Colic can be defined as severe pain in the abdomen caused by obstruction in the intestines. When a baby cries for about three hours a day or for more than three days a week, or for three consecutive weeks it is said that a baby is suffering from colic. Colic is seen in babies in infants aged between 2 weeks to 4 months but babies’ upto the age of 1 are also prone to it. Cries of your baby can get you in panic mode and as a mother you feel helpless and look for ways to soothe the crying baby. Read on to know about 15 home remedies that will help you soothe your colicky baby.
Symptoms Of Colic In Babies
- Baby crying in a high pitched tone very often
- Baby is inconsolable
- Swollen belly
- When you see your baby continuously arching his back, clenching his fist or there is a sudden change in his physical posture
Causes Of Colic In Babies
Medical experts do not rule out any particular cause for colic, but they say that it starts as early as three to four months. Some blame it as something allergic in the digestive tract or it could be due to the developing neurological brain.
Other Symptoms include:
Though there can be many assumptions, it is highly recommended to check with a pediatrician to rule out any other causes.
15 Home Remedies To Soothe A Colicky Baby
- Background Music: Some babies cry less when they listen to soothing background music. When the mother holds her baby she can make a ‘shssss’ sound which can also act as a good pacifier. Tapes or CD’s which have sounds of ocean waves, the falling rain, the ticking of a clock can be means of making your colicky baby silent
- Warmth Bath: Giving the baby a warm water bath can help soothe him. You can add a few drops of lavender essential oil which can help in providing relief to your baby and help in calming him down
- Good rest: The baby needs enough sleep. A newborn needs to be back in bed within one to two hours of waking up
- Baby Burping: Make sure that you burp your baby frequently. This will help in easing any gas in your baby’s tummy, which could be a cause of discomfort that could result in your baby being colicky
- Body exercises: Certain body exercises can help to release gas in the baby’s tummy which can make your baby more comfortable. For this you can bend the legs of your baby, try doing bicycling moment and place your baby’s tummy on your thigh so that the baby experiences gentle pressure
- Warm Tummy Compress: One of the main cause of colic in babies is discomfort in the little one’s tummy. To give some relief, you can give your baby’s tummy a warm compress. For this you can fill a water baby with warm water that is not too hot and gently press the water bag against your baby’s tummy. This will provide relief from any discomfort that you baby might be experiencing
- Using Pacifiers: Try and see if a pacifier soothes your baby. In a lot of cases, parents have experienced that when a pacifier is offered to their babies, they suck on it and calm down
- Changing the feeding formula: If a baby is used to one kind of formula and is suddenly put on a new one as trial, it finds it difficult to adjust to the new one. This might be one of the reasons of colic
- Watch your diet: Watch out for foods which trigger colic. Certain dairy products, allergens like wheat, eggs, citrus, caffeine, and spicy foods can make the digestive system to react to various food proteins that are mixed in breast milk
- Avoid vigorous shaking of the baby: Due to impatience and frustration the mother should avoid shaking the baby as it can make the baby cry more. It is wise to hand over the child to another responsible adult or to put the baby down in a crib. Gently rocking on the other hand can soothe your baby and make him sleep peacefully.Swings and vibrating rockers serve as fantastic tools to calm a colicky baby
- Change nipples frequently: Nipples have to be changed as they can get worn out due to regular use or develop germs due to lack of sterilization
- Sing a song: A soft hum or a soothing lullaby can be relaxing to a baby. Recorded light music can also be comfortable
- Olive Oil Massage: You can heat a little olive oil and rub it gently on your baby’s tummy. This will provide him some relief from the pain and discomfort he is feeling and may help to calm him down
- Asafoetida: Asafoetida is an age old remedy for providing relief from any digestive problems in babies. All you have to do is take a pinch of powdered asafoetida and add a tbsp of water and mix it nicely in a small bowl. Warm it up for a few seconds and then once it cools down, dip a clean cloth in the mixture and gently rub it around your baby’s navel area. This will give instant relief to your baby and help him calm down. You can do this twice a day
- Fresh air: Taking the baby out to breathe in fresh air can be rejuvenating. Sun, wind, the sounds of birds chirping can be a way to shift the mood of the colicky baby and bring comfort to them. The baby can be made to lie down in a stroller and taken for a walk around the neighborhood. A car ride can also probably put the baby to sleep
When parents see such symptoms they experience a feeling of restlessness and sometimes frustration. Colic in infants can be stressful for parents. It is wise to remind oneself that the baby’s colic symptom is not any serious medical problem which cannot be cured or life threatening. The parents should calm themselves that it is just a passing phase in the growth process of a child. A realistic approach is very essential. As the saying goes,”A child’s cry is heaven’s anguish but his smile is heaven’s heart”. So let us all strive to keep our baby smiling always.
Did you have a colicky baby? What did you do to soothe your colicky baby? Share your experiences in the comments section below.