Either My Baby Has Colic, Or She Is Merely Consumed By Some Unspeakable Rage

For the second night running, Mrs J left the flat and within minutes I was confronted with a suddenly very angry baby. Last night G ended up crying for several hours. I knew she wasn't hungry, and it wasn't her nappy either. I suppose she might have been too tired, but every time she appeared ready to drift off to sleep she woke up again, expressing what can pleasantly be described as considerable displeasure at whatever it was that was ailing her.

Apparently the big question facing parents in this situation is: does my baby have colic? I'd always assumed that colic was some kind of common baby illness, like measles or chicken pox or scurvy, until I finally got round to reading about it. Well, it's certainly common, and it definitely affects babies, making them cry a lot for no apparent reason. But that's just about all anybody seems able to agree on.

The traditional explanation was that colic was something to do with babies struggling to digest properly, although nobody really knew what exactly. That's still a popular theory, although there are a few others around, including the baby's environment, how the pregnancy went, and that there's not actually anything wrong with the baby at all. Not that any of this academic arguing is of much interest to the parent of such a child, because the hours of crying are real enough. But unsurprisingly, medical professionals have wildly differing views on what to do about the problem, ranging from nothing (because, well, crying is what babies do) to pumping a variety of narcotics with long names into your little one, which may or may not help hold back the baby rage.

The thing is, nobody can really be sure about anything, because babies can't tell you what's wrong with them. The scream for 'Ow! I have terrible pain in my stomach because of a build-up of gas!" is much the same as the scream for "I'm really bored of you daddy and your ridiculous tongue sticking-out game, what time does mummy get home?"

We're going for the narcotics option, in the form of some drops to give G before feeding to help her digest her milk, in case she's lactose intolerant like her mum. The good news about this is that it's a plausible theory for why our little girl is crying, and is easily treatable. The bad news is that it would put me into a minority of proper milk drinkers in our family. I don't much fancy a lifetime of trying to find new ways to cook meals involving goat's cheese, which is not even close to featuring in my personal list of top ten cheeses. But if G really hates ordinary milk as much as the picture above suggests, I don't suppose I've got any choice.


Andy G said...

What is in your list of top ten cheeses?

Richard said...

1 Wensleydale
2 Red Leicester
3 Lancashire
4 Cheshire
5 Brie
6 Double Gloucester
7 Caerphilly
8 Cheddar
9 Stilton
10 Danish Blue

Better luck next time, Mini Babybel!

Sandy Calico said...

As much as I'm loving the cheese talk...
I thought I'd offer 'reflux' as a reason for the crying. My baby had it and screamed. A lot. Mainly after feeds. Within hours of treating him with Gaviscon Infant he was a different happy baby. Our GP referred us to a hospital paediatrician. We were seen within 2 weeks.
I hope you you find some way to help her.

Richard said...

Hi Sandy, thanks for your advice! Our GP wasn't keen to refer her just yet, and in fact G didn't have any problems at all when we were in Aberdeen with her over the last couple of days. But now we're back in Manchester we've had another evening of grouchy crying. Will definitely go back to our doctor if things don't improve in the next week.

Vaughan said...

Have you tried looking at mattress/sheets etc? Anything possibly she might be reacting to.

Broadly though I'd go for the reflux reaction. We got a couple of props for under firstborn's mattress which helped somewhat
(basic problem though for her was an umbilical hernia...still didn't stop the doctors saying 'colic' though)

Didn't find infracol did anything other than make it worse either..

Good luck

Vaughan said...

Sorry, and also tighter swaddling helped---when she was away was she in a travel cot? Or wrapped up more tightly?

Rose DesRochers said...

You poor parents. My first born had colic. I remember the sleepless nights and crying all too well. Have you tried Colic Calm?