sleepless nights right after birth or because your child is going through a difficult sleep regression, there is nothing more exhausting than being awoken multiple times a night by a crying baby. Now, don’t get me wrong– a baby will cry. That is inevitable, and the fact that your newborn is crying at night is nothing to be concerned about. It is, nonetheless, an occurrence that makes you question parenthood altogether. Don’t worry this is a judgement-free space, and here at BlissBaby, we understand your struggles! Parenthood is difficult and it makes you question everything you thought you knew. So, to take away from this confusion, I thought I would give you some insights into why colic happens and what you can do to help both you and your little one.
But first, I think it’s a good idea to establish what colic is, as it tends to be a term that is thrown around here and there. Colic is a common condition among newborn babies and it is characterized by crying for at least three hours a day, for more than three weeks, and taking place three days a week minimum. It is a temporary condition when a newborn infant feels discomfort or pain, although the exact causes remain unspecified– we can only guess! Usually, it goes away on its own within a few weeks to a few months of birth. Even though that may be important to note, colic is still something that can leave one feeling completely hopeless, or as if whatever they are doing to make it stop, nothing seems to work… I know that feeling, and I completely empathize with you. Some people may not get it and may just think “put the dummy in their mouth and go to sleep!”, but as a parent, you just know that isn’t possible.
Colic is a sign that your newborn is unhappy with something. What that thing is, can be difficult to figure out. So, I have taken the liberty to give you a few of these common reasons as the process of elimination may make you feel a bit more in control as a parent struggling with this.
One of the things that we need to keep in mind as parents is that our children are growing. They are constantly in the process of developing new cells and making a big body out of a tiny one. This is something that causes all kinds of reactions, including spasms in your baby’s tummy. For women, you will know how it feels to have a spasm during that time of the month– the pain can be similar for babies as the muscles contract. As all sensations are new to newborn babies, the slightest muscle contraction can be enough to trigger a solid colic. Similarly, one of the most common causes of colic remains trapped gas. If you’ve ever dealt with this as an adult, you already know how uncomfortable it can be. Babies go through it too, and they just want your compassion. It’s hard, it’s painful, and it’s tough to look at as a parent as you just want that pain to go away.
Aside from this, hormones also play a solid role in colic. I know what you may be thinking– hormones? Hurt? What is this guy on about? No, really! Hormones, just like spasms, can cause belly pain in your child and can even be too much stimulation. As your newborn is not used to the sensation, it can be a sensory overload which causes him or her to react and start a colic. The same way we feel overwhelmed when we have too many hormones going around at once, or how we may feel like we are under our body’s control, your baby can also feel this. For us as parents, it’s a challenging task to understand this, but try to remember that it could be a main cause for your baby’s discomfort.
Just like grown adults, babies can feel overwhelmed if things are too bright, too loud, too cold, and so on. A newborn is even more sensitive to these changes because of the fact that they are all new. Just imagine this. When you wake up in the morning, on Saturday, and realize that it’s 6AM and you forgot to close the blind. You are filled with anger towards yourself because that’s the best day to sleep in, right? This is something that can happen to kids too; they get overwhelmed by the heavy noises and just don’t know how to react. Imagine being overwhelmed in such a tiny body! A newborn can colic because the door is closed too loudly, or because the light in the room is too bright.
Just like the digestive system, the nervous system also has to develop. When it does so, the sensations can be overwhelming to your newborn, and as they are limited in the way they can communicate with you, the only way they can do so is how they know to do it: they cry. Imagine having to deal with being overwhelmed all the time. No matter what you do, you have something growing and so you’re also exhausted pretty much all the time. On top of that, you need to eat all the time. Annoying right? Of course they will be colicky! All jokes aside, the development of the nervous system can indeed be a main cause for it.
What’s next? Headaches. If we think about it, one of the least comfortable things to deal with is a migraine. Indeed, newborn babies can also have migraines. The difference is that we, as adults, know what a migraine is. We can foresee it happening and therefore, we can lie down in a dark room with a cold, wet towel on our forehead. Newborn babies cannot express this, nor can they know what a migraine is. Thus, they cry and colic to get someone to help them reduce the pain. This makes sense to them– after all, usually, the second they cry they get what they ask for.
Finally, children can get overwhelmed with emotions, but even with the normal emotion of fear or frustration, the reaction can be colic. Newborns are simple beings: they don’t like something, they cry. They are annoyed, they cry. They are frustrated, they cry. And it continues. A newborn will cry to get your attention so as to receive help from the one person he or she knows will always be there in the cases where they are needed. And so, they do what they do best: colic!
It can be scary to try and figure out why your newborn is crying without getting to an end-point. Although newborns are difficult to decipher because of their limited capacity to explain how they feel, you can ask your doctor for help to spot the causes and signs of the points mentioned above. However, if none of these seem to be the solution, something must be done. Your doctor will check your newborn and will perform a full-body exam. Newborns can get infections easily, such as in their ears, which is difficult to look at and even more to diagnose if you are not trained. Otherwise, your baby may be eating too much or too little, or may have food sensitivities that are worsened by your milk or formula. Aside from this, they may have pressure or inflammation, may have eye troubles, or have other problems that only a doctor is qualified to point out. These are all nightmares to a parent, but they are sadly possible nonetheless.
Although there are certain medicines that can be given to your child, at BlissBaby, we prefer taking the natural way. This is why we developed Lufti, our TGA-approved, as well as doctor- and midwife-approved colic reliever that truly works. Instead of giving your baby medication, try out our natural colic relief and relieve yourself from baby colic for good.