Doctors and parents alike are confused as to what actually
causes colic and why up to 25% of babies suffer from it. Of course, there
are some doctors that don't believe in colic while others believe it is
a very real condition that should be acknowledged by parents and the medical
community alike. Regardless, if you have a baby suffering from colic you
are certainly very aware that colic is a real condition and one that deserves
In general, colic is more a result of a variety of symptoms
rather than one condition on its own. Generally, babies suffering from
colic cry, moan, groan, grunt, have hiccups, reflux, spasms, and red faces
with balled up fists. Generally, these symptoms are a result of gas that
gets trapped in the baby's digestive system, usually the intestinal tract.
There is no real evidence as to why, however babies delivered via cesarean
section experience colic more frequently than babies delivered normally.
Some doctors believe this is the case because babies delivered vaginally
get straightened out and decompressed as they are delivered, something
cesarean babies don't experience. Nobody knows if this is a true cause
of colic or not, but it is a theory.
Up to 25% of all babies experience colic so there is
something in common among these babies even if it has not been pinpointed
yet. Doctors do believe colic is related to the digestive process and worsens
as evening approaches. There are also other theories as to why colic develops
and the causes.
Stages of Development One particular theory is that colic
occurs because babies grow so quickly and as a result digestion does not
take place properly, causing pain when food is moving through the intestines
and during the entire digestive process. This theory is supported because
babies generally outgrow colic within a few months, however the theory
has yet to be proven.
Temperament All babies have their own personalities and
there are some happy babies while others are not so happy. It seems that
more often than not the not so happy babies are the ones to suffer from
colic rather than the happy ones. This is a theory that has not been proven,
but real life parents notice the crabbier the baby the more likely they
will have colic.
Stress Stress is a known cause of digestive problems so
it seems rational that babies with high levels of stress are more likely
to develop colic. It has been proven that firstborn children are more likely
to have colic than other babies because the new mom is stressed and passes
the stress and fear to her child, resulting in colic. Many studies show
that confident mothers seem to have fewer babies with colic than more stressed
Allergies Another theory is that food allergies or lactose
intolerance causes colic. However, it is strange that about the same number
of babies that are breast fed develop colic as their formula fed counterparts.
Also, some babies with colic seem to respond well when an iron supplement
is added to their food. These are all signs something is going on with
the baby's diet, but each baby is different and finding the dietary issues
your baby is having can take some time and a lot of trial and error.
It is still a mystery why some babies develop colic and
others don't and there may be a variety of causes that result in colic
in your baby. However, there are some things that will help your baby feel
better even though it takes time to find the solution. So, be patient and
do everything you can to soothe and comfort your colicky baby.
About the Author
Vickie Barnes is a colic veteran of two colicky babies.
Please visit her website ColicHelp.com,
for more support and resources for dealing with colic.