Dealing with Colic in Babies in Nairobi Kenya 
Colic is the period of significant distress in a healthy well-fed child signified by episodes of crying more than three hours a day for more than three days a week. Symptoms of colic usually start from when the baby is around six weeks of age in most babies and reduce significantly when they are about three to four months.
Signs And Symptoms
To determine if your baby is colicky, check out for the following signs and symptoms:
- Intense crying that may seem more like screaming or expressing pain.
- Crying for no apparent reason.
- Eating and sleeping schedules are disrupted by crying.
- Extreme fussiness even after crying has diminished.
- Facial discoloration i.e reddening of the face.
- Predictable timing with episodes occurring in the evenings.
- Bodily tension expressed by clenched fists, tense abdomen, arched back or stiffened arms and legs.
- Bowel activity may increase and he may pass gas or spit it up.
The causes of colic are unknown and it’s even more difficult for researchers to account for why it starts after the first month of life, why it resolves on its own and why it happens at certain times of the day. However, there are some theories that try to explain colicky crying and these include:
- An immature digestive system
- Overstimulated senses
- Food allergies or sensitivity
- Infant acid reflux
- Tobacco exposure
- A mother’s diet
Some studies suggest that certain foods a mom eats contain trace elements that may cause reactions in baby’s stomach leading to colic. These foods include: strawberries, tomatoes, cow’s milk, dairy products, soy, peanuts, beans, peas, acidic foods such as citrus fruits and cruciferous vegetables such as broccoli, onions and cauliflowers.
Always have your colic diary before visiting the doctor to confirm if your baby is colicky. In the diary, note down the signs and symptoms, periods of fussing and crying, sleep patterns, feeding and foods that worsen the symptoms.
Dealing With Colic
Handling a colicky baby may cause one to have stress, be exhausted and frustrated, feel guilty as they try to calm their fussy baby even leading to postpartum depression in some instances. It takes a physical and emotional toll on parents. You can try the following to reduce the stress:
- Divide colic duty equally (if both parents are at home) as a set fresh arms induces calm in a crying baby.
- Give them a warm bath combined with aromatherapy (such as combined with essential oils or scented soap)
- A gentle stomach massage may work wonders in helping to relieve the discomfort.
- When the situation becomes overwhelming, get help. Don’t be afraid to ask for a shoulder to lean on.
- Listen to music to lessen the effect of your baby’s wails but don’t tune out such that you can’t hear them and respond in time.
- Invest in a white noise machine that will play soothing sounds to lull your baby to sleep.
- Swaddle, gentle rock or swing your baby to try and soothe your upset baby.
- Use a gripe water which most parents, nannies and child caregivers across the world swear by. An example is Colic Calm.
Colic Calm Homeopathic Gripe Water is a safe, effective, FDA listed medicine made of active natural ingredients. It helps baby’s digestive system adjust to new foods, relieves hiccups and soothes stomach upset that often results from increased saliva production during teething. It works instantly! There is no regular dosing required and unlike other formulas, there’s no waiting around impatiently hoping for relief to set in. The homeopathic gripe water works instantly! Consult your healthcare provider before administering colic calm to your baby and if symptoms show no sign of improvement.
Shake the bottle well before using it and discard it two months after opening it. Do not exceed four full doses in 24 hours. For babies below 9kgs administer 1.25ml (¼ teaspoon) and for those above 9kgs administer 2.5ml (½ teaspoon). Make sure you clean the oral dispenser and let it air dry after each use.
Learn more about colic calm here.