Saturday, June 24, 2006

Colic: Learning How to Deal With Your Baby's Crying

How does a baby with colic act?

Babies with colic cry more than most babies--a lot more. When they cry, they may draw their arms and legs toward their bodies and may seem like they're in pain. Sometimes they stretch out their arms and legs and stiffen, then draw up again. They may even turn bright red from crying. When this crying lasts for more than three hours a day, it's called colic. Colicky babies usually get fussy toward the end of the day, but colic can happen at any time.
A baby with colic may cry in bouts or may cry almost all of the time. When your baby cries, he or she may swallow air. This may give your baby gas and make your baby's tummy look swollen and feel tight, which may make him or her even more uncomfortable.

What causes colic?
No one is sure what causes colic. Babies with colic are healthy, so it's not caused by a medical problem. Colic isn't caused by the way the baby is handled or treated. It's certainly not the parents' fault. Colic may be caused by stomach pain or the baby's temperament. Babies with colic seem to need more attention and are more sensitive to the things around them than other babies.

How long will the colic last?
Colic usually starts between the 3rd and 6th week after birth. It usually goes away when the baby is 3 months old. If your baby is still colicky after 3 months of age, he or she may be experiencing a reflux disorder.

Things to remember about colic
You didn't cause the colic, so try not to feel guilty.
Colic almost always goes away by 3 months of age. It should go away by the time your baby is 6 months old.
You can try many things to soothe your baby.
Giving your baby extra attention won't "spoil" him or her.
Just because your baby has colic doesn't mean he or she is unhealthy.

What can I do to help my baby stop crying?
You can try a number of things to soothe your baby. These may include changing the way you feed or hold your baby. Try the tips listed in the box below to see if they help your baby stop crying.

Tips on soothing your baby
Place a warm water bottle on your baby's stomach (make sure it's not too hot).
Rock your baby in a rocking chair or cradle.
Put your baby in a wind-up swing (make sure your baby can support his or her head).
Give your baby a warm bath.
Give your baby a pacifier.
Gently rub your baby's stomach.
Wrap your baby in a soft blanket.
Put your baby in a stroller and go for a walk.
Go for a drive with your baby in the car seat.

What changes in feeding may help my baby stop crying?
Try feeding your baby if more than 2 hours have passed since the last feeding. Feed your baby more often and less at a time.
If you feed your baby formula, your family doctor might suggest trying a different one. Warming the formula to body temperature before a feeding may also help.
Try using a nipple with a smaller hole on the bottle if a bottle feeding takes less than 20 minutes. Avoid feeding your baby too quickly.

What about how I hold my baby?
Sometimes babies with colic will respond to different ways of being held or rocked.
Hold your baby across your lap and massage his or her back.
Hold your baby on top of a running dishwasher, washing machine or dryer (don't leave your baby alone).
Hold your baby upright. This will help if your baby has gas.
Hold your baby while walking.

What can I do when I feel frustrated with my baby?
Colic can be very frustrating for parents. Babies who don't stop crying can be hard to care for. Any time you feel tired and frustrated, get someone else to watch your baby for a while.
If you can't find anyone to help you, try going into a nearby room and watching TV or listening to the radio. Make sure your baby will be safe without immediate supervision. Crying will not hurt your baby. Be sure you give yourself time away from your baby so you don't get too frustrated.

Call your family doctor if:
Your baby's cry changes from a fussy one to a painful one.
Your baby stops gaining weight.
Your baby has a fever.
You're afraid you might hurt your baby.

Friday, June 23, 2006

What makes breast milk special?

Sally MyerNebraskaFrom: NEW BEGINNINGS, Vol. 23 No. 2, March-April 2006, pp. 82-83

The most common reason mothers probably choose to breastfeed is the knowledge that human milk is the superior infant food. It contains live cells, like those in blood. Some components of human milk also enhance the effects of others, so the ingredients of human milk work together. In contrast, only a small percentage of some ingredients of formula are absorbed; mixing ingredients in formula does not guarantee they will act together the way they do in human milk.
Human Milk Is Designed for Babies
Human milk is species-specific. The milk of each mammal species has adapted to supply its offspring with what is needed for optimal growth and survival. Some species' milks are relatively high in fat to lay down a thick layer of body fat, while those with high protein use it for rapid growth and maturation. Those species that need readily available sources of sugar to meet the needs of their rapidly growing brains have milk that is higher in carbohydrates. Humans are the slowest growing and maturing mammals, but also have the most advanced brains. So it makes sense that the protein content of human milk is relatively low while the level of carbohydrates is high.

Human milk contains levels of vitamins and minerals appropriate for the healthy, full-term, human infant. It is ever-changing -- from the beginning of the feeding to the end, from feeding to feeding, and from day to day. The infant provides many signals that stimulate some of the changes in his mother's milk. When following her infant's feeding cues, a mother can be assured that her child will benefit from those changes. For instance, if the milk taken at a particular feeding is lower in fat (fat is the most variable constituent of mother's milk), the infant will become hungry again sooner. If his cues are followed and he receives the next few feedings close together (cluster feeds), the higher fat milk he receives (fat content goes up when the breast is less full) will ensure his overall fat intake is adequate.

