What is colic?
Colic is a condition that occurs in young babies who show significant periods of distress at predictable times of the day. In all other respects the baby is well-fed and healthy, and no underlying cause has been found for the condition.
Paediatricians often use the “Rule of Three” to diagnose colic: “A baby that cries for three or more hours per day, at least three times a week, in the first three months of life.” About 25% of babies worldwide meet the official “Rule of Three” criteria for a medical diagnosis of colic.
Typical symptoms of colic include:
- Baby shows signs of excess gas or flatulence.
- Baby’s abdomen appears bloated and may seem hard.
- Crying for long periods despite there being no obvious cause and despite attempts to console the baby. The crying may escalate to high pitched screaming.
- When crying, baby may show signs of stomach pain such as pulling their knees up to their chest, clenched fists, flailing arms and legs or an arched back.
- Baby experiences frequent sleeplessness, irritability or fussiness.
- Symptoms tend to occur around the same time each day , often in the afternoon or early evenings and often after meal times.
Colic typically occurs between a few weeks of age and 3-4 months old.
How does Lacteeze help babies with colic?
Studies have shown up to 40% of babies medically diagnosed with colic actually suffer from transient lactase intolerance, hence the common term “colic associated with lactose intolerance”.
This is not to say that the babies do not suffer from colic, simply that the colic has an underlying cause – a shortage of lactase enzymes in the digestive system.
Many of these babies can be helped by pre-treating baby’s feeds with lactase enzymes. Adding Lacteeze to breast milk or infant formula reduces the lactose content so the feeds are easier to digest.
Studies show that this can reduce crying time in babies whose colic is associated with transient lactose intolerance by a staggering 45%!
As baby matures the levels of lactase enzymes produced by the body naturally increases, so by the time baby is 3-4 months old lactose intolerance (and hence colic symptoms) will often be improving. At this time baby can be slowly weaned off Lacteeze.
Lacteeze is a safe and natural approach to infant colic associated with lactose intolerance. It is not a drug but a natural enzyme that can be added to baby’s milk or formula to reduce the level of lactose in baby’s feeds.
Another very important factor is that mums who use Lacteeze can continue to breast-feed even when their baby is lactose intolerant. The benefits of breast feeding for both mother and baby are substantial and well documented.
For directions on how to administer Lacteeze drops to help baby settle please read our Recommended Tips below.
The following tips are recommended to help baby settle:
- Try to stay calm yourself. Although this is sometimes not easy to do, baby is likely to become more unsettled if he feels you are stressed or upset.
- If you feel overloaded, if possible ask someone else to look after baby for a short while. Take a short walk, sit outside for 10 minutes, take a short break so that you can re-group.
- Swaddle baby snuggly and gently rock or stroke baby.
- Maintain contact with baby when he or she is upset. A baby sling or carry will allow you to keep baby with you for longer periods.
- Keep the lights low and noise levels low while you are soothing baby, avoid any unnecessary loud or startling noises.
- Check baby is not too hot or too cold.
- Give baby a warm bath and gentle massage if possible. If baby is very upset this may not be possible until he or she has calmed down a bit.
- If Mum is breast feeding she can reduce the amount of caffeine in her diet. This includes tea, coffee, energy drinks, cola and other soft drinks.
- Take baby for a drive in the car or walk in a pram. The constant motion can be very soothing.
- Mothers who are breast feeding baby might consider a trial diet in which major allergens such as milk, egg, wheat and nut products are eliminated.
- It is extremely stressful looking after a colicky baby and caregivers have reported feelings of depression, inadequacy, anxiety, anger, fear, exhaustion, loneliness and social isolation. It is essential that caregivers receive support, take time out and are reassured so that these feelings do not escalate. Ensure that baby’s caregivers take time out for themselves and have time to relax.