19 answers

Is There a Link Between Colic and Food Allergies? How Long Does Colic Last?

My daughter is 9 months old and has been "Colic" from the day we brought her home. I was nursing and the pediatrician just kept blaming it on things I was eating. I wente through a lot of different diet changes but no improvement. We went to a lot of doctor visits and out of desparation, we had an upper GI done that turned out to be negative. At 6 months old, I went ahead and switched to Enfamil Nutramigen (It was DIFFICULT to give up nursing). She still cries at least four hours a day and we can't figure out why! The pediatricians (yes, we've been to two already) just keep saying that some children are more "fussy" than others. It is so hard to watch our little girl seem so unhappy and uncomfortable. I have a hard time believing she is just "Colic". Does anyone have any advice? Thank You :)

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I recently posted with a question about colic and food allergies. We visited our doctor and he said it is not colic anymore. At her age it is more likely reactions to food allergies in combination with some learned behavior (crying). She is allergic to dairy, soy, wheat, and at this point who knows what else. I've found some good recipes off the websites suggested to the mom asking about making homemade baby food. Thank you to everyone!

Featured Answers

Here are some articles that you might find to be helpful....

In this first one, type "colic" into the "Search" box...

http://www.askdrsears.com/search.asp

http://www.llli.org/NB/NBfussy.html

http://www.mothering.com/search.html?cx=01392352589559091...

Best wishes!

Hi S.-
My son was colicky from the time we brought him home. He would fuss all day and wouldn't be quiet until he went to sleep. He also was a projectile spitter. It was so hard. I found out he was actually suffering from reflux. I thickened his feedings with rice cereal which helped a lot with the spitting up, but he would still get pretty fussy. Finally he was put on Zantac to help the reflux and I switched him to Good Start Supreme. This formula is made so it is easy for babies to digest. I no longer had to thicken his feedings and he was a completely different baby. It seemed like it would never end - and I would just cry with him sometimes because I felt so helpless. I hope this helps :)

More Answers

S.,

My older son had colic. It was terrible and really stressful. The doctors (and everything I could get my hands on to read about it) told me he would grow out of it at 3 months. When the doctor told me this at 8 weeks, I got in my car and cried...FOUR MORE WEEKS OF THIS?! Well, at 12 weeks, he was a new baby.

At 2.5 yrs old, he doesn't have any food allergies that I know about except he can't eat some fruits as they go right through him. But, even with the colic, we never had an issue with food allergies. I exclusively BF until about 6 months and did 50/50 with formula until 8 months when I switched to all formula.

So, I really don't think your issue is "colic" to be honest. I don't think it should have gone on this long if it was just colic (and I say that lightly, trust me).

I'm not sure what could be the issue, though. Does she eat well. How are her BM's? Is she constipated or maybe the opposite? Does she spit-up a lot? Is she fussy after eating?

What about her schedule with naps? Is she a good napper and sleeper at night? Was there ever a break in the crying? The tough part is that even if colic ends at 3 months, teeth aren't TOO far behind and then you have a whole new issue to deal with.

I'm sorry your little one is fussy. Our older son was much better after 3 months, but was always sensitive to certain situations and would be fussy.

I'd talk to your doctor again, or change again. I can't see how a child crying for four hours a day doesn't have an underlying issue.

Good luck. I hope you can figure something out for her.

T.

EDITED because 12 weeks = 3 months, not 4 as I kept saying...DUH.

1 mom found this helpful

S.-

Welcome! This is a fantastic group of Mom's and I am sure that you will enjoy being a part of this group.

First. I am so sorry that you are going through this. I too had two babies who were "colicky" and so I know how hard it can be. But, I urge you not to give up. With my first baby, we had every test and eventually after 3 months, he was put on medicine for Reflux. While this helped, he wasn't totally better. We then went on a mission to find a formula that worked for him. After trying about 5 different ones, we eventually found Enfamil A/R. Ahhh, the happy baby that we had hoped for. Although, he still wasn't as happy as a lot of babies but much better.

My second (and last) baby struggled too. Given her brother's history, we had her checked for Reflux pretty soon after she exhibited symptoms. Although, she didn't start showing signs until she was about 5 weeks old. My son started showing signs with his very first feeding as he projectile vomitted right away.

Anyway, she didn't register as reflux on any of the tests but the Doctor decided to try medicine anyway. Her symptoms got better but she still struggled. We literally tried 10 different formulas before finding the right one and I took her to what I call a quack but he helped me figure out that she was indeed allergic to some foods.

Long story short, my daughter did best on Enfamil GentleEase. This "quack" did a bunch of tests where he held potential allergens above her belly and watched her muscles respond. If I hadn't seen her reactions with my own eyes, I wouldn't have believed it. But, because of him, we were able to find the best formula for her. And at 12 months, she is doing great.

Although to your other point. At around 9 months of age, my daughter started showing signs of food allergies. She developed patches of ezema (sp?), seemed congested all of the time, a horrible diaper rash (as my friend called it "the flesh eating diaper rash" and finally, developed dark circles under eyes after eating. Individually these symptoms are normal for babies but together, they told me that she had food allergies. With the "quacks" observation and the symptoms, I decided to take her to an allergist. She was diagnosed with 12 of the 16 initial allergens that they checked for. As a side note, there are like 150 allergens that they could be allergic to so we haven't even begun the process of exploring this crazy world.

