Colic Fact and Fallacy
Myth: Colicky babies grow up to be unhappy kids.
Fact: "Colic is not your baby's defining personality trait," says Dr. Jana. "Once the colic is gone, your child can have a completely different personality -- spunky, sensitive, crabby. But colic is not going to tell you which, because it doesn't carry over."
Myth: Colic results from overstimulation.
Fact: Colicky kids cry because they miss all the noise and stimulation they got in the womb. "If you take them to a noisy basketball game, they usually go to sleep," notes Dr. Karp.
Myth: Your new-parent anxiety is making your baby cry.
Fact: "Babies aren't sharks in the water, and they can't smell your anxiety," Dr. Karp says. What they can pick up on: body temperature and how relaxed you are -- or aren't. "When you're anxious, you may jump from one thing to another because you're uncertain, and they can sense that," he adds.
Myth: Medications can relieve colic.
Fact: Some parents think that diphenhydramine, an antihistamine also sold as a sleep aid, will help calm tears. But it makes some babies cry more. Reflux meds also don't often help -- only about 2 percent of colicky babies have the type that warrants medicine. "Doctors know better, but under parental pressure they often medicate these kids," says Dr. Weissbluth.
Originally published in the July 2008 issue of American Baby magazine.
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