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Armando @armando_bastida

Babies cry. They have no other way of expressing themselves, so they cry when something they do not like, when they feel upset about whatever it is and when they need you to attend to them. That's the normal crying of a baby, asking for someone to provide care. In addition to normal crying, which is not at all the so-called colic, but crying, there are some babies, not all of them, who in the evening or night cry more than usual, for a long time and, apparently, with no apparent solution.

This is what is called uncontrollable crying of the baby (I have also seen it called inconsolable crying of the baby), which is colloquially known as baby cramps because they are associated with some type of intestinal or abdominal pain, and which is characterized by episodes of crying that They can last up to 2-3 hours a day, which happen more than three days a week and which occur when the baby is less than 3 months old. Now, what are colics really? Why are you crying so much?

Abdominal pain

Babies cry, they arch back and it feels like their belly really hurts. That is why they are called colic, because it really seems that they have some intestinal or stomach problem, bad digestion or something similar, due to immaturity, and that over time they will stop having them.

When Jon, my eldest son, was born, he cried a lot in the afternoons and we thought that was it. That's why we put him with his back against our chest and with his hand we held his belly. It seemed to calm him down a bit, but it was not that it was the panacea either. Come on, that sometimes served and sometimes not so much.

It has been said that the cause of colic could be some type of bacteria and it seems that some probiotics have worked in this regard, improving the flora of the baby and alleviating a little the discomfort.

In pharmacies they also sell preparations for baby colics, usually composed of chamomile and fennel, which work very well in some babies but do absolutely nothing to others. This leads us to think that the uncontrollable crying of the baby could be a problem with different and different causes .

I have never been too excited about belly pain for a logical reason: if your belly bothers you, if you have problems with digestion, immaturity or a bacteria that is bothering you, it should hurt your gut at all times . Or maybe not all hours, but sometimes in the morning, sometimes in the afternoon and sometimes at night. However, when we talk about this type of crying, late afternoon and evening happens. And a crying with a schedule can hardly be due to a physical discomfort, because the internal pains, as far as I know, do not have a schedule, right?

Immaturity in every way

There is also talk of milk protein intolerances and similar things, but then we would not be talking about colic or uncontrollable crying, but about that, intolerances, so without addressing that issue and assuming that crying babies do not necessarily have an intolerance to something they eat or eat their mothers, we have the other hypothesis, which I do, which is that says that babies are very, very immature and therefore are unadapted to the environment .

As we have already explained on several occasions, human babies are born terribly premature and incapable. Unable to survive without the care of their parents, to move, to fend for themselves, etc. That immaturity (born with the brain developed only in 25% of what will be in adulthood) affects them in all senses. They are not able to reason, they are not able to learn practically nothing until weeks and months pass and, consequently, they have serious difficulties to adapt to a world that is not always prepared for them.

Noises of cars, motorcycles, doors, plastic bags (what scares them, hey), voices, smells that they do not know, hands that take them differently from mom and dad, lights, various temperatures, etc., and all this you add the absence of what you already know, which is a hot, humid medium with a smell and taste that you already know (the amniotic fluid) and the noise of Mom's muffled voice, the noise of your guts and the constant beating Give Your Heart. That is, it is not only the presence of new stimuli, but also the absence of the stimuli that they do know, which leads them to feel out of place.

And that out of place, that "this is not my place, " which is not a rational thought but a sensation, a mental block, a hitherto arrived, ends up expressing in the form of uncontrollable crying . Do you know when you can not do more and you want to go out to the window to scream? Well look, there are some who come out and do it, scream. Some people prefer not to do it and take what they get in the fridge and put it all inside, there are those who call their best friend and vent, there are some ... because babies have no window to open, ice cream to devour or friend to call, so they only have one, mourn as possessed to fall exhausted.

And what can we do?

If colics are supposed to be due to a blockage, what you have to try is to prevent that mental block. It is said that in cultures where children are always in their arms children do not suffer from colic, that they do not know what it is like for a baby to cry for a long time without apparent reason. That is why it is recommended that parents take a lot of their babies.

Whether it will be true or not, I do not know. As a father I can assure you that my children have spent a lot, but a long time in arms (the third, Guim, did not leave them), and the three cried after six that was nice . That is, that of the arms, because maybe, but there could be more.

In these cultures the children are dark, the mothers, sisters or relatives take them in rags and there they go all day, without crying. I do not think they differ much from my children, who were all day in arms in that aspect, but there was a difference. We do not live where they live, without artificial environmental noise, surrounded by living nature and with, probably, less visual and sound stimuli in general.

Will that? I do not know, but as we go to live in a town I do not know if it is an option for everyone, and I do not even know if it will be a logical solution for a cry that three months later will disappear, we have no choice but to take the logical: give peace and security to the baby and have the necessary patience to cope with those moments in the best way we can.

And this is achieved by taking it vertically (lest there are gases), in arms as much as we can and avoiding excessive stimulation with inputs that may bother you: loud sounds, strong or unpleasant odors, go arms in the arms of strangers, keep them awake so that later at night they sleep more (it does not work and it is also cruel for them), etc. And if we suspect that there is something of a belly, then what is said, try some anticholines remedy if that short falls or wait, simply, with much affection, a lot of caress and passing the baby to the couple when we can not anymore, to arrive the day in which, suddenly, the cramps have disappeared.

Photos | Jon Collier, Tatiana Vdb on Flickr in Babies and more | Infant colics: what are they, How to relieve infant colic, Are probiotics effective for infant colic?

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