When a baby cries for hours every day, legs attracts, has a hard stomach and bloating, you like packs the fast in the drawer "three-month colic". Here, the current state of knowledge shows this phenomenon: the stricken dwarves have bigger worries than their digestion. What to do?

Five myths about infant colic

baby cries

Photo: © panthermedia.net/ mitarart

"It was so stressful!" Melanie brings the first few months with her second child to the point. Johanna had begun soon after birth, screaming up to 12 hours a day, especially in the evening. She writhed much and wanted to reassure constantly to his chest. To Melanie in pain could no longer had to switch to bottle - and Johanna screamed even more. What to do?

The parents tried everything from special food for colic about suckers change, massages and singing to the pilots handle. helped against the alleged three-month colic nothing.

Myth 1: three-month colic are really colic

Prof. Dr. med. Sibylle Koletzko knows countless such cases and these symptoms. She is head of the Division of Pediatric Gastroenterology and Hepatology at the Dr. von Hauner Children's Hospital, Ludwig-Maximilians University in Munich. In the brochure "Is my child a cry baby?" The German Society for Pediatric and Adolescent Medicine (DGKJ) puts it clearly: Despite the seemingly clear outward signs is Dreimonatskolik "a misleading term, because seldom actually lie indigestion before." Although digestion for the small body really hard work as strenuous presses and farting show, and that can lead to tears. but true colic are not. Ever still circulating some untruths about this phenomenon:

Myth 2: Three month colic last three months

"The assumption that the symptoms last three months is circulated only in English," says Professor Koletzko. In English, for example, it is called "infant colic." In general, the complaints and symptoms last for four months, sometimes even half a year.

Myth 3: Three month colic are allergy symptoms, especially in children bottles

"The complaints are usually not at the infant milk still on the diet of the nursing mother," said Professor Koletzko. "Falls babies there are as many children as bottles Still children." Only a minority actually has an intolerance. Mothers should not stop breastfeeding prematurely or change the milk, but discuss it in peace with pediatrician and midwife.

Myth 4: Against three-month colic help Antiblähungsmittel

"Antiblähungstropfen do nothing", Prof. Koletzko refers to the study results. no drug has been found at all that helps successful here and without major side effects.

Myth 5: Three month colic are young thing

Although the saying says that colic träfen often boys, statistics show: Crying babies are equally girls and boys.

What are the three-month colic really?

Synonym for still widespread name "Dreimonatskolik" the term "cry baby" is now used for complaints. Cries for more than three weeks, more than three hours a day on more than three days a week - although healthy and for no apparent reason - as excessive crying in conventional medicine a baby who applies. Overall, occurs in 10 to 20 percent of all babies. This percentage has not changed in 40 years, according to studies in which parents ran in 1962, 1986 and 2001 Scream diaries. According to current knowledge, excessive shouting is a regulation problem triggered. plays in various explanatory approaches to the cause Sensory overload a central role.

The biological and physiological development component

"We think that a Inbalanz of reporting and braking messages between a hypersensitive intestine and the brain is present," explains Professor Koletzko. After all, the gut is after the brain the place in our body with the most nervous. They include provisions on its mobility - and thereby react well to stress. The processing of many new stimuli can more sensitive natures so literally "beating on the stomach." Come in exchange of information between the gut and brain in the latter too many activity reports to be even felt normal digestive processes as painful, just the usual crying time in the evening: In addition to the meals numerous impressions of the day now have accumulated. Especially sensitive and easily irritable natures are no longer able to "digest" everything and their frustration of the soul have to scream. That this phase often begins in the second week of life, is probably a maturation of the nervous system, which starts here. "With the progress of developing babies can balance the pulses getting better," said Professor Koletzko.

Families should therefore take in everyday life as much rest, rhythms and rituals to avoid sensory overload. This includes absolutely not constantly switch between calming strategies when babies "blow off steam" must. "It is not about to calm a baby at any cost. It will be held above all and feel that someone understands his concerns and they jointly is "with him, Brigitte Hannig is convinced. The former midwife who created the official brochure of the German Midwives Association e.V. to cry babies. In the 1980s it was the first time encountered this problem. "That was in well-off households, the children were loved and cared for. I just could not understand what children lack that have everything. "Brigitte Hannig began to deal intensively with cry babies whose number has grown strongly in their view since then. A landmark point in the cause of research was to them that this is known mainly in western culture.

The social or interpersonal component

After twenty years as a consultant in the early education and for bond promoting communication Brigitte Hannig is convinced: Excessive crying is a disease of civilization. "It is in large part to our circumstances, the breathlessness, the pressure, the performance thinking, the many fears and worries. We have the rest and "lost a sense of the natural experience and the essential needs of a baby, the mother of two and grandmother of eight, said. We speed on and on, are the thoughts constantly elsewhere, hardly know how to relax properly, move away miles away from natural rhythms, and that makes creating and babies. "We too often live under the influence of the sympathetic nervous system, the part of our nervous system, which enables us to act and perform, with great tension, shallow breathing and faster heart beat," said Brigitte Hannig. A similar thing happens when parents get stressed by the screaming. Then even the physical proximity in (basically highly recommended) Sling can be problematic: "Babies feel the excitement, are confused, scared and crying for help." This vicious circle also suggest something very decisive lack: the creation of a sustainable bond. "Parents love their children above all else. But many find it difficult to establish a real connection from heart to heart, conveys really noticeable warmth, support and security. However, such a bond is a basic need that must be met before we feel reassured. "Our binding ability suffers from life in the fast lane, as well as from problems with your partner or difficult experiences in the past.

