A new baby really changes your life, and though it is overwhelming it also brings a feeling of peace and wholeness to your life that you hadn't before experienced. As lovely as these first weeks and months can be, they are often tainted by crying and discomfort often called colic. If you're reading this, chances are you are well acquainted with a baby that is unhappy and possibly suffering from colic. When you are dealing with a baby suffering from colic you'll likely feel overwhelmed and alone, but you might find some comfort in knowing that up to 25% of all babies will display symptoms of colic.
Colic is something that many doctors refuse to diagnose because it's more of a group of symptoms than it is a concrete condition. While some doctors don't like the term colic, others will tell you that it can present in many different ways such as fits of crying, spasms and contractions, reflux, hiccups, moaning, grunting, pushing while grunting, and a red face with clenched little fists. Your baby will let you know that he or she is suffering by crying, and most babies with colic cry a lot! It's not easy to deal with a baby that has colic because they are often unable to be soothed.
All of these symptoms usually rear their ugly head shortly after eating, and they might last until shortly before the next meal. Colic appears to be a digested related issue, and that is why the problems come at or around mealtime. While colic is somewhat of a medical mystery, many doctors believe it is a condition caused by kinked intestines that need to straighten out after birth which is why gas and digestive problems are often associated with it. While you might feel like your baby is really sick because he or she is kicking and screaming and generally miserable, if it's truly colic that your baby is suffering from there will be no fever, diarrhea, weight loss, or any other measurable symptoms of any kind.
As awful as colic is, you'll usually find that the condition peaks around six weeks of age and resolves itself by three months of age. While this can be a time of intense stress for you and your baby, colic does go away and life will get better. If you don't see a drastic decline in symptoms by about three months of age you'll want to get in touch with your pediatrician to rule out the possibility of other digestive issues. You'll likely feel like those couple of months will last forever, but remember the three-month mark is usually the light at the end of the tunnel.
Colic is never easy to deal with, but when you understand that you and your baby have no control over the situation, you'll usually be able to tolerate the incessant crying a bit better. It hurts to see your baby so miserable, so hold them, walk them, try singing to them, anything you think might help.