Colic is a condition that presents in infants between the 3rd and 6th weeks after they are born. Typically colic symptoms include an uncharacteristic amount of crying and the drawing up of the arms and legs as if in pain. Some infants even turn bright red. Colic usually clears up by the time an infant is 3 months old. It is uncertain what causes colic, but often factors like food sensitivities, an immature and irritated nervous system, and gastrointestinal upset are thought to contribute.
The birthing process can cause several subluxations in the neck and back of a newborn, which can irritate the small and fragile nervous system. It is thought that an irritated spine may contribute to colic because with gentle chiropractic adjustments, the symptoms frequently improve. Babies with colic are often more sensitive to their surroundings and seem to need more attention than other babies- further evidence of these neurological differences.
Cow’s milk is one of the worst offenders when it comes to causing colic. Many of the proteins are not good for an infant’s digestive system and the lactose that cow’s milk contains cannot be digested very well either. Babies should not be ingesting cow’s milk, or really and form of dairy, until they are at least two to three years old.
Mothers who are breastfeeding should eat a semi-bland, high-protein diet that excludes dairy for at least the first three or four months of breastfeeding in order to avoid causing colic. Women who are breastfeeding should avoid alcohol and tobacco, spicy foods, but also avoid eating any one food too often.
Here are a few things you can do to help your baby if he or she is suffering from colic:
Seek chiropractic care on a regular basis, especially during the first four months.
Lay a warm water bottle on your baby’s stomach.
Use a rocking chair or cradle to rock your baby.
Give your baby a warm bath.
Gently rub your baby’s stomach.
Take your baby for a drive.
Feed your baby smaller portions, but more often.
Avoid feeding your baby soy or dairy-based formulas.