Coping With A Baby Who Has Colic
If your baby has colic, itâs important to pay attention to your own emotional state. Caring for a baby with colic can be tough, and it can make you 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 unsure if you can cope with your babyâs crying, try one or more of the following steps:
Breathe deeply and count to 10. Remember that many parents experience these feelings sometimes. Itâs nothing to be ashamed of.
Put your baby safely in his or her cot and leave the room for a short break. Decide how long youâll be â for example 10 minutes â and go back when the timeâs up.
Ask your health visitor or doctor about support groups in your local area
Ask for and accept help from family and friends who can take care of your baby for a short period to give you a little time out.
Asafetida Powder And Water
Asafetida is a very effective way on how to treat colic in babies naturally at home. It works as an anti-flatulent, relieves gas, and aids digestion.
- Firstly, you add asafetida powder into the water.
- Next, you heat the solution and then let it cool down.
- Now, you rub this solution around the navel of your baby .
- You should repeat this treatment for your baby for about 2 or 3 times per day for better results.
- Breastfeeding mothers may add ½ teaspoon of this powder into 1 glass of lukewarm water and then drink it for twice daily.
- For babies who have begun eating solid foods, you can mix 1 pinch of asafetida powder into their food before feeding.
How Other Mamas Helped Soothe A Colic Baby Naturally
I asked the moms on my Facebook page what they did to ease colic symptoms. Here are some of their responses:
- My daughter had really bad colic. At 2 am and almost 24 hours of no sleep, I turned on my hair dryer. Instant quiet. As soon as I turned it off, shed start crying. Thank God my hair dryer had a cool setting. My daughter, hair dryer, and I spent a lot of time rocking together. Kimberly G.
- My second child was extremely colicky. I tried wearing him, different holding positions , catnip tea, among others. Our saving grace was a chiropractor. He was amazing. After our first visit, it was like we had a new little boy that same night. Kimberly H.
- My first baby was extremely colicky until almost 6 months. It was really one of the hardest experiences of my life! Wearing her a lot, infant massage, and being proactive about helping her get gas out were super helpful. Also, we would put her infant tub under the warm water and let it run on her bellythis would almost always bring her relief! Kelley S.
- Brauers homeopathic colic formula. Simba & Mama
- Catnip tea. Ashley G.
- Babywearing, bouncing nothing really helped much. It was an agonizing three months. Julie T.
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How To Soothe A Colicky Baby
If your baby has colic, the never-ending crying can drive you nuts. Here are some expert strategies for soothing a colicky baby.
Does your baby have intense crying spells that last three hours or more? He might be suffering from colic. There’s no specific definition of colic, but it generally means excessive crying for no explainable reason, says Barry Lester, Ph.D., director of the colic clinic at the Brown University Center for Children at Women & Infants Hospital in Providence, and coauthor of Why Is My Baby Crying.
Pediatricians generally use the “rule of threes” to determine the condition: “when a baby cries intensely for three or more hours at a time on at least three days of the week, for longer than three weeks in a row for no apparent reason,” says Mary Ann LoFrumento, M.D., author of Simply Parenting: Understanding Your Newborn & Infant.
- RELATED: What is Colic in Babies?
Colic usually begins around week 2 or 3 of the baby’s life and peaks at around 6 to 8 weeks. Unlike with regular infant crying, attempts to stop colic-induced sessions by feeding, burping, rocking, or changing the diaper aren’t successful. The condition subsidies around 3 to 4 months of age.
Wondering what to do for a colic baby? According to experts, parents can try adopting the “Five S’s” strategy to mimic the womb environment. Read more about this strategy, plus other ways to try soothing a baby with colic.
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What Are Colic Symptoms And Signs In Babies
The crying or fussing most frequently begins suddenly and often after a feeding. The cry is loud, high pitched, and continuous, and the spells last from one to four hours. The baby’s face often gets flushed or red. The belly is sometimes distended or prominent, the legs alternating between flexed and extended straight out the feet are often cold and the hands clenched. The episodes, while they can occur at any time of the day or night, typically begin in the late afternoon or early evening, just when parents or caregivers are most exhausted. There are some babies who are more prone to infantile colic than others. If one or both parents were colicky, their baby is more at risk. Infantile colic typically begins at about 2 to 3 weeks of age, reaches its peak at 2 months, begins to subside by 3 months, and is gone by 3½ to 4 months of age. But the frustrating fact remains that although many babies experience colic and much research has been done on the topic, there is no one proven cause of colic. Some studies found no discernible cause for one-quarter of those babies who suffered from colicky episodes. This reality is very frustrating for most parents.
There are factors that may worsen the colic symptoms amongst all colicky babies:
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When To Call The Doctor About Colic In Babies
While the odds are that your babys daily screaming sessions are due to colic, if it seems like your baby is crying excessively, start by seeing the pediatrician.
