Colic Relief: FSA Eligibility
What is colic?
The term "colic" does not refer to a specific medical condition, but it is instead refers to the behavior of some newborns to uncontrollably cry for multiple hours in a row, for several days per week. Colic is a relative mystery to the medical community, as there is no agreed-upon cause for this behavior. However, some studies have found that factors such as lactose intolerance, digestive system bacteria irregularities, allergies and even how a baby ingests food and is comforted by parents could contribute to colic. The medical community estimates that colic can affect up to 40 percent of babies born in the U.S. today, who are otherwise well-fed and healthy (Medical News Today).
Infants that are considered "colicky" are typically younger than 5 months and will cry uncontrollably for more than three hours in a row, three or more days per week, for at least three weeks. The latter classification has become known as Wessel's Criteria, named after a long-term study conducted by Dr. Morris Wessel on excessively fussy children that has become the agreed-upon colic standard for modern medical professionals. As such, this can be an extremely frustrating condition for new parents to contend with, which can start during the child's second week of life and can last up to 3 months in some cases.
What is colic relief?
While there is no tried-and-true cure for colic, there are a number of colic relief options available that may be effective in some cases. For instance, dietary changes (altering the infant's formula, adding probiotics to the baby's diet or altering the mother's diet during breastfeeding) and even baby chiropractic and infant massage have shown some signs of efficacy. Additionally, counseling or early parenthood education classes could be another option for new parents to help them understand the potential underlying causes of colic and practice new strategies to soothe their newborns (WebMD).
In terms of medicine, some parents have found that gas relief medications, such as simethicone, are generally considered safe forms of colic relief and may be a solution for infants who have more advanced digestive tract issues. However, in most cases, very few medicines provide effective colic relief and most parents will have to weather the storm until the condition clears after about 3 months of age.