Colic or Reflux?

By Colleen Brown (Retired Plunket Nurse)

YOUR BABY MAY HAVE COLIC IF:

• She cannot settle after her late afternoon or early evening feed and starts screaming as soon as the feed is over, or she falls asleep but wakes crying within half an hour.

• She does not just cry – she screams, drawing her legs up to her tummy, and appears distressed.

• Everything you do seems to help for a minute. She will suck, but then the screaming starts again. Often, wind will stop the screaming momentarily – but it starts again. Being rocked interrupts the screaming for a few seconds. Having her tummy rubbed produces miraculous silence – but it does not last.

• When you interrupt the screaming, the baby remains shaky and sobbing until it starts again.

• The whole episode lasts one to four hours, then it is over for the day.

• A similar pattern repeats itself every day at about the same time, but not at any other time in the 24-hour period.

YOUR BABY DOES NOT HAVE COLIC IF:

• He cannot settle after his late or early evening feed, but cries and grumbles on and off for quite a long time before finally going to sleep. Grumbling never means colic.

• His crying is ordinary crying, even if it is hard crying. Drawing his legs up to his tummy is not necessarily a sign of colic – young babies always do that when crying hard

• Something you do brings the crying spell to an end within half an hour. If a feed or a dummy does the trick, the baby was obviously hungry or needed to suck – either way it is not colic. If bringing up wind enables him to sleep, then he had a windy attack, not colic. If rocking and rubbing soothes him, he may have been lonely or tense.

• The baby is calm while you are comforting him. He may cry when you put him to bed, but he is not distressed.

• The episode ends within half an hour and baby sleeps or stays happy for at least 15 minutes before he cries again.

• Occasional screaming spells at any time of the day or night. They may be hard to bear but they are not colic.

YOUR BABY MAY HAVE REFLUX IF:

• He has continual spilling after feeds, with or without distressed crying.

• There are signs of spilling on his pillowslip or sheet.

• When you pick your baby up from the prone position, he spills a mouthful of milk over you.

• Your baby may grizzle a lot and arch his back in discomfort.

Excerpt from the © TREASURES® BABY BOOK. Used with permission.

Please also see What is Gastric Reflux? – Some babies with reflux rarely vomit at all …

  • A Good News Story ... http://www.cryingoverspiltmilk.co.nz/his-gastric-reflux-stopped/

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    Hi Roslyn, Thanks for the updates over the past several months. I am leaving the group as my little boy no longer suffers from gastric reflux and is also no longer dairy intolerant! FYI he was on Neocate from 3 months old and had a combination of formula and my milk until he was 7.5 months. ...

  • Hi. My boy is 6.5 wks. He started screaming at 3 wks. Became unsettled for periods of up to nearly 12hrs without sleep. He's been on formula as my milk never came in. He gets about 100-200 ml breastmilk /dy I pump. He started spilling/vomiting a lot at 4.5wks old.started losec 9 dys ago-frm GP. Saw paediatriciAn 4 dys ago and started amino acid formula to check for CMA. I feel things improved a bit about 4 dys after losec started. Also he seemed great once on th amino acid formula but thn yesterday was his old really bad self - fussed all day 10am-4pm thn really distressed n frantic 4-9pm. He's been ok today.i also started adding karicare thickener 2 dys ago. His first poo day after starting amino acid formula was soft n ok but I thnk he might b constipated with th thickener. He really had to push to get yesterday's out n was very sticky. Anyone else experience this? What do you do? I've heard lactulose and prune juice etc can make reflux/ wind worse. I thought about halving th amt thickener I'm using.also his vomiting better on th new formula I think but still occasional. He vomited Sunday night n mayb brought th losec up- could 1 missed dose like thts make him bad th next day like he was? Any opinions greatly appreciated

  • Please consider joining Gastric Reflux Support Network NZ for Parents of Infants and Children Charitable Trust for access to our Newsletters and Private Local and National Support Networks: http://www.reflux.cryingoverspiltmilk.co.nz/grsnnz-membership-confidentiality-agreement-form/ Membership is free, and this gives you opportunities to discuss gastric reflux related issues with others in a safe and confidential setting. If you have completed a membership form previously, but never received anything further, please message me (Roslyn Ballantyne at https://www.facebook.com/roslyn.ballantyne.rn ) or comment below. The membership sign-up had been a double opt-in with a confirmation email, but as some people have had trouble with this, I've now changed it to a single opt-in. (I do still need to process applications and add you manually to your Local Support Networks though.)

