Calming Colic: Simple Home Remediesby Katlyn Joy | December 27, 2011
Anyone who has ever raised a child who was a colicky baby will have scary stories to tell. Colic while still vastly misunderstood or overlooked, is a real condition that causes babies and their parents great distress.
Trina from Illinois reports, "My first son had colic and it ruled the house. Everything stopped everyday at 5 p.m. sharp. It was all about the baby. We would look shell-shocked by 8 o'clock each night."
What makes matters worse is just how misunderstood the condition can be. "Colic is a real thing? I thought that was an old wives' tale!" stated new dad, Aaron, when asked about colic in his newborn son.
Colic Quick Facts
Colic is regular, and often appears at the same time each day, often early evening and will last a few hours usually. It usually shows up around the third week of life and disappears, in most cases, by 4 months of age. Colicky babies have a distinctive cry separate from other cries at other times. The cause of colic is still unknown.
Some of the best ways to calm a baby with colic rely on comforting measures. Here are a few, but try your own variations or brainstorm some new ones. No one can suffer from too much love, so experiment away!
- Cuddle your baby. Try different positions such as across your lap, tummy down or against your shoulder.
- Carry your baby. A front carrier or sling that is tied so baby is close to you is often soothing to colicky babies.
- Learn infant massage and use this comforting technique to calm colic.
- Gently pat baby's back.
- Rock baby.
- Walk your baby in your arms.
- Swaddle your newborn. Learn the burrito fold technique.
- Offer your baby a pacifier.
All babies respond to different sounds in their own ways, so find what appeals to your colicky infant.
-Play recorded music for baby. Try whatever style seems soothing and/or distracting to baby.
- Sing to your baby. Don't worry if you can't deliver a Grammy worthy performance, your little audience will not mind.
- Use white noise such as fan, humidifier, or tapes of sounds like crashing waves, crickets chirping or rain falling.
- Try a metronome or ticking clock.
Sometimes motion is the cure for colic problems.
- Besides rocking or walking with baby, try other motions such as gently bouncing on your lap.
- Drive your baby while secured in his car seat.
- Sit with baby on top of a washing machine that's running.
- Try a vibrating baby seat.
- Place baby in a babyswing.
- Hold baby while you sway gently.
- Feed your baby.
- If you are breastfeeding, watch your diet and see if eliminating certain foods, such as dairy products, spicy foods, caffeine or citrus fruits helps symptoms.
- Stay calm. If you are overwhelmed, take a time out. Get some help from friends, family or a paid helper.
- Sometimes a warm bath will do the trick.
- Place a warm, not hot, towel on baby's tummy.
While some encouraging studies have been done, not enough conclusive ones are available quite yet. If your doctor approves these methods however, you might try to relieve your baby's colic by trying these.
- Fennel or chamomile tea.
- Glucose or sugar solutions.
At one time a medication, dicyclomine hydrochloride, was used for infant colic symptoms. However, this solution is potentially fatal and must be avoided for safety's sake.
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