Do probiotics help treat colic in babies?
Although all babies cry, if your baby cries more often than not – and for no apparent reason – he may be suffering from colic.
In a healthy infant, colic is defined as frequent, prolonged, and severe crying or restlessness. Episodes of colic often peak at around 6 weeks of age and drop off dramatically after three to four months of age. Although frequent crying will eventually stop, managing colic adds a significant amount of stress to your newborn’s care. Colic can be particularly difficult for parents because these incidents frequently occur in the evenings when parents are often exhausted.
How rare is colic?
Colic is quite common, affecting around one in five babies under three months old.
What are the symptoms of colic?
Parents commonly report that babies with colic have unpredictable crying episodes and are difficult to calm down. These episodes frequently occur in the late afternoon and evening. Sobbing newborns may appear to be in agony because they frequently raise their legs, arch their backs, and let in the wind, which is usually caused by swallowing air while crying.
What causes colic in babies?
Despite years of research, no one knows why babies get colic. Some people think this is the culmination of typical newborn crying. Some think it is due to pain coming from the intestines. Others believe it is due to the baby’s temperament, which is influenced by the mother’s emotions. None of these theories have been scientifically verified.
What colic treatments are currently recommended?
There is currently no effective treatment for colic. Breastfeeding or switching to a dairy-free formula can sometimes help a small fraction of colicky babies, who usually have other symptoms besides crying, but it doesn’t work for all colicky babies. Because there is no cure for colic, parents often receive conflicting and confusing advice. This is embarrassing for parents who are already exhausted and anxious.
Colic and probiotics
What are probiotics and how can they help colicky babies? Probiotics are live bacteria that have been shown to provide health benefits. They are supposed to modify the intestinal flora, reduce intestinal inflammation and therefore possibly relieve stomach pain.
By giving your baby a daily probiotic, you can help rebalance their sensitive digestive system. Probiotics have also been found in research to improve vitamin absorption, digestion, and the formation of a healthy immune system.
When to consult a doctor
Excessive, inconsolable crying can be colic or an indication of a disease or condition that is causing pain or discomfort. Make an appointment with your child’s health care provider for a thorough examination if your baby experiences excessive crying or other signs or symptoms of colic.