Colic Tips and Remedies
The most frustrating aspect of colic is the apparently inconsolable nature of baby’s discomfort. While parents often feel helpless, there are steps that may provide you and your baby with comfort and help boost everyone’s sleep. You can not only alleviate your babies suffering but also limit the duration of colic by following some of these tips below but because every baby is different and causes may vary, not every tip will work. Some trial and error is required.
14 Expert Tips and Remedies for Colicky Babies
- Keep a Colic Diary: By documenting your babies colic episodes you may be able to help yourself and your pediatrician anticipate episodes and even pinpoint the cause. A colic diary should contain a record such as the time of day the episodes started and their duration, sleeping and eating patterns, what soothing strategies you’ve already tried and their effect, the sound of baby’s cry, your baby’s behavior, body posture during episodes and smell and color of stool and urine.
- Gripe Water: For over a hundred years, gripe water has been a trusted remedy for colic used by pediatricians, nannies and millions of parents all over the world. The best quality of gripe water should be FDA listed for safety and efficacy, contain all-natural ingredients and be manufactured according to strict FDA regulations for good manufacturing practices (GMP) for homeopathic medicines. Colic Calm® is the only gripe water that meets this high standard, and it works quickly; usually within five minutes or less, providing safe and effective relief with no side effects. Many parents simply describe Colic Calm as the miracle medicine.
- The Colic Hold: – The colic hold uses gravity to apply gentle pressure to your baby’s abdomen. This may help baby expel gasses and increase motility in the gut. Carry baby face down with baby’s tummy resting on your forearm, baby’s legs straddling your elbow and baby’s chin resting in your hand. You can give baby a gentle back rub for additional pressure. A similar result can also be achieved by putting baby face down on your leg, whilst you are seated. Alternately try the neck nestle; where baby’s head is placed in the groove between chin and chest and lean back slightly whilst holding baby upright to place gentle pressure on the tummy area.
- Herbal Tea – Lukewarm herbal teas are an old "folk remedy" for colic. There is some evidence that fennel tea in particular may help.
- Sound: Background sounds from the womb can be simulated using a white noise from a hair dryer, vacuum cleaner, tumble dryer, radio static or shushing.
- Music: Recorded lullabies or just singing to your baby may work at least by distracting baby’s attention from discomfort, not to mention soothing the frayed nerves of mom and dad.
- Motion: A gentle rocking, vibrating motion or slow dance can soothe an upset baby. You can hold baby in your arm, a cradle, swing or even take baby for a car ride. You can also sit on an exercise ball to create the bouncing motion many babies love.
- Probiotics – Babies treated with a special type of oral probiotic available for infants, such as Lactobacillus reuteri have been shown in studies to have reduced crying episodes when compared to a placebo group.
- Massage – A gentle stomach massage has been known to help some babies relieve the digestive discomfort associated with colic and to improve the motility of trapped gas.
- Cuddling, Swaddling and Holding: Keeping your baby close in your arms, swaddled in a blanket or in a sling may help calm your fussy baby. This creates a warm and confined environment more like the womb.
- Simethicone: – This drug it referred by some doctors as a remedy for gas. While simethicone is relatively safe there is also no evidence that it actually works any better than a placebo and studies have actually shown it to be completely ineffective.
- A Warm Bath – May relax baby especially if combined with aromatherapy (such as with scented soap or bath oils).
- Pacifiers – Can help baby calm down by triggering the sucking reflex.
- Increase Frequency of Feedings – Shorter and more frequent feeding may help placate your baby if hunger is a factor in the fussiness and the sucking reflex certainly has a calming effect on infants. Be careful not to overfeed as this could actually worsen symptoms. If breastfeeding empty one breast completely before switch sides as the hindmilk has less lactose which could trigger increased gassiness.
Try keeping a colic tips checklist like the one below to determine what worked best for your baby and discuss with your child’s pediatrician or health care provider.
* Disclaimer: The information on this website is not a substitute for professional medical care for the prevention, diagnosis, or treatment of your child’s condition. Please consult with your child’s doctor or pharmacist before trying any medication (prescription or OTC) or following any treatment plan mentioned. This information is provided only to help you be as informed as possible about your child’s condition. You should consult your child’s physician if you are concerned about symptoms as your doctor may be able to identify or exclude certain causes of your child’s discomfort.