Why I Don’t Believe in Colic
There, I said it…
The thing is you see, colic is a very general term for an unhappy baby. The NHS definition of colic is “when your baby cries a lot, but there is no obvious cause”. For me, that is just not true. Crying is communication, so if your baby seems to be very unhappy, then it is very likely that there is a reason for that. There will be a cause, and it is your job as their parents to understand what the cause could be.
Our understanding of child development is growing now more than ever, yet we still seem to just label an unhappy and possibly uncomfortable baby with a word that is a very general, blanket term. If I had £1 for every time a client of mine went to the Dr with a small baby who seemed to be struggling, and were told it was “just colic” – I would be a very rich lady.
My view on this is simple, if a baby is crying for hours on end, on a regular basis then there IS something going on, and the cause of that crying is likely to be on of the following;
- they have wind
- they are hungry
- they are overtired
- they are struggling to digest something
- the are experiencing regurgitation (reflux)
In my time spent as a maternity and sleep consultant, I have worked with hundreds of smaller babies who have been described as colicky, and we have always been able to get to the bottom of why that is. For most, it is that the baby is still hungry – colic often appears in the evenings and that is often when Mum’s milk supply is lower but perhaps she has not realised this.
A huge amount of newborn crying is also often down to overtiredness. If you have been reading my blog on setting up sleep from an early age you will have learnt that having some key information on baby sleep from birth onwards, is going to be key in your baby being more contented and well rested. I have often seen babies who appear to be suffering from colic, but when we get them all cosy in their swaddle and send them off to sleep a few hours earlier than they normally might go down, the colic disappears!
Some of the more complex baby colic can be more difficult to get to the bottom of and there is very little knowledge out there to help you along the way. Your baby’s digestive system is not yet fully developed, but there is little help to get to the bottom of what is going on for your baby and how to help them along the way. Many medical professionals are not trained in colic and more specifically reflux, one of the other hidden reasons for colic.
Parents of a baby who is crying and uncomfortable BUT putting on weight and not being sick will often be told “babies just cry, that’s what they do”, or, “if they had reflux they would be vomiting”, but this is simply just not true. I have seen the happiest babies, fine all day long, but crying for hours in the evening because they are experiencing reflux.
I wont be able to tell you in this blog alone, why your baby is suffering from “colic”, but I do hope it has given you a cause to explore things further rather than just accepting that they will just grow out of it. If you can spend some time being your baby’s detective, you will be able to explore the list above and hopefully help your baby cry less and be more calm and contented.
If you wish to book a reflux/colic call, please visit my Package options here.