Enabling factors for excessive crying

That stress situations set the course for a cry baby, in fact, prove various studies for the period of pregnancy: Difficult, stressful pregnancies and the great anxiety the expectant mother can thus promoting excessive screaming. The same applies to depressions - even the father - as well as for shift work or that Live separately The parents. Also clearly Smoke brought with cry babies in conjunction: "Smoking increases the levels of the hormone motilin, which stimulates intestinal motility, even when passively mitrauchenden baby," said Professor Koletzko. not been adequately studied the influence of the circumstances of birth. One related to premature births or Caesarean sections see neither the physician nor Brigitte Hannig. Osteopaths indicate that traumatic, very fast or very long-term births can stress baby physically and psychologically sustainable.

The screaming can have serious consequences

Cry babies fall into their development more often by Fütter- or minimal behavioral problems. They also carry an increased risk of later symptoms such as hyperactivity or aggressive behavior, giving rise also in regulation disorders. Above all, a fact refuted the statement that three-month colic are harmless: "The complaints itself may be harmless in so far as that they eventually stop by itself," said Professor Koletzko. "But the risk of ill-treatment by overwhelmed parents is very large. 90 percent of babies who die by Shaken or other violence, cry babies were. "The seemingly endless crying solves even with nerveless parents extreme stress out. They worry about the welfare of their treasure, are completely exhausted, desperate, helpless and angry. Parents lose their safety and much needed confidence in themselves, in their child and that the nightmare will come to an end sometimes.

What helps in three-month colic?

Parents are not to blame - and need help

"Who was not in this situation, can not really into empathy," says Alexandra. Her son Erik, a twin and premature babies, began a week after the expected date to cry, up to 10 hours a day. "I spent days over days in bed because he was calm only by me and breastfeeding," she recalls. "Sometimes I was so ready-made that I Erik was sometimes 10 minutes alone to escape the screams and take a breath, not lashing out and hurting my child, if possible." That they did, given the frightening statistics on Schütteltraumata - twins are disproportionately affected - just the thing. And still had over a guilty conscience, Erik and his sister, because she could not give the required attention to this. to deny those feelings of guilt and shame, many mothers and fathers of cry babies. "But it has no fault," Brigitte Hannig takes this burden strongly differentiated from the parental shoulders. "Everyone loves his child and does his best." Above all, no one should fear being judged by others, refrain from looking for help. "Parents always need help when they are overwhelmed by the cries of her baby," Prof. agree Koletzko and Brigitte Hannig match.

What helps: Individual treatment - and a lot of compassion

Who or what is now but really helps to calm the little ones and their parents and to normalize family life during the three-month colic? Looking at the possible causes of the symptoms, the many influencing factors, personalities and family constellations is clear: A bullet can not exist, each case requires individual consideration. Besides pediatrician and midwife a holistic working medical practitioner this can be very helpful. Above all, parents need great support and compassion: "We also have to give a lot of empathy mothers show them possibilities of timeouts and relief," said Professor Koletzko.

Speeches, advice and gut feeling

Brigitte Hannig trains parents and professionals in bond-promoting communication and stop imaging education. To cope with the emergency situation with a cry baby, mothers and fathers have to find their own center and security, she says. is a first step towards facilitating his heart and talk to trust people. Melanie has played a major role: "We cried a lot, talked and were pro familia." Addresses can be found by such qualified contacts, for example, www.gaimh.de. Unfortunately, many well-meaning advice from friends and relatives donate often more uncertainty. "You should listen to his own gut feeling," says Melanie. In order to succeed in all the stress parents need to solve their tension and find inner peace. For that Brigitte Hannig recommends the "Emotional First Aid" of the psychologist Thomas Harms, based on concentrated abdominal breathing.

And osteopathy?

Johanna and Erik the screaming with 4 or 5 months was less. Both children were treated with osteopathy at that time. "That was our salvation," says Melanie. "Johanna has then totally caught up motor." Presumably, her daughter suffered under various after-effects of too many contractions inhibitors during the complication-rich PDA reduction. "A visit to the osteopath I always think it made sense," says Brigitte Hannig. "See studies no significant effects of Osteopathy in cry baby", however, believes Professor Koletzko.

It will be better again

Alexandra exchanges with other concerned parents was relief in any case: it has established with the Urbia "Cry Baby Club". "This has greatly helped me, if only because you realize that it's just another." Meanwhile, Erik is a relatively balanced child, even quieter than his sister. "He is always friendly and smiling at everyone," Alexandra says. Johanna, just under one year, asks her parents still out and is hard to please. "She is just a 24-hour child," Melanie takes her daughter as she is. "But it gets better and better."



Further reading

  • Brigitte Hannig: tears Rich Baby time. Brochure. German Midwives Association e.V. (can be ordered for 1 euro when Mabuse Verlag, www.mabuse-verlag.de, [email protected], Phone: 069-70 79 96 16; Order Number: 610010)
  • German Society for Pediatric and Adolescent Medicine (DGKJ): Is my child a cry baby? Info Flyer. Dowload here.
  • Christine Rankl: So I calm my baby. Tips from the cry ambulance. Walter-Verlag. 2010. ISBN-13: 978-3530506044. 14.90 euros.
  • Thomas Harms: Emotional First Aid: bond funding. Crisis intervention. Parents Baby therapy. Leutner. 2008. ISBN-13: 978-3934391406. 15,80 euro.
  • Jean Liedloff: Looking for the lost happiness. Against the destruction of our capacity for happiness in early childhood. Beck. 2009. ISBN-13: 978-3406585876. 9.95 euros.

In the web

  • www.kinderaerzte-im-netz.de
  • www.gaimh.de
  • www.trostreich.de
  • www.eeh-deutschland.de