Days of Our Lives with #littleciuf – Baby Colic

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RO
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Si-acum ne amintim razand de prima vizita la neonatolog, la doua saptamani de viata ale bebelusului. Cum urla din toti rarunchii pe holurile maternitatii, cum ne straduiam amandoi sa il linistim cu sasaieli, cantece pe Youtube ori zgomot de feon (c-asa invatasem lectiile, cum ca white noise face minuni, oricand, oriunde) si cum primul lucru care ne-a fost spus cand am deschis usa cabinetului a fost un raspicat “Colici! Are colici!” si-apoi o lista interminabila de medicamente. Espumisan, Colidep, Colief, Infacol, Baby Gripe Water, Protectis, Jarrow Dophilus si inca altele pe care insa nu le-am retinut. De combinat toate, de alternat, zi de zi, inainte de orice masa, pana functioneaza unul dintre ele. Cu alte cuvinte, de bagat mai multe medicamente si siropuri in stomacul copilului decat lapte matern 🙂 Nu ca am blama medicamentele in general (desi amandoi le evitam pe cat posibil), insa nu pare tocmai in regula sa indopi un copil de cateva zile cu atat de multe siropuri. Si chiar daca am respectat recomandarile medicilor (nu am indrazni sa contestam vreodata parerea atestata a unui medic), ne-am apucat sa facem un mic research despre acesti “colici”, ca sa ne lamurim ce-i cu toata nebunia aceasta. Stiti cum restart-ul e raspunsul oricarei probleme tehnice in IT? Asa si colicii. Cand nu stii ce are copilul tau de plange neconsolat intruna, ei bine, colicii-s de vina 😀

Bun. Sunt atat de multe teorii despre ce reprezinta din punct de vedere medical colicii, insa noi ne-am oprit la trei explicatii care ni s-au parut cat de cat plauzibile. Prima ar fi ca sunt dureri de burta, cauzate de gaze, reflux si/sau disconfort intestinal. A doua ar fi ca sistemul digestiv al bebelusului nu este suficient dezvoltat si trebuie sa se adapteze unui mod diferit de alimentatie – de aici si anumite intolerante, spre exemplu la proteina laptelui de vaca, si nu poate procesa corect laptele (in special bebelusii nascuti prin cezariana nu au flora intestinala dezvoltata corespunzator, de aceea se recomanda sa primeasca anumite probiotice). Tranzitul intestinal lenes e alta consecinta a sistemului digestiv inca nedezvoltat. Iar a treia ca ar fi factorul emotional (bebelusul vine dintr-o lume ideala, din burta mamei, unde totul ii era oferit pe tava, intr-un mediu ostil in care trebuie sa invete sa se adapteze, iar asta ii provoaca o stare de disconfort acuta). Oricare dintre teorii ar fi acceptate si indiferent ca acesti colici sunt o problema fizica ori una emotionala, cert e ca bebelusul are intr-adevar dureri abdominale si asta se observa si confirma daca isi strange picioare inspre burta, incovoiandu-se si arcuindu-se, daca abdomenul este umflat si tare iar stomacul este zgomotos si “chioraitor”.

Pana la urma, cand bebelusul iti plange neconsolat vreme de cateva ore bune, nici nu mai conteaza care e cu adevarat cauza problemei, focusul este sa il calmezi cat de repede. Si pentru ca primele doua luni au fost destul de solicitante pentru noi din cauza acestor colici (recunoastem ca ajunsesem in pragul disperarii), vom scrie care au fost remediile folosite de noi. In primul rand, sfantul zgomot alb! Feonul, hota, aspiratorul, orice ai crede ca ar stresa copilul este in realitate o mana cereasca 🙂 Si asta pentru ca le aminteste bebelusilor de zgomotul inimii si al organelor din corpul mamei, cu care sunt atat de familiari din perioada sarcinii. Alte zgomote albe ar fi sunetele naturii, ploii, valurilor, suieratul vantului si altele, insa pentru noi acestea nu au functionat. Problema cu sunetele albe ar fi intensitatea acestora (pot fi prea zgomotoase pentru bebelus – teoretic ar trebui sa nu depaseasca 50 decibeli iar sursa zgomotului sa se afle la aproximativ 2 metri de urechea copilului) si dependenta creata (unii copii nu pot adormi fara zgomot alb chiar si la varste mai mari). Cu alte cuvinte, zgomotul alb trebuie folosit doar in caz de urgenta majora, nu in mod regulat.

