How To Manage Your Own Distress
Caring for a screaming baby who cant be soothed is extremely distressing. If you feel that you are getting too upset, you need to take some time out to calm down. Suggestions include:
- Put your child in a safe place, such as a cot, and leave the room.
- Walk around the house or go outside.
- Relax your body by dropping your shoulders, clenching and unclenching your fists and stretching your back, arms and legs.
- Have a drink and something to eat, if you can manage it.
- Do something physical like running.
Colic Signs And Symptoms For Baby
The most common signs and symptoms of colic include the following:
- Baby cries for a long period of time .
- The crying is predictable every day. For example, your baby cries for 3 hours from ~7:00 to ~10:00 p.m. every night.
- Crying is usually in the evening.
- Baby looks like they are in pain when they are crying.
- Soothing doesnt seem to help.
Try A Different Formula
If baby is formula-fed, your child may be reacting to something in the specific variety youre using. Some moms find that changing formulas can make all the difference! Check out this post for the best baby formula, and consider trying this homemade formula recipeits alive, rich in bioavailable nutrients, and easier to digest than many powdered alternatives.
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Whats The Difference Between Colic And Normal Crying
There isnt a clear definition of exactly what colic is or how it differs from other types of crying.
But doctors typically agree that colic crying is louder, more intense and higher-pitched than normal crying sometimes almost like screaming.
Colicky babies also seem inconsolable, and tend to cry more throughout the day than babies without colic.
Most often, colicky periods recur daily, though some babies take an occasional night off.
How Is Colic Treated
There’s no treatment to make colic go away. But there are ways you can help:
- Make sure your baby isn’t hungry.
- Make sure your baby has a clean diaper.
- Try burping your baby more often during feedings.
- If you bottle-feed, try other bottles to see if they help your baby swallow less air.
- Ask your doctor if changing formula could help.
- Some nursing moms find that cutting caffeine, dairy, soy, egg, or wheat from their diet helps. Talk to your doctor before doing this and stop only one thing at a time.
- Rock or walk with the baby.
- Sing or talk to your baby.
- Offer the baby a pacifier.
- Take the baby for a ride in a stroller.
- Hold your baby close against your body and take calm, slow breaths.
- Give the baby a warm bath.
- Pat or rub the baby’s back.
- Place your baby across your lap on his or her belly and rub your baby’s back.
- Put your baby in a swing or vibrating seat. The motion may be soothing.
- Put your baby in an infant car seat in the back of the car and go for a ride. Often, the movement of the car is calming.
- Play music some babies calm down with sound as well as movement.
Some babies need less stimulation. Babies 2 months and younger may do well swaddled, lying on their back in the crib with the lights very dim or dark. Make sure the swaddle isn’t too tight. Stop swaddling when the baby is starting to be able to roll over.
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Advice For Colic If Breastfeeding
Breastfeeding your baby can help them to relax and relieve pain.
Try emptying your milk in one breast during a feed before changing breasts. You create two types of milk when breastfeeding and the second half of your milk has more fat in it.
Fat slows down digestion and helps to release food slowly, helping with digestion.
If breastfeeding, avoid drinking tea, coffee and other drinks that contain caffeine.
Give Your Kid Some Knee Pushing Exercise
Knee pushing exercise plays a role in enhancing a smooth digestion as well as eliminating colic pain. You can perform this exercise by allowing your baby to lie down and then gently bend your babys legs from the knees. Try pushing the legs toward the abdomen too. Perform this exercise 5 times daily.
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Try Tummy Rolls For Colic Relief
While laying a securing hand on babys back, drape him tummy-down over a large beach ball and gently roll in a circular motion. Another use for a large beach ball is the baby bounce. Hold baby securely in your arms and slowly bounce up and down while sitting on the ball. We still have the big red ball rolling around our house as a memento of our bouncing past.
