Home Baby Care Proper Nutrition For an Infant: How to Avoid Colic

Proper Nutrition For an Infant: How to Avoid Colic

Balanced nutrition from the first days of a baby’s life lays the foundation for future health. In the first two years, the child’s body develops actively, so the quality of the food consumed is very important. The infant’s digestive system is different from adults, so the composition and consistency of the food should be nutrient-rich and easy to digest.

Breast milk is the best food for babies under 12 months, but it is often impossible to continue breastfeeding. In this case, parents need to choose the right infant formula for their baby responsibly.

Approximately 70% of newborns from three weeks to three months of age (sometimes a little longer) experience abdominal pain. Colic are associated with periodic and increased gassiness due to the physiological immaturity of the GI tract. The baby’s digestive system cannot cope with the digestion of breast milk or infant formula. As a result, the baby gets colic, which makes him naughty and crying.

Colic can bother a baby for several months and adds a lot of anxiety and sleepless nights in family daily life. The best solution in such a situation is visiting your pediatrician, finding out the main causes of discomfort in the baby, and getting recommendations on relieving the colic pain.

Causes of colic in newborns

Source: happiestbaby.com

The most common causes of colic in infants are:

  • Immaturity of the digestive system;
  • Immaturity of the central nervous system;
  • Intestinal dysbacteriosis;
  • Allergies to the milk formula;
  • Incorrect preparation of the milk formula;
  • Air getting into the stomach during feeding;
  • Hormonal disorders in the mother;
  • Adding new foods to the baby’s diet;
  • Overfeeding the baby;
  • Lactase deficiency;
  • Infectious and other diseases.

The digestive system of newborns develops gradually. During the first months of life, it is adapted to digest only breast milk or milk formula. However, the baby’s body may not yet produce some of the enzymes needed to digest the micronutrients properly. As a result, they cause excessive gas formation in infants. Therefore nursing women are recommended to exclude products difficult to digest, causing allergies in the baby or excessive gas.

Also, the digestive tract of the baby, especially those born prematurely, may not yet be ready for digestion as such. In such cases, food is not digested immediately and lingers in the large intestine for a long time, provoking excessive distension and flatulence. Because of this, the baby gets intestinal cramps and colic.

A common cause of colic in newborns is also swallowing large amounts of air while feeding. As a result, air enters the stomach and provokes colic. For air swallowed after feeding to come out of the stomach, it is recommended that the baby be held vertically for 10-15 minutes until belching occurs.

Colic may also occur with the development of dysbacteriosis against the background of antibiotics in the baby or mother, allergies to breast milk or milk formula components, or adding new products to the diet.

Some experts suggest that infants get gas due to stress or other psycho-emotional reasons, such as maternal anxiety.

How to understand if your baby has colic? 

Source: parenting.firstcry.com

In the first months of life, parents have to understand almost intuitively what their baby wants or what bothers him or her. Colic symptoms are nonspecific, so it can be challenging to determine what has caused the baby’s anxiety.

In order to make it easier for parents and the pediatrician to understand what is most likely the cause of colic, parents may have to keep the baby’s diet and colic diary. 

What parents should write in a diary:

  • When colic occurs: before, during, or after feeding, if after feeding, how long after.
  • How long the colic lasts.
  • Is there a rhythm to the colic, whether it happens simultaneously or at different times?
  • When colic is most usually happen (morning, afternoon, evening).
  • Is the baby exclusively breastfed or on formula feeding.
  • The amount of milk or formula the baby eats per feeding.
  • Schedule of baby’s feeding.
  • If the baby gets formula, what kind of formula is used?

Symptoms of colic in newborns may include:

  • Long and intense crying;
  • Sleep problems;
  • Having a redness on the face;
  • Frequent regurgitation;
  • Constipation.

Colic symptoms in infants may be observed from half an hour to two or three hours until the attack passes. They usually recur one or more times a day after feeding.

Symptoms of colic in babies decrease with age. In most cases, they disappear completely by 4-5 months, when the digestive system will be fully developed.

 Colic baby feeding difficulties

Source: momlovesbest.com

If a baby suffers from colic, parents should definitely pay attention to both the diet and the feeding technique. 

To help your baby, you need to work with the causes of discomfort – choose the right food, which will help to improve the intestinal microflora, reduce gas, protect the child from allergies, and support immunity. At the same time, remember that only a pediatrician can prescribe a suitable infant formula for babies with GI tract issues.

If necessary, the doctor will advise mothers of breastfed babies how to adjust the diet and recommend eliminating foods that increase gas formation in the intestines. Since infants with persistent colic have a high probability of intolerance of cow’s milk proteins, in some cases, nursing mothers are recommended to switch to a dairy-free diet.

In addition, parents should be extremely careful when choosing baby formula. For babies who suffer from colic on mixed or formula feeding, it is often recommended to use specialized formulas. These formulas contain active ingredients that affect the underlying causes of digestive disorders and help cope with colic. Proteins are broken down into small components in such infant formula to make the baby’s digestion easier.  

In the first six months of life a baby’s digestive system is immature and highly susceptible to nutrition. That is why it is so important to choose only high-quality baby products from reliable, trusted manufacturers for your baby on organicsbestshop.com

Choosing the right baby formula approved by nutritional experts and pediatricians will make an invaluable contribution to the little one’s development and healthy growth.