Human Milk Has Anti-Infective Properties
Breastfeeding mothers often notice that their children are sick less often than children who aren't breastfed. Human milk provides different kinds of defense against disease, including secretory antibodies against specific pathogens. It also contains lactoferrin, which not only is the source of iron for breastfed infants, but also appears to have antibacterial and antiviral properties. Other components in human milk protect infants on a molecular level because their actual shape hinders certain pathogen's access to the infant.
Because human milk has protective qualities, infants who are not breastfed have more emergency room visits, hospitalizations, and treatments with antibiotics. The protective effects extend beyond weaning. (See the table below.)

Human milk offers immunological protection against many chronic diseases. According to Outcomes of Breastfeeding versus Formula Feeding, compiled by Ginna Wall, MN, IBCLC, and Jon Ahrendsen, MD, FAAFP, human milk feeding is associated with less risk of the following diseases: celiac disease, diabetes, multiple sclerosis, sudden infant death syndrome, childhood cancer, autoimmune thyroid disease, appendicitis, osteoporosis, cardiovascular disease, helicobacter pylori infection (associated with gastric ulcers), Crohn's disease, colitis, juvenile rheumatoid arthritis, obesity, tonsillitis, allergies, atopic disease, and asthma. (This comprehensive report can be found at
The mechanism of these apparent long-term immunologic benefits remains unclear, although theories abound. Human milk contains bioactive components that enhance the growth and development of the human infant.

One gastrointestinal hormone, cholecystokinine (CCK) signals sedation and a feeling of satiation and well-being. During suckling, CCK release in both mother and infant produces a sleepy feeling. The infant's CCK level peaks twice after suckling. The first peak occurs immediately after the feeding. It peaks again 30 to 60 minutes later. The first CCK rise is probably induced by suckling; the second by the presence of milk in the GI tract. The drop of infant CCK levels 10 minutes after a feeding implies a "window" within which the infant can be awakened to feed from the second breast or to reattach to the first side for additional fat-rich milk. Waiting 30 minutes after the feeding before laying the baby down takes advantage of the second CCK peak to help the infant to stay asleep.

Human Milk Contains Essential Fatty Acids
The essential fatty acids in human milk optimize cognitive function and vision. Studies have found that premature infants who received human milk via feeding tube were more advanced developmentally at 18 months and at seven to eight years of age than those of comparable gestational age and birth weight who had received formula by tube. Such observations suggest that human milk has a significant impact on the growth of the central nervous system. Also, breastfed infants have higher visual acuity. These benefits of human milk can be attributed to the presence of long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acids, docosahexanoic acid (DHA) and arachidonic acid (AA). Although some formulas have recently added these ingredients, it is unknown if they will have similar effects long-term.
The hormones, live antibacterial and antiviral cells, and essential fatty acids are just some of the reasons why human milk is the vastly superior infant food. It is a truly unique substance that cannot be copied artificially.

Editor's Note: This article originally appeared in the Nebraska Area Leader's Letter.
Lawrence, R. and Lawrence, R. Breastfeeding; A Guide for the Medical Professional. St. Louis: Mosby. 2005.
Riordan, J. Breastfeeding and Human Lactation. Sudbury: Jones and Bartlett 2005.

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Ashes to ashes

13 Jun 2006

Zee zek's funeral is finally over. His body was cremated and ashes placed at the Mandai columbarium. I couldn't attend the wake or the cremation as baby still hasn't cleared his first month. I really wanted to say bye to him myself.

Hubb said that everything was very simple. He went there all the nights and stayed with zee zek the whole of last night. He said that it was peaceful, the place where the ashes were placed was beautiful.

Now that zee zek is in a much better place, it's time for us, the living, to pick up the pieces, be strong and live.

Monday, June 12, 2006

Loss of a loved one

Zee zek passed away in his sleep yesterday morning. It was a peaceful departure. I believe that he is in a better place, free of his physical disabilities and most importantly, he is with God.

Hubb and I are already missing him, i can only imagine the greater sense of loss in Aunts, Jus and Alden's hearts. However, I also know that they will be strong and they will get through the next few days. Now we should not mourn the loss but celebrate the life that zee zek led.

Both him and Aunts were so kind to me when I 1st met them 3 years ago. They gave generously when we moved to our new place, when we got married and also when Kieran was born. I'm glad that Kieran managed to know his zek gong, even though it was a brief one.

Monday, June 05, 2006


Since having Kieran, I've really become more apt at multi-tasking. Look! I'm typing this entry using my left hand. I realised the need to be ambidextrous if I want to be able to get things done. My internet times are usually clocked while feeding him. It keeps me awake, especially during the night feeds and in doing so, it leaves me some free time to do other things. I thnk he's going to grow up, an internet junkie... haha...
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...