Colic or overloaded nervous system?

In the opinion of many scientists, baby colic is not a consequence of abdominal pain and accumulating gases, but a natural way to calm down immature and overloaded nervous system. And although for parents the terrifying scream of an infant appearing in the afternoons and in the evening can be difficult to bear, in the development of the child it plays a very important adaptive role: allows you to calm down emotions and relax the impressions accumulated during the day.

Baby colic - a temporary problem

During the day, the baby can be extremely calm: observe the surroundings, give your loved ones a vigilant look and smile, make pleasant sounds to become evening cranky and restless: put aside to the cot, he can protest loudly, calm down on his hands for a moment, and after a while call out terribly again and red on the face.

Many parents feel lost when they experience their child's emotions for the first time. Even when he is aware that he is doing everything possible, he personally experiences every minute of screams.

Relief comes only when you accept the truth about causes of colic. Realizing that evening crying is for something, parents more easily face the problem: finding peace and composure, conducive to faster recovery.

Why do children need colic?

T. B Brazelton, American pediatrician and psychoanalyst, is called colic evening whining. He emphasizes that in the past doctors supported parents in difficult moments of whining of an infant by proposing antispasmodics or sedatives. It was recommended to constantly carry the baby on his hands, or feed or add to the breast. Today, it is known that these solutions are not fully effective, and the very behavior called "colic" is considered in the opinion of many experts as an adaptive function whose purpose is to organize the sensations accumulated by the child's highly burdened nervous system. After whining, the nervous system reorganizes itself for another 24 hours, thanks to which children sleep better and longer, get up more rested.

How many children have colic?

According to the aforementioned Brazelton, he observes cyclic episodes of irritation and crying in his children 80% of parents. Evening crying becomes characteristic of babies between 3rd and 12th week life. Most often they occur at the end of the day (between 18 and 23) and most often occur in the third week of life. The loudest children cry at 6 weeks because of "colic". The daily whining period can last up to 3 hours.

The Brazelton colic method

  • try all known methods of soothing a child's cry: for example, let the child suck: a pacifier, blanket edge,
  • wrap the baby in a blanket,
  • wear, rock a toddler,
  • calm the child with the help of "white noise", monotonous background sounds: dryer, vacuum cleaner,
  • limit the number of stimuli,
  • feed the child, check if there is no water, give warm water to make it bounce off easier,
  • do not overdo it with action, so as not to overload the nervous system with too much stimulation, which can extend the whining period from an hour to even four hours,
  • if nothing works or works for a while, and you, the parent, you have no strength, deal with what is happening: give the child 10-15 minutes for, as Brazelton puts, the baby "let the steam". Then, take the baby in his arms so that the toddler can release the air accumulated during crying and allow the child for another 15 minutes of whining. Brazelton points out that a child rarely needs more repetitions than 3-4.

If the periods of whining do not go away, with time they are not milder, it is recommended to visit a doctor who should check for other possible causes of evening crying, for example, a mild form of allergy or gastric acid reflux into the esophagus, which can cause pain.

Based on
T.B. Brazelton "Child Development 0-3", Brazleton T. B. (1990) Crying and colic. Infant Mental Health Journal, vol. 11 (4).