Suptul este probabil cea mai potrivita metoda de linistit bebelusul cu colici, fie ca este vorba de san, suzeta, deget, orice. Toti bebelusii au reflexul de a suge, asa se linistesc, asa se simt bine. In cazul nostru, in primele luni de viata bebelusul a stat extrem de mult la san. In perioada puseelor de crestere chiar incontinuu numai in brate si la san. De altfel nu este nicio problema ca un nou nascut sa ceara atat de mult sa fie alaptat, ba dimpotriva. Nu este minunat pentru mama, asa este, mai ales ca asta presupune flexibilitate si mobilitate zero, insa il ajuta enorm pe bebelus. Si suzeta este potrivita in astfel de cazuri (daca bebelusul este mancat si nu plange de foame), insa al nostru piticot a refuzat-o complet inca de la inceput. Cat despre deget… aratatorul tatalui (dar si numai al tatalui!) a facut minuni in situatiile critice.

Foarte multe persoane spun ca de fapt si de drept, acesti colici sunt pur si simplu dureri de burta din cauza faptului ca bebelusul nu elimina corect sau deloc aerul din stomac. Ba chiar multi considera ca daca bebelusul ajunge sa eructeze dupa fiecare masa, este imposibil sa mai aiba colici. Fair enough am spune. Insa pentru un bebelus de cateva zile/saptamani nu este tocmai usor sa eructeze, asa ca are nevoie de ajutor. Fie pus pe umar si batut pe spate pret de cateva minute bune (uneori si 20 de minute, mai ales la bebelusii hraniti cu lapte praf; cei alaptati exclusiv la san tind sa eructeze mai putin pentru ca nu inghit atat de mult aer), fie pus pe picior si batut pe spate. Sunt o multime de tutoriale care descriu ce trebuie facut pentru eliminarea gazului la bebelusi (spre exemplu acesta) si/sau ce exercitii trebuie incercate (noi am folosit deseori cele din videoul acesta, bicicleta, ridicat picioarele catre burta si altele). Am observat ca atunci cand bebelusul era alaptat putin inclinat (si nu complet orizontal), ii era mai usor sa eructeze sau durerile de burta erau mai putin deranjante pentru el.

O alta metoda de a calma durerile de burta ar fi si caldura. Fie o compresa calda, un prosop inmuiat in apa calda pus direct pe burta, fie acei saculeti speciali pentru colici, din samburi de cirese (spre exemplu acesta) care se incalzesc in cuptorul cu microunde si apoi se pun pe burtica bebelusului. Ne-am cumparat si noi astfel de saculeti, insa nu i-am folosit niciodata, deci nu stim cat sunt de eficienti. In schimb o baie calda a functionat intotdeauna, la fel si intorsul bebelusului pe burta (monitorizat indeaproape, caci in primele saptamani de viata nu isi poate tine capsorul). De asemenea, un masaj bland pe burta poate ajuta, uneori chiar si simplul infasat intr-o paturica.

Contactul skin to skin este de asemenea extrem de benefic pentru bebelusii indurerati, practic asezarea lor pe corpul parintelui. Se linistesc miraculos in special atunci cand simt mirosul si caldura mamei, se simt confortabil si familiar (dupa 9 luni in burta mamei, nici nu e de mirare). Noi l-am tinut in brate, culcat pe piept, cat am putut de mult. Din pacate insa plansul continua pana era atasat la san. De asemenea, a mai functionat si asa numitul baby wearing – purtatul copilului in sisteme speciale si plimbarile in aer liber. Era un pic greu de convins cand il puneam in sistem (niciodata nu a stat de la bun inceput, mereu se zvarcolea si agita), insa dupa cateva minute de plans se linistea si adormea pentru cel putin o ora, uneori chiar doua.

Dieta mamei pare sa fie un alt motiv al colicilor bebelusilor. Contrar parerii medicilor, consultantii in alaptare ar contesta vehement aceasta afirmatie, pentru ca ei considera ca nimic din alimentatia mamei nu trece in laptele matern. Cu toate acestea, pentru a elimina orice cauza a colicilor, am incercat si o dieta mai atenta, eliminand toate alimentele care baloneaza/fermenteaza in general (practic am eliminat mai tot ce mancam in mod normal ca vegetariana – not cool) si mancarurile picante (adio spicy sauce). Nu am observat insa o imbunatatire sau schimbare de orice fel in comportamentul bebelusului. In teorie, pare-se ca alimentele mancate de mama nu se transfera in lapte, insa anumite proteine (cum ar fi proteina laptelui de vaca sau cele din alune) ajung in laptele matern si pot dezvolta diverse alergii. Regula de baza e sa incepi cu o dieta mai restrictiva, eliminand toti “suspectii”, apoi treptat, sa ii reintroduci in dieta, iar daca bebelusul nu reactioneaza in mod negativ, nu mai este nevoie sa fie evitati. Si-acum dezvaluirile sincere: am mancat toate mizeriile pamantului in aceste prime luni de alaptat, avand cele mai dubioase si neobisnuite pofte (pizza, dulciuri, cartofi prajiti), astfel ca nu am urmat nicio regula de “mancat sanatos”. Alaptatul a decurs insa foarte bine, copilul si-a dublat greutatea de la nastere la 2,5 luni de viata. Reversul medaliei este insa faptul ca nu am reusit sa dau jos kilogramele in plus acumulate in sarcina. Can’t have them all pana la urma 😀

