WHAT CAUSES NEWBORN COLIC?
First of all, the digestive tract of a newborn baby is immature at birth. Thus it is set up to handle only one thing - human breast milk. A newborn can digest human breast milk just fine, but give it anything else (i.e. spicy food, rich foods -> also known as ADULT food) and your likely to cause colic. Moms remember, whatever you eat, drink or take as medicine will end up in your breast milk. Therefore your baby's digestive tract will be exposed to it too!
With colic it is thought that the intestines of the baby are going into spasm in response to too much gas or as a reaction to something in the formula or breast milk that they are being fed. These muscle spasms are very painful, thus the baby cries and cries for long periods of time, and it is difficult for the parents to figure out why their baby is crying.
Babies on formula may be reacting to the cow's milk present in it. Cow's milk is a very common food allergen/reaction in children. Cow's milk has been associated with an increased frequency of ear infections in children that are sensitive to it. Try switching to a soy-based formula, a pre-digested formula or a hypo-allergenic formula.
The best thing is to breast feed your baby if this is possible. But mother's that breast feed do have to be careful about what they eat. The baby is exposed to whatever the mother eats via the breast milk. The baby's digestive tract cannot handle rich or spicy foods. So moms, if your breastfeeding, you need to pay attention to what you are eating. You should keep in mind while your eating "Is this something I would want my baby to be eating?" If the answer is no, then don't eat it.
Ideally breastfeeding moms should adopt as bland a diet (i.e. oatmeal, rice, bananas, etc.) as they can tolerate. This is tough, but after 3 to 4 months you can start putting more flavorful foods back into your diet and the rewards in terms of less colic and more sleep are well worth it! By the third or fourth month, your baby's digestive tract will have matured some and will be able to handle the exposure to more challenging (ADULT) foods that you are eating.
Moms that are breastfeeding need to avoid foods that promote gas i.e. beans, cabbage, cauliflower, brussel sprouts, broccoli, radishes, eggs, onions, and green peppers. You also need to avoid foods that are spicy. The list of spices to avoid is too long to list here. Basically it is anything that gives food a richer, more interesting taste.
Other foods that you need to check out for possible food reactions in your baby are dairy products, citrus, chocolate, tomatoes, caffeine (coffee, tea and sodas) and seafood. Of these, dairy products are a very common item that many moms find their babies are reacting to in their breast milk. Try to avoid all dairy products (milk, cheese, yogurt, cottage cheese, ice cream and don't forget to read labels) for one to two weeks and notice whether the bouts of colic diminish or not (try rice milk or soy milk in place of cow's milk). If they diminish, you know you are on the right track.
The biggest thing is to pay attention to what you are eating and how your baby is doing. If your baby is having a bout of colic, think about what you had to eat prior to that. If you suspect a particular food is causing a reaction in your baby, simply avoid it for a week or two and see what happens.
Is there anything else that can be done to help ease your baby's colic? You bet there is! Check out the link below for an amazing and easy to use natural product that works quickly and gently at relieving newborn colic.
What can be done to resolve newborn colic?
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