Sunday, March 9, 2014
March is Colic Awareness Month
We all have our secrets and one of mine is that I was a mother at 16 years old. In the mid 1980s in small town Illinois this was not something that was common but did happen. I stayed in highschool so that I could graduate, was married and took care of my very colicky baby girl. This was sometimes frustrating because I wanted to help her and I was not for sure what to do. I can remember walking to the pay phone and calling my mother for help many times. What I was going through and watching my little lady go through was a very rough experience but something many have suffered through and still are.
In 2012 , after my little lady had her first baby, my grandbaby the first Colic Awareness Month was declared. Now each march the date is observed and the mothers and babies that experience colic can rest assured they are not alone. The American Academy of Pediatrics says that about 20% of babies experience colic.
Colic is defined by a baby that is healthy baby that suffers from extreme fussiness. This fussiness last more than 3 hours a day more than 3 days a week for at least 3 weeks. The cry of a baby with colic is intense, high pitched cry that may or may not occur at the same time each day. Signs of gassiness, abdominal bloating, curling up or drawing up legs, clenching fists and arching back. Colic often starts around the third week of life and goes away on its own at about 3 months, with no long term effects. Cause is still unkown but researchers and doctors have looked at many possibilities such as how babies are fed, allergies, immature digestive system.
If you believe your baby has colic, we recommend calling your pediatrician. It is helpful to keep track of your baby’s crying episodes, sleeping patterns, and eating habits and bring this information with you to your doctor’s visits.
Colic can be stressful for both you and your baby. Remember that it is important to take care of yourself, too. Ask for help when you need it, and if help is not available it’s okay place your baby down in their crib for a few minutes and take a break before making another attempt at consoling him or her. Keep in mind that colic will end and you will have survived one of your first challenges of being a parent!