Acum ca am capatat si noi putina experienta in bebeluseala, am spune ca tratarea colicilor nu este chiar atat de grea precum ni se parea la inceput. Important ar fi sa avem grija ca bebelusul sa elimine gazele dupa fiecare masa, iar persoana care incearca sa-l linisteasca atunci cand are un episod de plansete sa fie foarte calma si increzatoare ca face ce trebuie. Nu stim cum de e posibil, insa bebelusii au unsimt suplimentar 🙂 Detecteaza imediat persoanele agitate sau nepricepute si tematoare din preajma lor 🙂 Bineinteles, medicamentele sunt si ele indicate, insa noi am spune ca nu e cazul sa se faca abuz. Si noi le-am incercat pe toate, insa la un moment dat am realizat ca nimic nu avea efecte miraculoase, ci simple ameliorari temporare, de multe ori nici macar atat. Vestea buna e ca pe la trei-patru luni colicii la bebelusi trec de la sine, asa ca asteptarea nu-i atat de lunga. Insa recunoastem ca plansetele pot fi frustrante astfel ca orice remediu e mai mult decat binevenit. Iar in caz ca nimic nu functioneaza, nu inseamna nici pe departe ca suntem parinti rai, trebuie pur si simplu sa ne inarmam cu rabdare si sa incercam tot ce ne sta in putere sa ne linistim piticotii.

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We’ll probably never forget our first visit to the Neonatology, when our baby was two weeks old. He was screaming and yelling on the halls of the hospitals and we were desperately trying to sooth him using hisses, Youtube songs or hair dryer sound (that’s what we were told, that white noise really does wonders, anytime, anywhere) and the first thing we’ve heard when we opened the door of the office was a clear and blunt “’Colics! He has colics!” and then an endless list of meds. Espumisan, Colidep, Colief, Infacol, Baby Gripe Water, Protectis, Jarrow Dophilus and some others that we forgot. Combine them all, day by day, before any meal, until one of them works for us. In other words, to feed our baby more meds and syrups than breast milk J Not that we would blame meds in general (although we both try to avoid them as much as possible) but it just doesn’t seem right to stuff on syrups a child that is only few days old. And even though we followed the recommendations received by our doctors (we would never contradict them as their opinions are certified and documented), we started to do some research about these “colics” just to be clear what’s all the fuss about them. You know how the computer restart solves each and every single technical problem in IT field? Oh well, seems to be the same with colics. When you don’t know why your baby is endlessly crying, colics are the cause. 😀

Ok, from a medical point of view there are so many theories about what the colics really are but we stopped to three plausible explanations. The first one would be that they are stomach aches, caused by gas, reflux or intestinal discomfort. The second one is that the digestive system of the baby is not yet developed and has to adapt to a different kind of feeding – which sometimes causes some intolerances such as milk cow protein intolerance, and it cannot process the breast milk correctly (especially the babies that are born via c-section they don’t have the intestinal flora properly developed and it is recommended to receive some probiotics). The slow intestinal transit is another consequence of the undeveloped digestive system. And the third one would be the emotional factor (the baby comes from an ideal world, from his mother’s womb, where he had everything, to a hostile environment where he needs to adapt, and that makes him suffer a great discomfort). No matter what theory is accepted or whether these colics are a physical or emotional issue, one thing is for certain, the baby has abdominal pains and this can be observed and confirmed if the baby brings his legs to the belly using an arching movement, if the stomach is bloated, hard and noisy.

In the end, when the baby inconsolably cries for a couple of hours, it doesn’t even matter what is the real cause of the problem, the only focus is to calm down the baby as soon as possible. And because the first two months were quite demanding for us because of these so called colics (we have to admit that we were simply desperate), we will write down what were the remedies that we used. First of all, the white noise! The hair dryer, the cooker hood, the vacuum cleaner, anything that you would normally think that stresses the baby is actually a real godsend J And that’s because the noise reminds the babies of the heart beats from their mother’s while they were in the womb, sound that they are so familiar with. Other white noises are the sounds of nature, rain, waves, wind whistle and others, but these did not work for us. The problem with the white noise is the intensity used (they can be too noisy for the baby – in theory these should not be over 50 decibels and the source of the noise should be at least 2 meters away from the baby’s ear) and the fact that they can create a dependence and some babies can no longer fall asleep without white noise. In other words, white noise should be used in urgent situations and not on a regular basis.

