From the 1950s to the 1980s, doctors armed parents with millions of prescriptions of anti-cramp medicine. Some doctors used Donnatal (a mix of anti-cramp medicine plus phenobarbitol) while others preferred Levisin (hyocyamine). Both are cramp-relieving and sedating, and both are still occasionally prescribed by doctors today.
However, of all the anti-spasm drugs recommended for colic, Bentyl was by far and away the most popular. In 1984, 74 million doses of it were sold in Britain alone. But Bentyl turned out to be the most dangerous of all the tummy drugs. In 1985, doctors were horrified to discover that a number of colicky babies being treated with it suffered convulsions, coma—even death.
In retrospect, it’s likely that anti-cramp medicines work not because of any tummy effect, but because they induce sedation as an incidental side effect.
The TTT’s also fail to explain five of the ten universal characteristics of colic and colicky babies:
Colicky crying usually starts at two weeks, peaks at six weeks, and ends by three to four months of age. Neither gas nor the gastro-colic reflex fit this clue because both are present from birth (before colic starts) and continue long past three months (when colic is over).
Colic in preemies doesn’t start until two weeks after their due date. Preemies have lots of gas and a vigorous gastro-colic reflex. If these sensations truly caused colic, crying in preemies would start immediately, not be delayed for months.
Colic is often much worse in the evening. Babies poop and have stomach rumblings twenty-four hours a day, so if they caused colic, crying would be as common in the morning as it is at night.
Colicky crying often improves with rocking, wrapping, shhhhing, and tummy pressure. It doesn’t make any sense that rocking, wrapping, or shhhhing could stop bad stomach pain.
There are many cultures around the world where babies never get colic. All babies around the world experience TTT’s. So if they were the basis of colic, why would there be cultures where prolonged crying is virtually nonexistent?