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    Gastric Reflux Support Network NZ for Parents of Infants & Children Charitable Trust Membership & Confidentiality Agreement Form / Newsletter Admin PageFirst NameLast nameEmailStreet AddressCity/TownAreaPostcodeDo you live in NZ?Country and Area if not NZHome Phone (include area code)Partner's NameE…

  • Hi I'm a bit confused. I filled out th membership form on th cryingspiltmilk main page. Do I need to do anything else? I see there's a forum somewhere else - kiwi health or something? Or do I just post n use this Facebook page? I'm thnking you hav th older site but most people jst use this Facebook page now yeah? Ta :) I hav a 6 wks old beautiful boy who has been in so much pain been breaking my heart but I'm jst getting things in motion now to help I thnk. Saw paediatriciAn few dys ago n hav started losec gaviscon mylanta and amino acid formula with karicare thickener

  • Hiya, I'm starting to introduce solids to my almost 6 month old and just wondering if there are any foods that any of you have found to be better than others and which ones to avoid? TIA. :-)

  • Other information here: http://www.lalecheleague.org.nz/news-a-events/lllnz-conference-2014/312-lllnz-50th-anniversary-conference-2014

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  • Anyone want to help? I know you all have plenty to say. ;-)

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    And just in case you missed the post and the opportunity to help others through.........In five words, no more no less, share some inspirational advice to parents that are struggling with a newborn suffering from colic, reflux and inconsolable crying. If there are enough submissions I will post these on my website and perhaps in my book - Prevent and Remedy Colic, Reflux, Lactose and Dairy Overload Naturally - which is off to the proof readers this week!! http://www.naturalwinding.com/book/

  • A new story: http://www.cryingoverspiltmilk.co.nz/ryans-story-of-reflux-and-christinas-story-of-pnd/ Thank you, Christina.

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    I don’t really know where to begin with my story of Ryan and his reflux, and me with Post Natal Depression. I used to feel very sad thinking of all the precious time that was robbed from us. I loved Ryan from the moment I saw him, and he was a dream baby up until two weeks of age. ...

  • Hi my 7 week old, breastfed baby started showing signs of reflux recently so I went to the GP and was prescribed Gaviscon sachets. I'm having trouble giving it to her, but it seems to be working. She usually goes poos after every feed but since starting the Gaviscon (monday) she has only been once. She strains and cries. Not sure what i safe to give her to help as she is so young? Thanks

  • Hi there My 8 week old boy is formula fed and is now trialing gaviscon for his silent reflux, already I feel like it is making a difference but I am worried about the possible constipation the gaviscon may cause...how do you parents relieve constipation in young babies? I know about the cooled boiled water but are there any other remedies that are worth knowing about? Or tricks that can maybe help avoid constipation?

  • Hi, would you say it's a reflux symptom to bring up small vomits between feeds? Like an hour or so after eating? I keep being told that's normal, but it doesn't feel normal? My baby is only 4 weeks old though, so it's hard to me to tell what's normal and what isn't.

  • Hi, my 10 week old is trialling gaviscon to see if it helps with her (potential) reflux. She isnt a miserable baby, but she does scream if I put her down in the daytime, she has a persistent cough, a husky voice (this developed over the last week), and she spills even hours after a feed. Does this sound like reflux? If so, how do I get her to keep the gaviscon down? It says to give it to her after a feed, but she vomits straight after a feed...also is it worth going dairy free to see if this helps? Finding the spilling and coughing and husky voice quite upsetting, it must be horrible for her :(