How Can You Soothe A Baby With Colic
As you get to know your baby, you learn to check for the obvious causes of distress when they cry. Are they hungry? Are they hot or cold? Does their diaper need changing? Are they over-stimulated? A baby with colic might be crying for one of those reasons. Or they may be crying for a reason you cant understand.
Once youve checked on their possible physical needs and sources of discomfort, its time to go into comforting mode, using whatever technique helps to calm your baby. Every baby is different, and what works for one may not work for another.
With that in mind, here are some ways to soothe a baby with colic:
- Hold and cuddle your baby.
- Walk with your baby.
- Swaddle your baby in a soft blanket.
- Sing and talk softly to your baby.
- Sway back and forth while you hold your baby, or find other ways to gently rock her. Some babies are calmed by a swing.
- Gently rub your babys back.
- Change your babys position: Sit them up if they have been lying down, or hold them face-out if they have been facing your chest.
- Hold your baby near low, rhythmic noises, like the sound of the washing machine or a recording of a heartbeat. The steady hum of a fan or a white noise machine can also be soothing.
- Go for a ride in the car. The motion and noise of a car ride helps to calm some babies.
- Give your baby a pacifier. Many babies are calmed by sucking, and a pacifier can satisfy this need between feedings.
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When To Call Your Doctor Immediately
A number of signs and symptoms may suggest that your baby is more seriously ill. It is recommended that you contact your doctor immediately if your baby:
- has a weak, high-pitched continuous cry
- seems floppy when you pick them up
- takes less than a half of their usual feeds
- passes less urine than usual
- vomits green fluid
- passes blood in their stools
- has a fever such as 38°C or above or 39°C or above
- has a bulging fontanelle
- has a fit
- turns blue, blotchy or very pale
- has a stiff neck
- has breathing problems, such as breathing quickly or grunting while breathing
- has a spotty, purple-red rash anywhere on their body
- has a seizure
None of the above symptoms is caused by colic. If you cant get hold of your doctor, call healthdirect on 1800 022 222 for advice .
The Therapeutic Goods Administration has issued a product recall for all batches of Infants’ Friend oral liquid
Information for consumers
If you have a bottle of Infants’ Friend oral liquid, do not use it. Return it to the place you purchased it from for a refund.
If you have any questions or concerns about this issue, talk to your health professional or contact Infants’ Friend Pty Ltd customer service on 1800 981 403.
For more information please see TGA’s alert on Infants’ Friend oral liquid.
Look After Yourself Too
Having a baby who cries a lot can be very wearing and stressful for parents. Make sure you keep yourself sane. Discuss your worries about your baby with your health visitor or doctor. Seek help from them if you feel very down or anxious. Take up offers from family or friends to help so you can take time out for rests and time for yourself. You and your partner will need to support each other, and take it in turns to spend time consoling a crying baby. Talking with others who have babies with colic may help, or contact a support group such as Cry-sis. Remember that colic does go away, and it is a phase your baby will come through.
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Coping With A Colicky Baby As A Parent
When your baby has colic, itâs important to pay attention to your own emotional state. Caring for a colicky baby can be tough, and can make many parents feel anxious and inadequate, not to mention stressed.
No matter how frustrated you feel, never shake your baby. Shaking an infant can cause bleeding in the brain, leading to permanent damage and even death.
If you find yourself feeling out of control and unable to cope with your babyâs crying, try one or more of the following steps:
Take deep breaths and count to 10
Put your baby in his crib or another safe place, and leave the room to take a break
Ask for and accept help from family and friends who can take care of your baby for a short period, giving you a much-needed break
Donât feel guilty about soothing your baby. You are not spoiling her. By holding and comforting her, you are trying to make her feel better, and eventually the colic will subside.
Take Care Of Yourself Too
It can be stressful when your baby cries for no obvious reason and isnt easily soothed. Your baby needs you to be calm, too, and that can be hard if you are tired.
If you find yourself getting tense or angry as your baby cries, try breathing deeply to help yourself relax. If thats not enough, lay your baby down in a safe place and go into another room for 10 or 15 minutes. Lie down, listen to calming music, do a household chore or take other steps to calm yourself. When you feel ready, go back and pick up your baby.
