10 Most Bizarre Treatments for Infant Colic
Throughout history and in parts all over the world, parents have tried various methods to soothe their crying babies. Colic, and the months of distress and sleeplessness that it brings to both infants and parents, can leave parents feeling frantic, frustrated, worried, exhausted, confused, guilty and inadequate. Desperate for quiet, desperate for sleep, they’ve been known to try unusual – even hazardous measures. Here are the 10 strangest treatments for infant colic:
10. Catnip Tea
Moms have had their claws on this home remedy for ages because the herb is known to be relaxing.
9. Boiled Onion Water
Parents have sworn that taking the water from an onion that has been boiled (then cooled, of course) and putting a teaspoon in a baby’s bottle works like magic on an upset tummy.
8. Grape Jelly
It’s not just for making a PB&J – some say smearing grape jelly on a baby’s pacifier can help bring instant relief.
What sounds like a sneeze is really an ancient Middle Eastern colic remedy – it’s actually orange blossom water.
That’s right – the favorite cooking oil of the Food Network superstar Rachael Ray is also a hit with some parents outside of the kitchen. Some say give a baby a teaspoon full of pure extra virgin olive oil, and in 15 minutes you’ll hear the sweet sounds of silence.
5. Dill Water
Dill is known as a carminative, as it eases gas pains, bloating and settles the stomach. Many parents crush the seeds to make an extract or boil dill weed to make a tea for baby.
Alcohol was also commonly given to infants during the Middle Ages, and in present day, some parents have said that taking a small baby bottle filled up with about 25 ml beer that has been shaken well so that all bubbles and gas passes out of bottle works like a miracle.
It was an age-old practice to drug crying infants. During the second century BC, the Greek physician Galen prescribed opium to calm fussy babies, and during the Middle Ages in Europe, mothers and wet nurses smeared their nipples with opium lotions before each feeding.
In past decades, doctors recommended treating colicky babies with sedative medications (e.g. phenobarbital, Valium, alcohol), analgesics (e.g. opium) or anti-spasm drugs (e.g. scopolamine, Donnatal, dicyclomine), but all of these are no longer recommended because of potential serious side effects, including death.
In the text Demonic Possession and Exorcism in Early Modern England, the author notes that colic would be cured by prayer and fasting the possessed body.