Tuesday, January 25, 2011


col·ic definition

Pronunciation:  /ˈkäl-ik/
Function: n
1 :  an attack of acute abdominal pain localized in a hollow organ or part (as the small intestine, ureter, or bile duct) and often caused by spasm, obstruction, or twisting
2 :  a condition marked by recurrent episodes of prolonged and uncontrollable crying and irritability in an otherwise healthy infant that is of unknown cause and usually subsides after three to four months of age

Penelope has colic.  Until I had her I had no idea what colic even was.  Sure, I had heard people talk about their babies being colicky but I never really truly understood what that meant.  I thought colicky babies were cranky, grumpy, crotchety babies all day, all of the time.  Well, this really isn't true.  A baby who has colic really only cries inconsolably for a few hours every day or almost every day and usually at the same time every day.  There will be large chunks of time during the day when colicky babies are perfectly happy.

I noticed Penelope started having these crying jags at around 3 weeks old.  At night, at around 7:00 p.m. or 8:00 p.m. she would just cry and cry sometimes until 11:00 p.m. or midnight.  I was totally freaked out.  Of course after researching for about 5 minutes I realized she has colic.  The pediatrician confirmed this for me.  Apparently, her belly was a little enlarged which is a symptom of colic.  Unfortunately, you cannot do much about this condition.  The doctor did recommend I purchase the Happiest Baby on the Block DVD which has some helpful soothing techniques.  She also recommended I administer infant probiotics since studies have shown they can help decrease crying in colicky babies by 70%.  I purchased both the very next day.  

DVD...not the book.
this tiny bottle costs $40!

The DVD was amazing.  Dr. Karp shows some pretty awesome soothing techniques which I've been using when Penelope's crying gets out of control.  The techniques, while extremely interesting and helpful, do not always work.  The probiotic drops are maybe helping?  I'm not sure...  I have been trying to eliminate dairy and spicy foods from my diet to see if that will help.  So far I don't think it's helping.

Colic is such a frustrating thing mostly because no one really knows what causes it.  Experts assume it is due to the fact that for the first 3 months of a baby's life they have a really underdeveloped digestive tract.  Dr. Karp even calls this first 3 months the "fourth trimester" because so much more development happens during this time.  
Olivia was always such a calm and happy baby so it's so weird to have the opposite disposition in my second child.  It's been 5 weeks so far.  My nights are still really hard.  They consist of a lot of crying, pacing, swaddling, shooshing, jiggling, praying she will just take the dang pacifier (she hates it.)  But when she finally calms down and God willing goes to sleep her little angelic expression makes everything worthwhile.  I can never stay mad at such an innocent creature.  It's so easy to get caught up in the moment and question why this is happening to me...what am I doing wrong?  But I take solice in the fact that this challenging chapter in Penelope's life will soon be coming to an end (hopefully.)   

1 comment:

elladolce said...

I'm sorry that penelope has colic! it's pretty hard to deal with. hopefully she moves through this phase in the near future, you are an amazing mommy!!