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It is day four of incessant crying. No sleep for anybody in the family. The new baby, a precious gift, is no bundle of joy. You would do anything to help relieve the obvious pain your baby is experiencing. The worst part is nothing seems to help. Many parents end up in the emergency room in an attempt to find an answer to their baby’s suffering. But there doesn’t seem to be any definitive answers. Experts can’t agree- some say the baby is trying to change the dynamics of the household to focus more on the infants needs. Others insist that the baby is not in any real pain but uncomfortable outside the womb. Still others maintain allergies to breast milk or formula is keeping your baby gassy and fussing. While all of these theories may have a very small place in the very large, all encompassing diagnosis of colic, an immature digestive system learning to synchronize itself seems the most plausible answer. After talking with hundreds of colic-challenged moms let me dispel some popular colic myths.

• Tap water causes colic- While it’s probably a good idea to use purified water with infants, tap water is not known to cause colic.

• Breast fed babies are more prone to colic – It may seem that way but many experts attribute gassiness to improper breast feeding techniques.

• My baby will be temperamental for the rest of his life- Colic will disappear as suddenly as it arrived with no physical or psychological damage to the baby (I can’t guarantee the same for the parents).

• My doctor says my baby has reflux and has prescribed acid reflux medicines. Will my baby need these meds for the rest of his life? – Reflux can be a symptom of an immature digestive system. Your baby should grow out of needing help with reflux. Also keep in mind, there are natural alternatives to prescription medications.

• Baking soda can help relieve a gassy, colicky baby – Baking soda is NOT recommended for children under 5 years of age.

• There are now colic remedies that can help colic – while many old school doctors believe parents just have to wait it out, there are effective remedies out there that are FDA regulated and registered. Steer clear of remedies that include alcohol, baking soda (Sodium Bicarbonate), herbal oils and extracts and citrus acid.

Do talk with your pediatrician to make sure your baby is definitely suffering from colic and not something else. An important thing also to do is bring in family and friends to help. Being able to step back occasionally from the situation will help you to keep sane and make rational decisions.

By Cyndra Neal

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