Colic Babies

     Although the cause of having a colic baby are unknown, there are many facts about this disorder that people should be educated about. Most people are unaware of how common it is to have a colic baby. The website for new parents estimates that there about 20% of babies who are affected with this problem.  A colic baby is defined as having uncontrollable crying episodes which usually tend to be high-pitched and harsh-sounding (our book).  Their crying episodes can last for about three hours and occur several days a week. These children commonly start showing signs of this problem around three weeks of age and see significant worsening around six weeks (new parent). In most babies these symptoms tend to relax and happen less often after the baby has reached three to six months of age ( our book).

    There are many who debate the different theories of the origins of a colic baby and have had many theories emerge as a result. On the website for infant colic baby help, they bring up many different factors which they believe may be the source of why a baby has colic symptoms. Some of these factors they believe stem from a  baby being in severe discomfort and may be just trying to express themselves to their parent. Such problems can be gas trapped in the intestinal tract, spinal misalignment, or spasms. Some doctors have attributed colic babies from being born Cesarean. They feel that this could be a possible origin due to their idea that Cesarean babies “do not go through the normal decompression and straightening out that a baby that goes through the birth canal does” ( colic help). The colic help site state four possible causes which they feel may be the best explanation of the origins of a colic baby. 

     These four theories are: the developmental stage, emotional stress, temperment, and diet. The developmental stage is where the baby’s digestive functions are not fully formed and refined so when they are trying to digest something it sends them into a great deal of pain.  The emotional stress theory is where the stress that a baby experiences are great enough to effect their digestive system and again send them into pain. Temperment theory involves the idea that if a baby has a short temper or is just never satisfied no matter how much they are given they will express themselves with colic behavior to keep getting attention. The final theory they bring up on their site is diet. They strongly feel that whether not a baby is breast-fed can effect if the child will be colic or not (colic help).

   For a colic baby the parents will search for any means to help soothe their child. Some soothing methods that have been found to be beneficial in calming a colic baby are to gently massage the child and increased loving, physical touch with them. Some other methods mentioned on the website for how to soothe a fussy baby, colic, were to give the child a warm bath, for a parent to use different positioning such as the “superman” hold or the “neck nestle” hold (about colic).  Also mentioned was baby-wearing. We have done much disscussing on how a child can receive positive benefits from long periods of contact and such things as baby-wearing with the parent and in the instance of a colic baby, they are no exception. Most parents become frustrated and discouraged when they have a colic baby who will not stop crying. It is important for them to remember that just a little contact and affection have shown to hold many benefits in helping soothe a child as well as a colic baby. 


By: Ashley Crawford 


Works cited:

Laura E. Berk, “Child Development”; p.136


~ by crawfordashley on September 14, 2009.

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