It can be gas colic. The baby arches his back, bends his legs towards the abdomen, and cries disconsolately. However, there is no need to worry too much, because the disorder is temporary and destined to resolve itself with growth. It is possible, however, to relieve the pain of newborn colic: here’s how
Newborn colic is painful abdominal pains characterized by bowel spasms and abdominal distension, caused by excess air in the abdomen that dilates the walls of the intestine. It is possible to distinguish the gas colic of the newborn from the other types of stomach ache, thanks to some characteristics typical of this disorder:
- they almost always appear in the late afternoon or evening.
- the child who is affected expresses the pain by crying in an unconscionable way and flexing the legs on the tummy.
- the abdomen appears swollen and tense, accompanied by the passage and expulsion of gas.
What Causes Colic In The Newborn?
Various hypotheses have been formulated on the origin of this disorder, but all refer to a substantial immaturity of the baby’s gastrointestinal system. The baby is unable to expel the excess swallowed air (aerophagia) with feedings, due to ineffective peristalsis (the movements that the intestine makes to empty itself).
The air, which therefore accumulates inside, causes discomfort (meteorism). It is no coincidence, in fact, that gaseous colic, typical of the newborn, resolves spontaneously around the fourth month of life when the baby’s intestine reaches a greater degree of maturity.
In some cases, the triggering cause of inconsolable crying in the newborn is not gas colic, but the tension that is created between the parent and the infant. If, in particular, the mother feels inadequate for the new role of mother, he lives in an obsessive fear of making a mistake, he feels tired and often even lonely.
The little one, very sensitive to grasping the mother’s stress signals, manifests her discomfort with tears and restlessness, charging the situation with further tension. This creates a vicious circle that involves the whole family. Only time and continuous confirmations are able to restore serenity to the family, for the benefit of everyone, especially the child.
How Do You Get Your Baby Out Of Colic?
To console and relax the baby, it is first of all essential that the mother (or whoever takes care of him) is also calm. She can take the baby in her arms, rocking him and talking to him softly to give him the confidence she needs. Many babies calm down when placed on their stomachs. If family members (for example grandmothers or aunts) are a source of stress, they should be removed with good manners. There are also several systems that can be used to calm the child:
- immerse yourself in the bathtub holding the baby in your arms: contact with hot water (37 ° C) immediately brings the baby back to the fetal dimension, producing a soothing effect;
- offer him the pacifier: it can serve as a comforting element;
- prepare chamomile or herbal tea with fennel seeds. Chamomile calms intestinal spasms, while fennel favors the shattering of annoying air bubbles and therefore facilitates their elimination.
- take a short walk: going out and being distracted is good for the little one and also for the mother.
Gas colic usually affects infants who are fed formula milk more. In this case, it is a good idea to always keep the bottle tilted during feeding, so that the teat is always full of milk, to limit the amount of air swallowed. If necessary, the pediatrician will change the milk formula to another one more suitable for the baby.
There are different varieties on the market, from low lactose (milk sugar), for intolerant babies .to this substance, to that of soy or rice or with hydrolyzed proteins (made more digestible by a particular crushing process).
If, on the other hand, the baby is breastfed, the mother’s nutrition must be checked. As a rule, it is enough to eliminate milk and derivatives and eggs to solve the problem of colic in newborns.
How To Relieve Colic In The Newborn In A Natural Way?
Born from an ancient oriental tradition, massage is also spreading in the western world: thanks to the emotional contact it creates between parent and newborn, massage promotes a state of well-being and relaxation for both. The massage is performed on the tummy with the aim of favoring the escape of air.
After laying the baby on the changing table in the supine position (belly up), you need to exert light pressure on the abdomen. It is possible to relieve pain, even by performing small and light rotational movements of the legs, moving them like a “bicycle”.
To relieve pain, it is also advisable to place the infant on the adult’s forearm, in the prone position (stomach down), gently massaging his back, to facilitate the escape of gas. Aromatherapy can also relieve a baby from the pain of colic. To prepare aromatic tablets, a drop of essential oil of mandarin and one drop of essential oil of chamomile must be poured into a liter of warm water, both with a relaxing effect.
It is then necessary to wet a gauze compress with the flavored water, squeeze it well, and apply it several times to the baby’s tummy. After the baby has fallen asleep, place him in the cot, turning him on his left side to help the air escape.
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