Infant Colic is starting to be more commonly prescribed for infant fussiness and inconsolable behavior. But does your baby really have colic? One of the most common things I feel is overlooked is the infant’s diet. “Well surely they all drink milk!” You say… But proteins as well as allergens can pass through mom’s milk and every baby formula is made different.
But before we get into that, lets talk about how you can feel a little more hopeful about your baby’s colic behavior… One of the things I found myself doing as a first time mom was taking note of everything I could do to make my baby happy: She has to be rocked, nursed and walked, etc. But I didn’t observe the symptoms of my baby’s fussiness carefully. Now as a second time mom, I realize the reason it’s so common for us to misunderstand our infant’s strife is because there are so many cross symptoms for different issues.Ex. Baby is fussy and pulling off breast can mean: super fast let down, super slow let down, baby is hungry, baby is not hungry, food sensitivity, low milk supply, etc.
If that isn’t confusing enough… No one taught us any of this! How the heck are we suppose to know?
One of the things I found to be a stress reliever was observing carefully, as I would web analytics, the symptoms that are causing my baby discomfort. Is she fussing, crying? What’s her body language say? What time of day is it? What was she doing or is doing at the moment?
Once you build a case of consistent symptoms, it’s easy to find a path that may lead to more answers. If anything, you can at least feel like you’re doing something about it even though you can fix the situation instantly.
To help you better reference whether or not you baby has food sensitivity that is causing colic, here is a list of symptoms to look out for:
1. Excessive fussiness, inconsolable at times.
2. Poor sleep patterns. Suddenly waking unhappy, hard to get to sleep and keep asleep.
3. Excessive, uncomfortable, foul smelling spit up.
4. Diarrhea, constipation and most likely alternating between both. L
5. Rash, hives or eczema on the face.
6. Pulling off the breast and shaking head, arching, kicking or excessive/increased nursing. Can be both during different times of the day.
These symptoms compounded are what I found to be true for our breastfed baby who has a food intolerance from my diet. We misdiagnosed the situation as low milk supply, when it was really food sensitivity during a growth spurt. They can look very similar.
If it seems that your baby may have a food sensitivity, check to see if your diet has dairy, wheat or soy; some of the most common culprits because their proteins can be difficult for newborns’ immature bellies to digest. Also if there is any family history of allergens such as peanuts or shellfish, you may eliminate those from your diet. A lot of people suggest taking one thing out at a time, but because I don’t like stabbing in the dark just to wait 2-3 weeks to find out it’s not the case, I like eliminating it all and slowly adding back it.Whichever you choose to do, make sure you continue to observe your baby’s behavior closely.
If your baby is on formula you can talk to your pediatrician about options for different formulas. Please keep in mind that a milk protein intolerance and lactose intolerance are two completely different things. More likely, if your baby has a protein intolerance, lactose free formulas will not work. Brands such as Nutramigan are dairy based from cow’s milk, but the proteins are broken up to a digestible size. You can also try goats milk (closest to natural breastmilk) or soy milk based formulas. I personally love Nature’s One brand for their clean ingredients and because they don’t use corn syrup/ingredients. If your baby has a dairy and soy intolerance you may need a prescription for Neocate from your doctor.