Sucking is probably the best way to calm down a colicky baby, whether is about breast, pacifier, finger, anything. Any baby has the natural reflex of sucking, that’s how they can be soothed and they feel good when they do it. In our case, our baby was breastfed A LOT in the first months of life. Especially during growth spurts! Actually there is absolutely no problem for a newborn to want so much breast milk, in reality is on the contrary! It is not lovely for the mother, that is true, because she ends up having no flexibility or mobility, but breast feeding helps the baby a lot. Pacifier is also good for these cases (but just if the baby is fed and does not cry for hunger), but our tiny human refused it completely from the beginning. As for the finger… his father’s index finger (and only his!) did wonders in critical situations.

Many people say that these colics are actually simple stomach aches because the baby doesn’t eliminate correctly or at all the air from the stomach. Some even consider that if the baby is burping after each and every single meal, it is impossible to have colics. Fair enough we would say. But for a baby that is only days/weeks old, is not quite easy to make him burp, he needs help. Either by putting him on the shoulder and tap him on the back for a couple of minutes (sometimes even 20 minutes, especially for the babies that are bottle-fed; those that are breastfed tend to burp less as they do not swallow so much  air), either by putting the baby on the leg and tapped on the back. There are lots of tutorials that describe what needs to be done to eliminate the gas (for instance this one) and/or exercises can be tried (we often used the ones from this video, the bicycle, lifting the legs towards the tummy and others). We’ve noticed that when the baby was breastfed in an inclined position (not horizontally) it was easier for him to burp and the tummy aches were less disturbing.

Another method to calm the pains is the heat. Either a warm compress, a towel soaked in hot water and put directly on the tummy, either those special bags that contain cherry stones (for instance these ones) that can be heated in the microwaves and then put on the baby’s tummy. We bought these bags but never used them, so cannot tell if they are efficient or not. But a warm bath has always worked, and also turning the baby on his tummy (closely monitoring him as in the first weeks of life he cannot properly hold his head). Also, a gentle massage on the tummy can help, something even a simple swaddle in a blanket.

Skin to skin contact is extremely beneficial for the babies, basically putting them on the parent’s body. They miraculously calm down when they feel the smell and warmth of their mother, they feel comfortable and familiar (no wonder why, after they stayed 9 months in their mother’s womb). We held our baby in our arms, on our chest, as much as possible. Unfortunately he continued to cry until he was breastfed. Also, baby wearing helped a lot and long walks outside. It was a bit hard at first, he was agitated and tossing, but after a couple of minutes of crying he calmed down for at least an hour, sometimes even two.

Mother’s diet seems to be another reason why babies have colics. Contrary on what the doctors say, lactation experts contradict this statement because they consider that nothing from the mother’s diet passes in the breast milk. However, in order to eliminate any cause of the colics, Ive tried a careful diet, eliminating all the bloating/fermenting foods (basically everything that I used to eat as a vegetarian – not cool) and spicy foods (goodbye spicy sauce). I did not notice any improvement or change in the baby’s behavior. In theory, it seems that what the mother eats does not go into the breast milk but there are some proteins (for instance the cow milk protein or the peanuts proteins) that do get into the milk and some allergies can be developed. Rule of thumb is to start with a restrictive diet, eliminating all the “suspects” and then, step by step, to reintroduce them in the diet and if the baby does not react in a negative way, there is no need to avoid them. And now the honest confessions: I ate all the possible junk food in these first months of breastfeeding, having the most unusual cravings (pizza, sweets, French fries) so I did not follow any “healthy eating” rule. Breastfeeding was going fine, baby has doubled his birth weight at 2,5 months of life. On the other hand I could not lose the weight gained during pregnancy. Can’t have them all in the end 😀

Now that we have a bit more experience with this baby world, we would say that treating colic pain is not that hard as it seemed at the beginning. It is important to be careful that our baby eliminates the gas after each meal and the person that is trying to calm him when he is having a crying episode to be extremely calm and confident that he/she is doing the right thing. We don’t really know how is this possible, but newborns really have an extra sense J They immediately detect the nervous persons or the ones that are agitated and fearful and unexperienced around them J Of course, meds are recommended, but we would say that parents should not abuse them. We also tried them all but at some point we realized that nothing really had miraculous results, just temporary improvements (sometimes not even these). Good news is that around three-four months colics will pass so it is not a long wait. But we do admit that crying can be frustrating so any remedies are more than welcome. And if nothing works, it doesn’t mean that we are bad parents, we just have to be patient and try anything we can to soothe our babies.