How To Soothe Baby Colic Naturally
Has your sweet, sleepy infant turned into a red-faced, crying colic machine? You're probably exhausted and worried, and overwhelmed by the inconsolable wails. We're here to let you know that you're not alone, and that there are various ways to help soothe and alleviate baby colic naturally. And don't worry, this won't last forever!
What is colic
Colic usually starts in babies when they reach around 2-6 weeks of age. The cause is different for each baby, but it usually does not indicate any underlying medical problem that you need to worry about. You can now breathe a sigh of relief.
Symptoms of colic:
- The baby cries intensely for a few hours a day (sometimes with predictable daily patterns) due to no apparent trigger
- The baby cries inconsolably for at least 3 days per week, for 3 consecutive weeks
- The baby’s stomach may be swollen and feel hard
- The baby appears to be in pain: arching of back, drawing knees to their chest, clenching of fists, red face
It's difficult to watch your precious baby being in distress, but just remember that colic usually stops by 3 months of age. In rare cases, it may continue up to 6 months of age.
Doctors are not 100% certain what exactly causes colic, but they have a few theories. Possible contributing factors include:
- Digestive system that isn't fully developed which leads to indigestion, trapped wind or gut sensitivity
- Imbalance of healthy bacteria in the digestive tract
- Food allergies or intolerances
- Overfeeding, underfeeding or infrequent burping
- Family stress or anxiety
- Early form of childhood migraine
- A sensitivity to light, noise or too much stimulation
If you're worried about your baby, your doctor can do a full exam to rule out problems such as an infection, an injury, acid reflux, eating too much/not enough, inflammation in the brain/nervous system, a sensitivity to breastmilk/formula, etc.
How to alleviate your baby's colic naturally
Most babies enjoy a warm bath. The warm water can help soothe their tummy and relax their mind, helping to ease the symptoms of colic. You don't need to use any soap, it's simply for relaxation. If you aren't able to run a bath, you could also warm a wash cloth and place it over their tummy for the same effect.
You might like: Try one or two drops of calming Pure Lavender Essential Oil
in the water.
See a lactation consultant
This is obviously directed towards breastfeeding moms only. It's important to determine whether or not there is a breastfeeding issue that is causing your baby's colic. It's recommended to see a trained breastfeeding consultant as most pediatricians aren't trained in this department. Issues could be that your baby has a bad latch, is tongue-tied, is lip-tied, or is not getting sufficient hindmilk. With a little bit of guidance, your baby's colic grief could soon be a thing of the past!
Follow a clean nursing diet
Did you know that if you're breastfeeding, your diet can directly affect your baby? Colic can sometimes be caused by what the breastfeeding mother is eating/drinking and passing on to the baby via breastmilk. Take a look at what you're eating and drinking, and eliminate the following: dairy, caffeine, gluten, spicy food, fizzy drinks, fast food, legumes and vegetables belonging to the cruciferous family. Give it about 3 weeks to see if there is an improvement, If so, give up these foods until you have stopped breastfeeding. It's worth it!
Try a different formula or bottle
This one is obviously only for the babies who are bottle-fed. Some find that their baby's colic clears up after trying a new formula. This could be because your baby is reacting to a certain ingredient in their formula. However, it's usually advised to first consult your pediatrician or doctor before switching formula.
Before switching, make sure that it's not the actual bottle that is causing the colic. A lot of parents have positive reviews on fast-flow teats that helps the baby swallow less air. You can also try an anti-colic bottle. Always make sure that the milk fills the teat when feeding so that there are no air pockets, and always burp your baby during and after feeds!
Massage has been used for centuries to alleviate many different ailments, including baby colic. It is best not to massage during an episode but rather a couple of times throughout the day to help prevent the build-up of wind. With the baby lying on its back, gently massage the tummy working in a clockwise direction.
While you're doing the massage, you can also incorporate some 'exercises' to help release trapped air. Bicycle legs and bending their legs can often help!
We all know that the womb environment is warm and snug, but were you aware that it's also noisy? Between the mother's heart, digestion and all the bodily functions, life inside the womb is anything except quiet. This is one of the reasons why babies respond positively to not only music, but background noises. Switching the fan or hairdryer on, playing soothing music or white noise, or making "ssshhhh" noises helps to refocus their attention, comfort them, reduce crying, and help them fall into a peaceful sleep.
You might like: White Noise Sleep Machine
Because colic is often associated with an immature digestive system, many parents find relief from remedies that help to soothe the baby's tummy and improve the functioning of the digestive system. Chamomile tea has been proven to relieve symptoms of colic, even when the mother drinks it and passes it through to her baby via breastmilk!
Colic Calmer is a specially formulated homeopathic remedy which is gentle and effective. It will soothe your baby's stomach and help to relieve wind and reduce fretfulness, helping your baby (and you) to have a good night's sleep. Unlike many other colic remedies, Colic Calmer contains no alcohol or artificial ingredients and contains only 100% natural and proven homeopathic ingredients. Simply sprinkle on baby's tongue - improvement should be noted within 5 - 10 minutes.
Sleep will always be important, but at this young age, your baby getting enough sleep is especially important. Your baby is growing and developing at crazy rates, so even missing one nap (or not having their nap on time) has big effects on their little bodies. As we're sure you have already realised, colic interrupts your baby's sleeping patterns. So now, not only is your baby colicky and miserable, they are also exhausted, which makes them even more distressed! Hmm.. sounds like a mix any parent of an infant would want to avoid.
Sleepy Sprinkles addresses just this problem. This homeopathic remedy has been specifically formulated to help baby sleep, safely with NO sedatives. Once baby is a more rested, you should notice a decrease in discomfort and fussiness. And great news, you can use Sleepy Sprinkles along with Colic Calmer!
You might like: Purchase Sleepy Sprinkles + Colic Calmer together and SAVE 10%
Excessive, inconsolable crying is usually a sign of baby colic. However, in certain circumstances, it could be an indication of an infection or medical condition. Take your baby to their doctor for a thorough exam if your baby experiences excessive crying or other symptoms.
If you have any health-related questions, please contact us or leave a comment below for FREE advice. We always love hearing from you!