Baby, Infant health

3 Months Colic: The sensory overload of crying babies

3 Months Colic: The sensory overload of crying babies

If your baby starts to cry frequently after drinking, this was considered a short time ago as a colic accumulation, which disappears after 3 months by itself. In the meantime, these 3-month colics are classified as a regulatory disorder that does not always cause abdominal cramps and only very rarely, together with other causes, causes colic-like pain.

The name “3-month colic” is therefore actually already considered outdated, but will certainly remain in use for some time because of the duration of the phenomenon. But already this new classification as a stimulus-regulation disorder relieves you very much and also promotes completely new ideas for dealing with babies who have such difficulties with relaxation:

How do you know if/that your baby is suffering from “3 month colic”?

All babies cry because that’s their only way of expressing their needs and getting your attention. Baby cries when it’s hungry and thirsty, when the diaper couldn’t absorb a good portion of excretions completely, when it has an urgent need for your attention.

But the cry babies, who usually suffer from the supposed 3-month colic, simply don’t manage to calm down appropriately.

Because these longer crying phases often start during or immediately after breastfeeding, babies seem to suffer from stomach cramps, which only decrease when air is released or the next bowel movement. It’s possible for babies to have tummy ache – the minor discomfort most babies experience after feeding because their intestines are learning to process food.

Some doctors trained in natural history are of the opinion that babies are often not breastfed enough these days and that the baby’s intestines are suddenly overwhelmed with these large amounts of food. A first idea to tackle the complaints of crying babies: Don’t stick to “fixed breastfeeding times”, but breastfeed your baby as soon as it shows hunger.

Unfortunately, this usually cannot solve the problem completely, because the baby’s abdominal cramps are usually due to causes that are more likely to be assigned to the area of ​​”inadequate regulation of contraction and relaxation”. For example, the X-rays that are often taken on this subject regularly show no difference in the amount of intestinal gas in healthy babies and crying babies.

Does the baby really have colic?

No, fortunately not. Colic causes severe, “labor-like” pain and occurs when the muscle of a hollow organ has to counteract great resistance or blockages. The muscle then contracts spasmodically in order to trigger a blockage as the colon muscle or to transport a kidney stone out of the kidney as the kidney muscles.

When your baby’s intestines “digest” after drinking, it also exercises muscle contractions that can cause baby tummy ache. However, the abdominal cramps caused by colic are of an entirely different intensity that babies’ colon muscles would not even be able to handle; besides, these muscles are only fighting against the resistance of milk and digestive gases.

Today it is known that crying babies only react much more sensitively to these digestive gases and to many other stimuli that hit them after birth. They are then quickly overwhelmed by their new environment outside of the cozy, warm womb and also find it difficult to “switch off”.

The problem then usually “fires” itself: You usually only read articles like this when your baby is already developing into a crying baby; and then you get stressed very quickly because the baby can hardly be calmed down and seems to suffer as a result. Your baby is depriving itself of the sleep it urgently needs by crying extensively and reacts even more sensitively to this lack of sleep…

Therefore, the most important thing for you is to know that the 3-month colic is usually completely harmless. After all, the name 3-month colic also comes from the fact that these symptoms disappear by themselves after 3 months without leaving any health consequences.

What are the causes of the regulatory disorder previously known as 3-month colic?

There are a number of causes that can cause your baby abdominal pain or other pain, but for which the pediatrician will diagnose and, if necessary, initiate treatment as early as the first examinations.

However, it has not yet been fully clarified why cry babies cry “unsatisfiably” without recognizable physical causes.

Medical professionals now believe that these babies have trouble self-soothing, which is normal baby development between the ages of two weeks and 3.4 months. When a baby can’t handle this developmental task quite smoothly, experts call it regulatory disorder.

The reasons behind this fact, which has only just been recognized, have not yet been researched. The strictly scientific medical industry will only comment on where these causes probably begin after many studies with infants and then many studies with pregnant women (which are always aimed at the development of treatment therapies).

Physicians who think holistically do not look for therapies for disorders that have already occurred, but for reasons in human living conditions and human behavior on which such disorders can be traced back. The suspected reasons are now described with the ideas for remedy:


This is how you can prevent baby “tummy ache”.

Even if we now know that behind the previously mentioned 3-month colics there is no colic and only rarely baby abdominal pain with serious physical causes, the term abdominal pain fits at least in a figurative sense: the increased sensitivity to stimuli with which crying babies confront their new environment , is basically nothing more than the stress reaction of a very sensitive child.

If you are one of the more sensitive, more attentive people, you are also associated with a slightly higher sensitivity to stress. Although science hasn’t proven (and probably has a hard time proving) that the mother can prevent the developmental delays of a crying baby , it’s certainly a good idea to consider pregnancy as a somewhat special time:

You should be aware that baby already notices a lot of what is going on around you in the womb. You can assume that baby wants to grow in a calm, harmonious environment. You can also expect the baby’s delicate, developing body to be disturbed by noise and stress, chilling depictions of violence in movies and games, cigarette smoke and the smell of artificial flavors, and many other “excesses of civilization.”

You should also know that with your healthy, natural food you lay the foundation for the healthy and strong intestinal flora (including the immune system) of the baby. Very sensitive mothers, who are also very busy during pregnancy, can probably prevent the baby from being overstimulated later on if she deals with relaxation techniques and meditation early on and allows herself decisive breaks during pregnancy with rest, gentle massages, harmonious music and.

How is the regulatory disorder treated/relieved? If your baby cries frequently/for a long time, you should address this problem to the pediatrician as soon as possible. He will then first investigate all physical causes that can cause baby abdominal cramps or other complaints:

  • Your (wrong) diet can lead to stomach pains and heartburn in the baby, the doctor will then advise you on healthy eating or arrange for nutritional advice
  • Difficult births and caesarean sections can leave behind blockages in the baby, which e.g. B. can be solved very well by osteopathy
  • If you have experienced a traumatic birth with rough, unfriendly, violent treatment, you can work through this in a self-help .

If your oversensitive baby cries quickly for no apparent reason, the only thing that helps is staying calm: It’s not your fault, you can only help the baby to a very limited extent to overcome the regulatory disorder. The “scream ambulances”, whose addresses you can ask the pediatrician for, show you how to get this conditional help.

This includes, for example:

  • Always be there for the baby when it calls, because this is the only way baby can develop basic trust
  • Tell the baby little stories in a low, friendly voice, perhaps giving it a little massage
  • Play many of the most beautiful lullabies for the baby, the most soothing and harmonious every now and then
  • Carry baby around with you in a sling more often (doesn’t help to calm crying, but “grounds” baby before and after)

The often-recommended fennel tea can really calm babies with colic at 3 months, whereby the fennel tea for babies should be administered in small doses of up to a maximum of 30-50ml (otherwise the fennel tea can also cause flatulence and abdominal cramps in the baby). And of course without sugar: the heavily sugared fennel tea for babies that used to be so popular is now blamed for numerous bad caries careers.

Conclusion on the 3 month colic

Crying babies have suffered in the past and still suffer today from the disorder of behavioral regulation or self-soothing, which was formerly summarized under the term 3 month colic.

The causes can go back to all sorts of incomprehensible concerns during pregnancy, but maybe your baby is just particularly attentive and sensitive.

It is reassuring for you to have physical causes ruled out; After that, the only thing that helps (with the support of the cry ambulance) is “close your eyes and keep going” until your baby has turned into a happy bundle of joy in about three months.


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