Thursday, November 27, 2008

Baby Colic and Acid Reflux


When I was pregnant for the first time, I read anything and everything about babies. I wanted to be ready. I believe most first time mothers have the same feelings. We want to know what's coming and what's the best way to overcome possible problems. Of course, you hope there won't be any problems. But when they do happen, you want to at least be able to identify it.

So, for all new mothers and mothers-to-be out there, here are 2 baby problems you should be aware of:
It is normal for baby to cry. That's the only way they know how to express themselves. But how do you know when the crying is something to be worried about? You can suspect colic when a baby cries for 3 hours of more per day, at least three times per week, within a three month period. Pediatrics call this the "Rule of Threes." Besides inconsolable crying, babies will draw their legs up and clench their fists. Touch their stomach and it will feel stiff and hard. Baby will flail arms and legs and appear fidgety and restless. I hate to say it but be ready for sleepless nights.

There are certain remedies you can try:
  • Swaddling - Gives the baby a sense of warmth and security
  • Baby wearing - Baby is comforted by your closeness and also the motions of being in a sling.
  • Rhythmic rocking - You can also put baby face down on your lap and gently sway your knees. This may help baby get rid of wind or gas in the tummy.
  • Baby massage - Can help the release of gas and trigger bowel movement.
  • Diet check - If you are breastfeeding, check to see if the food you consume such as onions, broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, spicy food, dairy, chocolate, caffeine, and citrus fruits is the one causing baby to react negatively. Also make sure baby is latched on properly.
  • Gripe water - It's considered a homeopathic therapy, meaning it uses natural ingredients.
Colic can drive a parent crazy. After trying all the methods and failing to find a remedy, do not succumb to feelings of a useless parent. Sometimes, the only thing you can do is wait for it to end. This usually takes place when baby is about three months old. To keep your sanity, don't hesitate in using earplugs. It will help keep you calm amidst the wailing. I'm not saying ignore the baby, but ignore the crying so you can help baby in a calm manner. Also, don't feel guilty in taking a break from baby. It's okay to let someone else take over while you rejuvenate. If you get thoughts of harming your baby, walk away. Let baby cry a little while you regain your composure.
It's also known as Gastro Esophageal Reflux or GER. We're talking about babies regurgitating or spitting up after a feed. It's also irritable and painful causing them to cry often. You may think it's colic. GER is nothing to worry about and will usually get less when baby is 6-12 months old. However, you should worry if the reflux is accompanied by baby not gaining weight or not thriving. Also look out for other symptoms such as feeding and oral aversions, esophagitis (inflammation, irritation, or swelling of the esophagus), wheezing, swallowing problems, choking, gagging, asthma, pneumonia, chronic sinusitis, etc.... It could be Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD) which requires medical intervention.

Sometimes it's hard to tell whether baby's crying is because of colic or reflux. Just remember, colic babies will pull up their legs. If it's reflux, babies will arch their backs to decrease their pain. Crying is also usually during or after feedings.


  1. Hello Ai Lian! So nice to meet you at the Friso Nuffnang party last sat!

  2. No mood for lcd tv .. since we lost out on disneyland :-(

  3. My first child had colic and my last child had colic, acid reflux, baby asthma, and mild allergy to milk...lots of fun...haha....good post!! :)

  4. Tiffiney:
    Oh wow! You are a SURVIVOR!


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