Colic is a very common cause of crying in babies. Varying degrees of colic exist, from mild cases of trapped wind with no other symptoms present to more severe cases resulting in crying, screaming, and clenching of fists. Often babies will bring their legs up to their chest in obvious pain. They may even hold their breath for a short time. Bowel activity increases and the baby may pass wind. Colic is different from other crying in that the baby appears inconsolable.

Colic is often defined using the rule of three: at least three hours of crying, at least three days a week and starting at three weeks of age (however this can vary from two to four weeks) in an infant who is well-fed and otherwise healthy.

The actual cause of colic remains a mystery however the most common cause of colic is believed to be that of the baby swallowing too much air during feeds resulting in a build-up of small bubbles of trapped air in the infant's tummy.

Colic can occur in both breast-fed and bottle-fed babies. Another possible cause of colic is an infant's intolerance to his/her feed or to the lactose in the feed. The human body naturally produces an enzyme called lactase which breaks down lactose in the diet. It is thought that this enzyme is deficient in some infants, which often causes diarrhoea.

Simethicone: This works by helping the small air bubbles in the stomach to join together to form bigger bubbles, which the baby easily brings up as wind. It is suitable from birth onwards. Given to the baby before each feed, it has been shown to work progressively over several days, which alleviates the pain and discomfort for the baby, thus reducing the frequency and severity of crying attacks associated with colic.

Dimethicone: like simethicone acts as an anti-foaming agent in the stomach, helping to prevent the build-up of small air bubbles.

Lactase enzyme: Is suitable for the treatment of colic associated with lactose intolerance. When added to formula the enzyme digests the lactose in the formula, which can then be given to the baby.
Helpful Tips from Mulligans Pharmacy:
  • Silicone teats can help to alleviate coli
  • At Mulligans Pharmacy, here are many types of feeding bottles available that are specially formulated to reduce colic in babies. Talk to us in-store today to discuss bottle options for your baby.
  • Winding a baby during and after each feed is very important to stop the build-up of trapped air in the baby's tummy.
  • Check the teat on the bottle to ensure that the flow rate is not too slow or too fast as the baby will struggle to feed at their own pace.
Visit your pharmacist or doctor:
  • If the baby is on any medication or has any other illness
  • If the infant has a fever, vomiting or diarrhoea
  • If a product has been used correctly and failed to work
  • If the infant is not feeding properly
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Cradle cap is a type of dermatitis that causes baby's scalp to become scaly and crusty. It can occur anytime during the first three months of life, although it usually disappears by the time the baby is a year old. It is most commonly found on the crown of the baby's head but if it has spread to the face you should visit your doctor or pharmacist.

Treatment for cradle cap consists mainly of shampoos and creams, some of which contain salicylic acid, olive oil or arachis oil.

For infants with cradle cap:
1. Massage the baby's scalp gently with the fingers or a soft brush to loosen the scales and improve scalp circulation.
2. Give the child daily, gentle shampoos with a mild soap while scales are present. After scales have disappeared, patients may reduce shampoos to twice weekly.
3. Be sure to rinse off all soap.
4. Brush the child's hair with a clean, soft brush after each shampoo and several times during the day.
5. If scales do not easily loosen and wash off, apply some mineral oil to the baby's scalp and wrap warm, wet cloths around the head for up to an hour before shampooing. Then, shampoo as directed. Remember that the baby loses a lot of heat through the scalp. If using wet cloths with the mineral oil, check the cloths frequently to be sure that the cloths do not become cold. Cold, wet cloths could drastically reduce a baby's temperature.
Visit your pharmacist or doctor:
  • If the baby is on any medication or has any other illness
  • If the infant has a fever, vomiting or diarrhoea
  • If a product has been used correctly and failed to work
  • If the infant is not feeding properly
Shop Baby Bathing & Skincare >
Ask a Mulligans Pharmacist a question now >
The information provided is intended solely as a guide. Please seek the advice of your pharmacist to determine whether a particular service, medication, or treatment programme will be of value to you. Always check the dosage directions carefully on all medicines. Never combine medicines without consulting your doctor or pharmacist. All health facts and information contained herein should not be a substitute for medical advice. The use of this site is subject to our Terms & Conditions.
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