Baby Health: Hypoglycemia & Colic In Babies

It is not unusual for newborns/babies to suffer from Hypoglycemia & Colic. Read on to know about causes & symptoms of the same in the infant.

Hypoglycemia is a condition characterized by low levels of sugar in the blood. We need a certain amount of sugar, in the form of glucose, for the normal functioning of the body. When the level of glucose in the blood decreases, it affects the functioning of our brain. While in the womb, the baby feeds through the umbilical cord and the blood glucose levels are more or less constant. After childbirth, the umbilical cord is cut and the baby has to adjust to the resultant fall in blood glucose levels. Immediately after birth, it is normal for the glucose levels in the blood to drop for a day or two. The baby's brain will get the energy it requires from the glycogen that is stored in the liver and is a substitute for glucose. In certain babies, this may not happen, thereby leading to hypoglycemia.

Causes Of Hypoglycemia In Newborns
The baby may not feed well for the first few days. As long as he/she is healthy and normal, there is no cause to worry. If the baby is breastfeeding, there is no need to give him sugar water to increase his glucose level. Some causes of Hypoglycemia in Newborns are:

  • Sickness in babies.
  • Premature birth.
  • Not developing well in the womb.
  • Babies whose mothers are diabetic are also susceptible to Hypoglycemia.

Monitoring The Baby:

  • In case the baby is suffering from Hypoglycemia, he/she is monitored in the above categories closely.
  • Baby's body temperature.
  • Baby's respiratory function.
  • Baby's skin color.
  • Watch whether the baby is restless.
  • If the blood sugar levels are very low, the baby may be administered glucose drips intravenously.

Colic & Its Symptoms
The word 'colic' is used to describe a specific crying pattern. If the baby draws his knees to his stomach, clenches his fists and makes a disgusting face while crying, he/she has colic in all likeliness. Colic usually begins when the baby is three or four weeks old and is, at its worst, when the baby is about eight weeks old. Babies with colic cry for long spells, which can last a few hours, usually in the evening or night. Though the child can be consoled for some time, he/she begins to cry again for no apparent reason. Normally babies with colic are happy, in good health and well developed. It is in very rare cases that colic lasts beyond three months. Some babies may show signs of colic until they are about five months old.

Causes Of Colic:

  • An upset stomach.
  • Underdeveloped nervous system.
  • The fluid that flows back into the esophagus from the stomach.
  • Air trapped in the stomach forming gas.

Tips To Help The Baby:

  • Bath the baby in lukewarm water.
  • Wrap him/her in cotton covering so that he/she feels safe.
  • Give him/her feet a message.
  • Give him/her a dummy to suck on.
  • Give him/her gripe water or colic drops.
  • Dissolve three tbsp of sugar in a cup of boiling water, cool it and then slowly give it to the baby using a teaspoon.
  • You can consult your doctor for more advice. Ask family members to help out in taking care of the baby if crying is a regular feature.

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