Ask friends or family members to relieve you at times so you can go for a walk outside, take a nap or have some time to yourself. Its not selfish to take care of yourself. Restoring your ability to be calm can be the best thing you can do for your baby.
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Follow A Clean Nursing Diet
If youre a breastfeeding mama, you may also want to give up foods that can trigger baby colic symptoms. Dairy is a huge culprit, as are other common allergens like wheat/gluten, eggs, shellfish, citrus, caffeine, and spicy foods. While its certainly no fun to give up some of your favorite foods, its worth your effort. After eliminating these foods from your diet, give it a good 2-4 weeks to be sure they are cleared from your body and milk. Consider looking into paleo recipes, as these are often free from the most common allergens.
Colic Relief Tips For Parents With Colicky Babies
Even though no one completely understands colic, lets make two assumptions: First, baby has pain in the gut. Secondly, the whole baby is upset as a result. Treatment for colic relief, therefore, is aimed at relaxing the whole baby and particularly the babys abdomen.
While parents need to experiment with comforting measures, most of them come down to motion, untensing tiny tummies, and administering the right touch at the right time. Some strategies for colic relief to try are:
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Be Sure Baby Is Well Rested
Watch your babys signs closely and be sure she doesnt get overtired. Experiment with wakeful time periods to see what works best. Generally speaking, newborns need to be back to bed within 1-2 hours of waking. For some, its only 45 minutes! A good sign that you caught your baby in time is that she goes to bed without any struggle. If hes crying like crazy, you missed the window. Next time, try putting baby down 15 minutes earlier.
How To Help A Baby With Colic
There is no treatment for colic. Different things will help different babies. As you get to know your baby, you will learn what works for you.
Things that might help include:
- Hold your baby close during a crying episode. You are not spoiling your baby by responding to their needs in this way.
- Sit your baby upright during feeds.
- Wind or burp your baby after feeds.
- Gently rock your baby.
- A warm bath can really help some babies with colic.
- Avoid over-stimulating your baby with loud noise, bright lights or a crowded room.
- Gently massaging your babys tummy before they are likely to cry may help. Do this in a circular motion. Do not massage after a feed.
There are some other things you may like to try. There is no scientific research to support their use, but some parents find them helpful.
- Movement and motion, for example a walk in the buggy or pram, or a car journey.
- White noise like the low frequency noise of a vacuum cleaner, a radio not tuned in properly or white noise music or apps.
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Southern Cross Medical Library
The purpose of the Southern Cross Medical Library is to provide information of a general nature to help you better understand certain medical conditions. Always seek specific medical advice for treatment appropriate to you. This information is not intended to relate specifically to insurance or healthcare services provided by Southern Cross. For more articles go to the Medical Library index page.
Is My Baby Overstimulated
Another explanation is that by the end of the day, the baby has had enough. Supporters of this theory advise parents to reduce stimulation of their baby to improve crying.
In practical terms, this means keeping the baby away from bright lights and loud noises , and lightly wrapping the baby.
The research on these interventions is split. Some studies show a reduction in crying.
Provided a caregiver is still nearby or with the baby, there is little harm in this intervention, and it may be of benefit.
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Soothe Your Baby With Sound And Motion
Walk or rock. Motion helps calm babies. Walk around with your baby in a baby carrier . The combined warmth and rhythm may lull them to sleep.
Hold and rock them or put them in a swing or stroller. The gentle movement may stop their tears.
If all else fails, secure them in their car seat and go for a ride. Just make sure youre not so tired its unsafe to drive.
Use sound to calm your baby. Many babies respond well to the gentle hum of a machine, such as a:
- Clothes dryer (But dont be tempted to put your baby on top of a dryer — not even in a carrier or car seat — because they could fall.
- White-noise from a machine or an app
You could also try classical music or a “heartbeat soundtrack” next to the crib.