Colic strikes a chill in the hearts of any parents who have gone through it--and invites many points of view. Here are some responses to a recent column about it.
Comment--We have found that holding our child and bouncing gently on a rebounder not only relieved her symptoms of colic but put her to sleep in 5-10 minutes--every single time. It worked so well that we still use it to put her to sleep for naps and bedtime.
Comment--I strongly disagree with you that a child doesn't become hysterical and vomit if he isn't rocked to sleep.
I have a 14-month-old daughter who's rocked every night and cannot be put into her crib until she is completely asleep or she will become hysterical and vomit.
She has been examined by several doctors and there's no physical problem other than the fact that she had severe colic for the first 6 months of her life.
Comment--The description of the 5-month-old child who is so obviously in distress is remarkably similar to my 2-year-old's infancy.
Now I know the problem was hypersensitivity to artificial colors, flavors and preservatives. When he was this age I was drinking large quantities of a drink--flavored, colored and probably preserved with artificial chemicals. My child only would stop crying when he nursed.
I finally tried the Feingold diet. My son was by this time 10 months old and for the first time in his life slept two hours out of my arms. Thank God! I don't know how much longer I could have lasted.
He is now a normal, very bright 2 1/2-year-old, sleeping 2-3 hours for naps and through the night.
No one should have to go through the problem. Please pass it on.
A. Parents report many diverse problems--including colic--to Parents' Almanac, but often their solutions to behavior difficulties are the same: a restricted diet--and especially the Feingold diet.
The diet didn't prove itself in earlier clinical tests, and several years ago two Canadian researchers found that the tests themselves were faulty. Children were tested with only 26 mg. of artificial food dye rather than the 76-150 mg. they generally consume daily. New tests showed that the higher amount can bring on the problem behavior; never, however, to the degree claimed by the late Dr. Benjamin Feingold.
Today the more avant-garde doctors study the diet of the nursing mother--or child--and often put them on the Feingold diet to limit dyes, additives or salicylates in foods and vitamins. Or they try the "Feingold Plus" diet, which also includes the more common allergic foods such as milk, wheat and corn. Other doctors not persuaded by Feingold studies still look for allergies as the primary cause, since they can cause stomach pains as well as central nervous system reactions.
Whatever the route, it seems more sensible to look for physical solutions to physical problems--especially if the child is so uncomfortable she must be rocked to sleep each night for 14 months. Rocking a child should be a pleasure, not a requirement.
Questions may be sent to Parents' Almanac, Style Plus, The Washington Post.