The definition of colic is irritability and crying usually in the late afternoon or evening for three to six hours per day, three to six days per week, for three weeks to six months per year. I remember my grandmother telling me that she would frequently go to the pediatrician’s office where she would be sent to a special room downstairs to let my mother cry until finally falling asleep. This episode was the main reason why my mother was an only child. There are several potential reasons why a baby has colic. Thankfully, there are natural therapies that can be extremely helpful for each cause.
- Birth trauma – The use of forceps or vacuum suction often distorts the cranial bones to such an extent that their natural influences over the nerves that affect digestion are disrupted. Simple cranial corrections many times have a profound positive effect. When unnatural methods are not used to deliver a baby, he may still be in need of corrections in the lower spine and the cranium.
- Car seats - Make sure that the padding in the back of your baby’s car seat goes all the way down past their buttocks. Sometimes the padding stops above the buttock region creating a drop-off, which places the baby in a slumped position. Both the drop-off and the poor posture place stress on the lowest vertebrae in the spine – the ones with direct nerve influence over digestion.
- Food sensitivities – In my opinion this is the most common cause of colic. Babies with colic regularly have gas and hike their knees up into their chest for relief. This clearly indicates improper digestion of some food. No mater what you have heard, the baby receives in breast milk whatever is eaten by the mother. The baby may be sensitive to a food that the mother has no reaction to whatsoever. Even the most seemingly benign food should be evaluated. I do this with applied kinesiology methods while testing with different food samples. If the baby is experiencing reflux as well, he should be put to sleep with one end of the bed elevated (a phone book under the mattress works well) and his head on the highest end. This helps to keep the food down in the stomach.
- Microorganism infections – Often mothers with fungal overgrowth will pass this problem on to their children. When present, food allergies will soon result, due to the disruption of the normal ecology of the intestines.
- Over stimulation – In some instances a baby is held too much or is exposed to too many bright lights and loud sounds. These stimuli are excitatory and lead to disrupted sleep, poor nursing and upset stomachs. Too little stimulation, such as a completely quiet environment is not healthy either. Place the child in an environment that has regular, but not excessive amounts of stimuli.
- Hungry baby – Some babies do not receive the full nourishment they require even if they are breastfed. Yes, breast milk is a perfect food, but only if all of it is consumed. The first portion of breast milk is lower in fat than the hind portion. The hind portion is the cream of the milk. When consumed the baby will be satiated and tend to sleep longer without waking up. The cream is also a soother of the intestines. If a baby nurses frequently but only for a short time, all he will be receiving will be the watery first portion and not the creamy hind portion. This baby will tend to be fussy and cranky. To make sure that the baby drains the entire breast stretch the time between feedings. He will eat well when he is hungry enough.