Newborn Baby Health and Colic

Every new parent wants to be certain that their baby grows up healthy, but conflicting information abounds. Whether it’s well-meaning advice from grandma, an article in the latest parents’ magazine, or tips from friends with children, there can be any number of differing opinions as to what’s best for baby. With so many choices out there, it can be difficult to know what information is reliable, especially on the topic of colic – a problem with no single fool-proof solution.

Fortunately, even if your baby does develop colic, you can take solace in the fact that newborn baby health is not severely impacted in most cases. With so many babies having colicky symptoms at some point, doctors have developed a set of criteria that defines whether or not a baby has colic. It’s called the “rule of three” and most pediatricians refer to this rule when diagnosing excessive crying in an infant:

  1. Baby is at least 3 weeks old
  2. Baby cries for at least 3 hours at a time
  3. Crying occurs more than 3 days per week
  4. Crying pattern lasts for more than 3 weeks

This “rule of three” is the typical pattern of the colicky infant, who is otherwise well-fed and healthy. Other symptoms, such as gassiness or reflux may occur along with the crying. For this reason, many parents choose to treat their newborn with medications and remedies designed to help digestion. As long as the pediatrician is made aware of these treatments, it’s generally a safe option.

But what about the advice of just letting the baby “cry it out”? With colic, there is no outward problem that the parents can alleviate, and the stress caused by listening to an inconsolable infant for hours at a time can prove extremely stressful for parents. While you can be sure that newborn baby health is not negatively affected by colic, stressed-out parents can and should seek some relief. This can be as simple as handling a tearful baby in shifts, or taking a quick five-minute breather with baby in another room.

Well-meaning advice from parents who have handled colic in their own families should be considered as well. Parents who have dealt with the issue before are usually more sympathetic and understanding. While their advice may or may not work for your little one, just having someone to talk to who understands can be a major benefit.

While there is no one cure-all for colic, you can keep your little one healthy by tending to his or her needs as always. Regular immunizations should not be overlooked, and keep to a regular feeding and napping schedule as much as possible. Soon enough, the crying will be a thing of the past.