Dr. Cohen, there are some people who say that colic does not exist. Can you clarify this for our readers?
• Colic does exists but there is no obvious single underlying factor or defect that causes its presentation. I diagnose colic at least 10 times a month, so it definitely is a real disease. It has low morbidity and no mortality. There is no test for colic and it can only be ruled in by excluding other causes of infant irritability like GERD, volvulus, malrotation, corneal lacerations, hair tourniquets among other entities. It is relatively common and some studies describe the prevalence as high as 16-20% of infants. The name colic itself is misleading and makes parents think it is intestinal, but there has been no data to suggest that intestinal remedies alleviate colic.
Can you tell us a bit about colic, its symptoms and possible causes?
• Infantile Colic is a prevalent problem in Infants 4-12 weeks of age. It is categorized by irritability and inconsolability particularly in the evening hours. This is very frustrating for parents. It a a diagnosis of exclusion, meaning that the baby must not have any other signs or symptoms of disease that could explain these symptoms. For instance, an irritable infant with gastroesophageal reflux does NOT have colic.
How important is it for parents to relieve colic symptoms promptly?
• There is no medication or single treatment for colic. There is no benefit to trying to “treat early” It is what we call self limiting and will go away by 12-14 weeks of life. If it has not, then the baby does not have colic and more studies should be done. In addition irritable babies must be screened for fatal diseases like malrotation or volvulus before diagnosing it as colic. Methods of relieving colic include swaddling, pacifiers, vibrating baby chairs, white noise, and holding baby. There is no medical treatment for colic, and if a baby improves with a medical therapy then it is definitely not colic.
How hard is colic on a babies digestive system?
• By definition, colic has no physical signs and there are no changes to the GI system or to the babies anatomy. By definition a colic is a behavioral phenomenon. It is however, maddening for parents and their frustration may lead to poor care and frustration from the parent leading to other health risks like abuse, neglect and depression in the parents.
Can you tell us about this new innovative bottle, Baby Gigl?
• An exciting new device for parents emerging from CES 2015 is Slow Control’s Baby Gigl connected bluetooth feeding system. By using the included BPA free NUK bottle and smart sleeve, parents can improve the feeding experience with babies feeding from a bottle. The sleeve indicates the proper angle to hold the bottle for a minimum of air feeds, and warns the parent of a lump clogging the nipple. With their smartphone app the Baby Gigl’s Journal 3.0 can create a feeding diary in real time, and from multiple caregivers. This information can be shared with the pediatrician by the parents for guidance on their infant’s nutritional needs.
This bottle tracks how fast and how much the baby is drinking. Why is this such an important feature to parents?
• Using big data and technological innovation parents can effortlessly track their child’s feeding history. The app also supports aggregation of data from multiple caregivers, alleviating the stress for working parents. In addition, at kiddoEMR (kiddoemr.com) we use an API to securely present feeding history to pediatricians inside the patient encounter forms for our medical record platform. Parents no longer have to rely on their sleep deprived brains to elaborate on such an important history. If a child does not feed well they will not grow and develop. Growth and development is the single most important factor in a child’s well being as they grow.
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