What is colic?

Colic is a term rather than an illness. The word colic comes from the Greek word, Kolikos meaning ‘Crampy pain’ and the root word means Colon in the human body but no one knows for sure where ‘Colic’ pain originates from. 

We use persistent or excessive crying as the term as it best describes the experience. Whatever you call it, it’s incredibly distressing for both you and your baby.

So what do we know?

Sadly doctors don’t know exactly what infantile colic is, where the problem occurs in the body or what causes it. There are many theories but no guaranteed solutions.

The NHS share this on their website “All babies cry, but your baby may have colic if they cry more than 3 hours a day, 3 days a week for at least 1 week.”

So how do I know if my baby has ‘colic’?

These are the common symptoms of infantile colic:

Baby cries and often screams for long periods of time and it’s very hard to settle or soothe your baby. It commonly occurs in early evening and baby displays some or all of the following:

  • Bring their knees up to their tummies
  • Arch their backs
  • Go very red in the face
  • Clench their fists
  • Difficulty settling 

Opinions vary on how long the ‘colic’ phase lasts but most agree it passes by the time your baby is six months old.

For parents this is very distressing and it has a huge impact – some have shared the following experiences when their baby had colic:

  • Strains family relationships
  • Destroys confidence and fuels low self esteem
  • Leads to physical and mental exhaustion
  • Creates desperation and ruins everyday life
  • Isolates & casts parents into loneliness
  • Impairs breastfeeding

Nicky explains what her experience and knowledge has taught her

“Birth trauma and the mechanics of birth create a lasting impact on the skull, deforming soft tissues and the corresponding strains which if left uncorrected then trigger the nervous system to move towards hypersensitivity – over stimulating the fight flight response = more episodes of crying and discomfort.

The Vagus nerve exits the skull at the base of the head and top of the neck and is commonly distorted after birth, especially births involving medical interventions. The guidance to lie a baby on its back for prevention of SIDS, can prevent the natural early expansion, realignment and rounding of the back of the head. This causes restrictions of the Vagus nerve which also communicates with the heart, stomach, digestive system. A response to discomfort experienced by a baby is that it may want to over eat i.e., it needs to ‘suck’ to find relief and a constant over feeding cycle then creates a triage of different challenges for parents and baby.

The last decade has seen an explosion of new research about the gut brain connection (Microbiome-gut-brain-axis or MGB Axis) and it is clear that the Vagus Nerve is the superhighway of information moving between the two areas and elsewhere. If the Vagus Nerve is low in tone (i.e. compressed) it is unable to stimulate the necessary production of co-factors throughout the body to create anti-inflammatory chemicals in the gut, providing a better environment for hosting helpful bacteria etc. This scenario if left unchecked creates ‘leaky gut’ which in turn increases digestive imbalances, for example, more production of methane has been found in the baby’s digestive tract. If the Vagus nerve is constantly in sympathetic activation (i.e.over stimulated through crying and discomfort), it affects this gut/brain axis.”

QudoTM Soother has been designed and created by Nicky Bateman specifically to help solve persistent crying and colic. One clear finding from the independent study and further research is when young babies use QudoTM Soother, it helps them relax and it stimulates a strong cranial rhythm, naturally helping rebalance the baby’s body. We call it Soothing ScienceTM

21 November 2022