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Why is your Baby Crying?

Dr. Rajendra Kumar

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Inter-reactional model
Intrinsic factors (sensory threshold, temperament) in the child interplay with extrinsic factors such as parental anxiety and experience as well as environmental influences.

Treatment
  • Reassure that baby is physically and developmentally normal.
  • Discuss normal crying patterns.
  • Deal with parental anxiety and psycho-social stresses
  • Teach parents settling techniques - refer to maternal and child health nurse day service if needed.
  • Medications - Dicyclomine hydrochloride is the only medication shown to be effective (9) but this has been withdrawn because of its association with apnea. In a prospective double blind non cross over study, a herbal tea preparation ("Calma-Bebi"-containing chamomile, vervain, licorice, fennel, balm-mint) was significantly more effective in elimination of colic than placebo. However the safety of this treatment has not been established.
  • Advise smoking mothers to try to cut down to less than 10 a day and to smoke outside, after a feed.
  • Advise mothers with excessive caffeine consumption to cut down to three or less cups of coffee per day.
  • A short trial (one-week) of exclusion of cows' milk from the maternal diet may be beneficial.
  • Sympathy and optimism.
  • Natural history is of improvement with time and the placebo effect is high.
Management
History
  • Frequency, duration and intensity of symptoms. It is useful to get the parents to fill out a cry/fuss diary over 48 hours.
  • Other symptoms such as vomiting, diarrhoea and fever to exclude other diagnoses.
  • Pregnancy and delivery.
  • Social history - supports etc.
  • Maternal drugs including smoking and caffeine consumption

Examination - both to exclude other pathology and to reassure of normal growth and development.

Investigations - apart from a urine microscopy and culture other investigations are rarely necessary.

Homoeopathy treats Infantile Colic
There is no doubt that homoeopathy is the best form of medicine for infants and children. Children are often easier to prescribe for homoeopathically than adults are, because they exhibit very clear remedy states. You can take the case without verbal information from children who are too young to speak by observing their behaviour carefully. Homoeopathy works well on children as it does not interfere with their energy levels but works with them so that they can recover their healthy state as soon as possible. Following are a few of the remedies for treating infantile colic.

Chamomilla: Colic from wind and flatulence in children.

Senna 6: Very useful for infantile colic. Child seems to be full of wind and is generally constipated. Stools may be hard and dark or yellowish with colic before passing stool.

Staphysagria: Chronic colic of children with much prostration and better by motion and straightening of the body.

Jalapa: Colic in children with diarrhoea and vomiting. The child cries constantly.

Nux vomica: Irritability with anger, better from warmth. May have diarrhoea and constipation. Severe bloating worse from pressure, often as a result of overfeeding.

Antimonium crudum: Complaining child, worse from comfort often with white coated tongue.

Pulsatilla: Irritable and changeable, always better from being carried or held.

Natrum phosphoricum: Colic with sour regurgitations and green, sour smelling stools.

Magnesia phosphorica: Colic with drawing up of the legs and relieved by heat and bending double not relieved by belching.

Bryonia: Irritable, wants to lie still and screams at the slightest movement.

Belladonna: Child flushed and restless, with hot and distended abdomen relieved by bending backwards, worse from touch and pressure.

China: Colic towards evening with hardness of abdomen.

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