Cholic is just no fun - for babies...or their parents!
Your baby is precious and perfect in your eyes, except for the fact she cries
night and day!
Your pediatrician says it is colic, but what does that really mean?
"The medical community defines colic as anytime a baby cries inconsolably
for hours at a time for a minimum of three weeks," explains Dr. Steven Yannicelli,
director of science and education for Nutricia North America.
A colicky baby
will usually draw up her legs and appear restless and agitated. She is inconsolable,
even though she isnt tired, hungry, hot, cold or upset for some other obvious
Colic affects both boys and girls and usually begins
when a baby is between three and six weeks old. Treatment of colic is specific
to the cause, which may include overfeeding or emotional distress.
"The good news is if you have a colicky baby who is not allergic to milk proteins, she likely
will outgrow it in about three to four months."
Babies with a milk protein allergy may
also experience one or more other symptoms, such as diarrhea, vomiting, gas, skin
rash, wheezing, low or no weight gain, or an overall failure to thrive.
[Ed. note: milk protein allergy is different from lactose intolerance which is an inability to digest the sugar lactose, which is rare in infants and more common among older kids and adults.]
"A milk protein allergy is treated by either eliminating the milk proteins
from the nursing mothers diet, or by replacing the typical milk-based formula
with an amino acid-based formula, such as Neocate," says Dr. Yannicelli. This
type of formula is made up of amino acids, the building blocks of protein, instead
of the partial or complete protein chains found in other formulas that milk allergic
infants cannot digest.
An amino acid-based formula does not require a prescription, but infants taking it should be under the care
of a physician.
If making changes to your babys diet does not work,
she may be experiencing colic without an identifiable cause. Millions of babies
each year are colicky and their doctors and parents dont know why. The good news
is if you have a colicky baby who is not allergic to milk proteins, she likely
will outgrow it in about three to four months. A baby with a milk protein allergy
typically does not outgrow the allergy until she is a toddler.