Colic. What is it and how do you solve it?

Poor little Austin has been hit with the dreaded colic. At least I think it’s colic….

From what I have read, colic seems to be pretty much a made up illness. No one seems to know exactly what it is or what causes it. All the diagnosis states is that if a baby cries for hours on end for most of the week, it’s colic. The baby is clearly uncomfortable in some way as they also arch their back etc, but no one seems to know why they do it or how to stop it. Another theory is that the baby is uncomfortable due to being sensitive to the lactose in formula milk, but again this has little evidence to support it.

Austin started off recently with constipation but he has now been suffering with this supposed colic and also from what I think is trapped wind. He became hard to wind all of a sudden and got painful and upset after feeding as well as crying all day, no matter what we did or how we held him. None of the usual tricks to soothe him worked anymore which as a parent is so distressing. This last week he has been inconsolable all day long. The only way he settles is at night when the room is very dark and he is swaddled, or sometimes lying on his front in the daytime. I feel so sorry for him and do get quite upset as there’s nothing I can do to stop him from screaming in pain. It’s not nice to watch at all!

We’ve had all kinds of helpful advice from friends, families and doctors such as:

  • It could be lactose intolerance so watch out for that
  • It could be reflux, so watch out for that
  • If it’s colic, try changing to the next size teats
  • If it’s colic, try changing to Dr Brown’s bottles
  • If it’s colic, try infacol, colief or gripe water
  • If it’s colic, try Comfort milk

The list goes on….

Knowing what to listen to and in which order to try all these things is quite stressful at what is already a very stressful time, as you’re not sure what to do for the best. We decided to go with what the doctor suggested first and see where that took us. She told us to try Comfort milk as this is made specifically for colic and constipation. It has less lactose in than regular formula, so hopefully Austin would be able to digest it better. She also said to try infacol and baby massage too.

aptamil

After nearly a week of solid crying and no sleep, we started the Comfort milk. The doctor said it could take up to a week to work but that seemed too long. I wanted to try some other steps at the same time to try and speed up the process, mainly as I was desperate to make Austin more comfortable and get him back to his old self and secondly because I was desperate for sleep!

We changed up to a bigger teat as this milk is a thicker consistency, so they suggest to do so. It turns out he drunk much quicker and easier from the larger size, so I wondered if he needed to change up to that size anyway. I was pleased as if babies are on a teat that’s too small it can also create wind from sucking so hard, so hopefully that might reduce his wind now too.

We have always used Avent bottles, but after 24 hours on the new milk and no change, I thought maybe giving Dr Brown’s bottles a go might be a good idea. I borrowed some from my sister-in-law but we didn’t have the right size teats, so thought I would go out the next day to buy some. That evening I took apart the bottles and read up on how to use them properly. What a faff!

dr brown, colic, anti colic

 

They have so many parts that need to be hand washed properly and also have certain rules about how much milk should be sitting in the middle part as well as having a little travel cap to use so they don’t leak when you’re out etc. At a time when I was already exhausted, complicated and hard to clean bottles were the last thing I needed! I thought I was desperate to try them but after reading up on them I wasn’t so sure. I changed my mind and decided to wait another couple of days and see how Austin was, then use the bottles as a last resort if needed. I know a lot of you will absolutely swear by Dr Brown’s and I’m not bashing them at all as they’re supposed to be great. I’m just pretty lazy (we use the dishwasher to clean our Avents) so they’re simply not for me!

As it happened, we woke up 2 days after starting the comfort milk and Austin had an amazing day! He seemed back to himself, sleeping soundly between feeds and was happy when he was awake. Hallelujah! Maybe this milk really does work!! During that same day I tried infacol a few times but again, wasn’t a fan.

infacol, colic

I found that where Austin would usually burp air after a feed, this was making him burp with sick. Sticky, gooey sick. Nice. Needless to say I gave up on that quite quickly.

Since no one really seems to swear by either one in particular, I decided to try gripe water instead. It can be added to the milk which is quick and easy, plus it’s not gooey like Infacol and doesn’t require the mess of using a syringe. The first feed I tried, Austin was back to burping air so I think it suits him best too.

imgres-1

So far, my combination of Comfort milk, the next size teat and gripe water at every other feed is working a treat. I don’t want to jinx it but he seems pretty much back to normal! He’s still a little grizzly and arches his back when you try and wind him, but he will now settle to sleep in between daytime feeds (albeit on his front) and he’s passing a lot more wind rather than it all being trapped like before. He definitely still has trapped wind, but nowhere near as bad as before.

Oh and for the constipation – a mixture of the new comfort milk, plus sugar water has sorted that problem right out! I wasn’t keen on the sugar water idea but so many people (and doctors) say it’s guaranteed to work. I just had to try it for his sake as he was so sore and unhappy with it. I mix a big pinch of brown sugar into 3oz cooled boiled water and within a few hours he does a whopping great poo! (He’s going to kill me for writing this when he’s older).

Fingers crossed we might be lucky enough for the milk and gripe water to be enough to sort him. I know lots of people have to try every single product and still get no joy, then to be told it may be reflux or lactose intolerance or worse.

Has your baby had any of these issues? If so, how did you fix it?

 

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9 thoughts on “Colic. What is it and how do you solve it?

  1. I’m not sure you should be taking credit for going out and buying the teats!! ☺

    Richard Cheeseman
    Assistant Company Secretary

    [Photo-Me logo for email]
    Photo-Me International plc
    Church Road
    Bookham
    Surrey
    KT23 3EU
    Tel: +44 (0) 1372 453 399
    DDI: +44 (0) 1372 455 525
    Fax: +44 (0) 1372 451 044
    email: richard.cheeseman@photo-me.com

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  2. We used the comfort too for Annabelle and also the Dr Brown bottles. But I totally didnt read the instructions properly cos I used them like normal bottles, more of a faff to wash but I didnt know about the level of powder etc. It did Annabelle no harm!

    Helpful to hear about the sugar water, I will remember that one!

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  3. My little boy is 10 weeks old. We went through a lot of the same problems apart from I don’t think he had collic. ..I thought he did but turns out he didn’t we just had a bit of an upset in routine. I was breastfeeding for 5 weeks then I was combining breast and bottle. I was using Avent bottles but found they were giving him loads of wind even with the anti collic teats so we switched to Tommee Tippee bottles and it’s so much better hardly gets any hiccups now.
    He hasn’t had a poo in 2 days so I will try the sugar water. 🙂

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  4. We use tommee tippee anti colic bottles there’s less fidely bits than the dr browns ones by the looks of it and you don’t have to worry about how much milk in certain parts or anything like that 🙂

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