So, to answer your questions more directly. I, as a Mom of two, believe with all of my heart and research that the term colic is a band-aid to other issues. I believe that most kids with colic have tummy issues and that you need to get to the bottom of what it is and not just accept this term. Your baby's life disposition depends on it. I also believe that tummy issues can be a pre-cursor and/or an indicator to allergies and that it is worth investigating.

Please feel free to e-mail me with any questions. I would be happy to answer any questions that you might have further. Also, do not waste your money on the colic calm. I ordered it and could not get past the look and smell much less put it in my baby's belly. It honestly looks like ink. Natural or not, I wasn't going to have my baby ingest it.

Hope this helps. Good luck to you. If you stick with it, you and your baby will be happier soon.
N.

1 mom found this helpful

i vote reflux or allergies. I think colic is a word they use when they don't really know the reason. My son had "colic" which was food allergy related and when i was VERY strict and diligent figured it out he was a new kid. Though i've had several friends w/kids w/reflux and that's no picnic either (except after meds that helped).
Nutramigin also has soy in the ingrediants even though they say its not soy... unless they've changed it the last yr and 1/2. Get those ear plugs or i pod out and just hold em and rock... i remember doing that for 4-5 hrs at a time before we figured it all out. good luck

http://www.sensory-processing-disorder.com/SPD-symptom-ch...

Hi S.,
You may want to check out the above website or another one that explains sensory processing/integration. My daughter was the same way. It got better around 7 months old, but there still were some difficult times. She is now 6 yrs. old and I now wonder if it was a bad case of colic or was it/is it a sensory processing disorder. She cannot tolerate many types of clothes due to the texture. Seams in clothes drive her crazy and tags. Now I think back and wonder if that's why she cried a lot when she was young. Now she definitely lets me know when clothes are not comfortable on her. Some people with sensory issues do not like being touch. However, my daughter has always loved getting massages. It used to relax her so much when she was a baby

Yes.. we had tests done when she was an infant too, and everything came back fine. My son has a somewhat difficult time dealing with noisy environments. Well.... I am not a doctor, but I just wanted to add my comment for you to see what you think. Good luck. I am glad at least I can manage my daughter's level of sensory issues. From what I've heard, some families have such severe cases of sensory issues.

While I do not have specific advice, I just wanted to say as one mother of a formerly colicky baby to another...

I feel for you and wish you all the luck in the world! Colic is the toughest thing I (and my baby) have ever endured, and my heart goes out to you.

Hang in there - it does get better, I promise! I never thought ours would and then one day just turned off like a switch. Our baby turns 1 tomorrow (2/14!) and you would never know he screamed his head off for the first 3 months of his life.

A million hugs for you - this is tough, I know!

Hi S.,

Welcome to the site. I've been using it for almost 3 years now and have found lots of great ideas/support/help from other members. You're in a good place.

I konw nothing about colic or any of the other issues mentioned as possibilities but wanted to suggest you swaddle your daughter if you're not doing so already. It might help calm her while she's feeling so miserable. My first didn't sleep for what seemed like forever (I think it was a couple weeks in realitiy) and cried every minute I wasn't holding her - as soon as I swaddled her she calmed and slept like a champ. It might help ease some of her (and your) stress if nothing else.

Good luck!

I don't know about a link between colic and food allergies, but babies with sensitive stomachs often have lots of gas and are therefore more fussy because of the discomfort.

Outside of food issues, I can affirm that my son was just one of those more fussy babies. From the night he was born, he would just cry all the time- morning, daytime, nighttime, ALL the time. Our doctors said he was just fussy and that some kids normally are. It was hell. I completely understand what you're going through, but it only eased up when he became a toddler and could talk about how he feels and express himself better.

The only thing that worked for me was to hold our son and talk in a calm, soothing whisper. I used to keep him in a bjorn baby front carrier all around the house and when we'd go out grocery shopping or walking or to get-togethers. That definitely helped to soothe him.

Hang in there! Things will eventually get better.

S.,
I feel for you. I'm going through the same with my daughter but she's getting better as she gets older (16 months). It's not easy. I didn't think she was colicky since she didn't follow the nighttime pattern; she cried morning noon and night! I even wrote to Dr. Mike of Pediacast asking his opinion of when do you know your baby has colic or is simply fussy/high-needs. Let me ask, do you think it's tied to feeding: is it consistently the same before, immediately after, and later afer feedings? Have you ruled out reflux and GERD? Could she be allergic to a particular fabric (if you're not using 100% cotton sheets and clothing) or cleaning product (detergent on her or your clothes)? Does light or sound (nature, white noise, or classical) have positive or negative effects? Is she napping enough? You literally have to track when and how she cries and if it changes to all sorts of stimulus, nutrition, sleep, everything. Then, trust your gut. If you think this is not "colic" but there is something wrong with your baby, that she isn't right somewhere and you just don't know how or where, keep advocating for her and get her tested. It could be a simple allergy or something else. Brushing you off with "it's just colic" is a lazy cop out by your doctor.

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