The New Colic – Migraine Link

Remember during the pregnancy when all the pictures you saw had smiling parents and happy, content babies?  Well, if that isn’t what happens at your house 24-7, DON’T FEEL BAD!  It doesn’t happen at ANYONE’S house!

Babies cry!  Sometimes A LOT!  And your TSK (that special kid) is probably no exception!

SO…Is there anything worse than a crying baby?

According to some studies, by the time babies are 6 months of age almost 6% of parents have tried shaking, slapping or smothering the infant to stop the noise.  The stress and frustration are so hard to manage, especially if you don’t know the cause of the crying.  Often parents never know why TSK is crying.

Colic is today’s topic, since a new idea has emerged.

The definition of colic includes reoccurring episodes of fussiness, irritability or crying that last for about 3 hours later in the day or evening and occurs on 3 or more days a week for 3 or more weeks.

Colic peaks by 8 weeks of age and is gone by 4 months of age.

It affects up to 19% of infants.

It is NOT due to intestinal digestive problems (since there is no spitting, vomiting or lots of diarrhea with colic), so changing formulas or Mother’s diet probably won’t help.

Presented at the American Headache Society’s Annual Scientific Meeting was a meta-analysis linking 2 conditions; infant colic and migraine.

So, what is a meta-analysis?  It is information gleaned from several different studies.

Findings included:

1) Colicky infants were about 3 times more likely to have moms with migraines.

2) Kids who have migraines were almost 7 times more likely to have been colicky infants.

Migraine is considered a disorder or problem of the nervous system.  While most adults and older kids who can talk well almost always say the head hurts, we are finding that young children often vomit and act like their stomachs hurts.  Maybe their heads hurt, too, but they can’t express themselves.

Migraine headaches do seem to run in families and so we consider that they maybe genetic, though we haven’t found the “Migraine Gene” yet.

So, if your TSK is having a migraine, does this change anything you can do to treat that bawling, squalling infant?

At this time, no; the best advice is to:

1) Meet the TSK’s needs for food, water, diapering and temperature.

2) White noise or swaddling can help to calm some TSKs.

3) Just lay TSK down, instead of trying to jiggle or pat the him or her.  Sometimes all that extra jiggling can actually make things worse! (This would go along with treating a Migraine, as most people like to be in a quiet dark area with minimal stimulation)

4) Have a care plan for caregivers to take turns watching TSK while others go somewhere else, away from the noise.

5) See your doctor if questions or if TSK is crying more than just a few hours a day.

If you EVER feel helpless or that you are getting out of control, call for help.

Maybe someday we’ll learn of a Genetic cause for colic or migraine… or both, or at least find better ways to help our little TSKs .  In the meantime, give that kid a hug, Gene.