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Alison Rhodes, "The Safety Mom"

National Child Safety Expert, Alison Rhodes, “The Safety Mom,” is one of the country's leading child safety authorities, providing tips and advice to parents on a broad range of issues facing all children - newborns to teens.
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Colic

There is little anyone can do to soothe and quiet a baby with colic, which makes it one of the most frustrating experiences for new parents. Experts estimate that as many as 25 percent of babies have colic, yet they are still puzzled at its causes.

Colic is defined as a period of prolonged crying or fussiness, with episodes usually occurring in the evening and lasting approximately 3 to 4 hours. It usually appears in the first three weeks of life and lasts for about 3 months.

Many people incorrectly apply the term "colicky" to any fussy baby; however, a baby with true colic presents specific symptoms, including:

  • Intense, inconsolable crying - The crying is lusty and forceful, not weak or sickly. His face will probably be flushed and he will be difficult, if not impossible, to comfort and quiet.

  • Predictable, recurring episodes of crying - Your baby cries around the same time every day, usually in the late afternoon or evening. The crying begins suddenly and for no apparent reason, and may last for just a few minutes or to several hours.

  • Physical tension - Many babies with colic have bloated, tense abdomens, pull their legs up to their stomachs, clench their fists, and appear to be in pain during the crying episodes.

Experts still don't know for sure what causes colic, even after many years of research. However, the following are all possible culprits:

  • Cow's milk allergies or intolerance

  • An immature digestive system that causes unusually strong intestinal contractions

  • Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD)

  • Increased intestinal gas

  • Hormonal changes

  • Diet of mothers who breastfeed

  • Maternal anxiety or postpartum depression

  • Baby's temperament - some babies just take longer to adjust to the world outside the womb

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Featured Sites:

Cord Blood Registry
March of Dimes
Susan G. Komen


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