What is colic, anyway?

11 Aug

My theory is that “colic” is simply a catch-all term that baby doctors (and, I suppose, parents) use when they don’t know what’s wrong with a baby. I base this theory mostly on a few seconds of Googling and skimming a couple of baby books, and on how often the term seems to be tossed around.

And it’s also borne out by experience. Long-time readers will recall a post from a few days ago, in which I noted that poor Nyan was having minor tummy troubles. Well, they continued for a few more days; I won’t bore you with the dirty, poopy, farty details, but the poor kid was having a poor time. Lots of gas, obvious discomfort, and not a whole lot of sleep overnight.

On Wednesday, we (or rather Beatrice and Emerald; I had to work) called our pediatrician’s office to say ‘hey, our baby has some GI issues, it’s not just a need to burp, it’s more than that; help!’ The secretary cheerfully replied, “Oh, it’s just colic, nothing to worry about, it’ll go away!”

Uh huh. Well, no, sorry lady, but it’s not. So we insisted on a call back from a doctor. (Were we being stereotypical aggressive New York parents? Maybe. But if so, so be it – this is our baby we’re talking about!) The doc (not our normal pediatrician) called back a bit later. “Sounds like colic!”

Oy vey.

Luckily, we have lots of medical professionals in our family and friends – including the wonderful Auntie Emerald, who has been on call and in-house 24/7 the past two weeks – so we were getting advice from people who actually, you know, seemed to give a damn. We settled on trying something called “gripe water,” which apparently is big over in England (and maybe in the States? not so much in Iowa). It’s a naturopathic medicine – a simple solution of water and herbs (chamomile, dill, ginger and some other stuff; all  natural, no chemicals). They sell it right up the road at Walgreens, so Beatrice grabbed a bottle and we gave the little guy a couple of half-teasponn doses over the rest of the day and evening.

Nyan is still having some gurgling noises down in his belly, and burping a bit more than he should, but I’m very happy to report that he appears to be doing much better! Yesterday evening he was fretting and crying (I guess a health care professional would simply say he was ‘colicky!’) and exhausted but not wanting to sleep… but he finally fell asleep and was zonked out pretty much the entire night, save for a couple of regular feedings. This morning he was napping and looking adorable; his dad had to use all his willpower not to pick up him and cuddle him, since that would have woken him up…

Here’s hoping his belly continues to improve. It’s such a dreadful feeling when he’s crying and in obvious discomfort and nothing we do really soothes him.

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Posted by on August 11, 2011 in Uncategorized


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