The doctor can examine your baby to rule out any other potential causes of excessive crying. And if they think you’re definitely dealing with colic? It’s good to get some reassurance and maybe a few extra soothing strategies.
Describing the crying will also help the doctor rule out any underlying medical condition that could be triggering the crying.
Keep in mind, too, that this shall pass: Just when you think you can’t take another night of it, the crying will let up and then it’s gone forever.
From the What to Expect editorial team and Heidi Murkoff, author of What to Expect When You’re Expecting. What to Expect follows strict reporting guidelines and uses only credible sources, such as peer-reviewed studies, academic research institutions and highly respected health organizations. Learn how we keep our content accurate and up-to-date by reading our medical review and editorial policy.
- What to Expect the First Year, 3rd edition, Heidi Murkoff.
Change The Formula Milk Brand
If your baby is colicky all the time, changing the formula milk brand may help. Sometimes, the ingredients of a particular formula milk brand may be the cause of colic. If you have started giving formula milk to your baby along with breastfeeding or otherwise, and he suffers from colicky, try changing formula milk.
Try The Pedalling Exercise
This is a simple but effective exercise. Place your baby on her back. Hold her ankles carefully together and gently push one leg at a time towards her tummy. Hold each leg near the tummy for a few seconds. Repeat the pedalling exercise for a few minutes. However, if your baby resists this exercise, stop it immediately.
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.
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Here Are Some Tips And Good Practices To Consider When Dealing With A Colicky Baby
- You could try to put the baby to sleep.
- You could pat your child on the back to help him burp.
- Allow your baby lie on his belly for a couple of minutes a day.
- Changing your babys milk formula could be helpful as the colic may be triggered by food intolerance.
- You should hold your baby as upright as possible when feeding him.
- Nursing mothers should include probiotic yogurts in their diets in order to improve their digestive system as well as the digestive system of their baby. Nursing mothers should also maintain a healthy balanced diet.
- You could play relaxing songs to calm the baby down.
Check In With A Lactation Consultant
If youre a breastfeeding mom, this is so essential. There are so many anatomical issues that could be causing your baby grief! Unfortunately, most pediatricians arent trained to spot these conditions, so be sure you find an IBCLC-certified lactation consultant. Your baby could have a bad latch. She could be tongue-tied. He could be lip-tied. All of these issues could cause some major colic symptoms!
You also want to be sure baby is getting enough hindmilk, which is higher in fat, calms the stomach, helps with digestion, and promotes satiety. If your babys poop is greenish, frothy or mucuosy, this is usually a sign that hes getting too much foremilk, which can cause digestive distress. This often happens when a breastfeeding mom has an overactive letdown or is having oversupply issues, which is very common in the first few months after giving birth.
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Does Your Baby Have Colic
All babies have periods of crying and fussing. Its considered colic when the crying goes on for more than three hours a day for more than three days a week. The crying is often accompanied by burping and other signs of gas, which may be because the baby is swallowing air when they cry.
When parents come to her about a crying baby who isnt easily consoled, Dr. Bonita asks questions and examines the baby to rule out health problems. If the baby is eating well and growing, has no vomiting or diarrhea, and follows a pattern of extended crying in the evening it is probably colic.
Colic typically starts when babies are about 3 weeks old, with extended periods of crying in the evening, between 6 p.m. and midnight. The long crying spells usually end when the baby is about 3 months old, though some babies continue to have crying spells until they are 6 months old.
How To Help A Crying Baby
- Respond quickly if your baby is crying. This may mean that they will cry less later on.
- Crying babies tend to arch their backs and stiffen their legs. Holding them curled in a C position helps to calm them down.
- Check that your baby is not too hot or cold or uncomfortable in some way.
- Wrapping or swaddling in a cotton sheet can be calming.
- Many babies soothe themselves by sucking, so a dummy can be helpful, once your breast milk supply is going well.
- Patting can help soothe a baby.
- Soft lighting can also help some babies who may be distressed by harsh lights.
- Baby slings are great to provide comfort and contact if the baby needs to be held.
- Deep baths and gentle massage relax some babies, but they often dont help if your baby is already crying.
- Soft music or noise that has a beat or rhythm, such as a loud clock, may help.
- You may be trying too hard to calm the baby . Put your baby down somewhere safe for a while and see if they settle.
- Take the baby for a walk in a pram or a sling or for a ride in the car. You might find yourself going out for many rides in the car for a couple of weeks, but this will not last forever and many babies seem to find it helps them calm down. Dont drive if you are too stressed to drive safely.
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Coping With A Colicky Baby
Colic may be more harmful to worried and frustrated parents than it is to babies. A colicky baby cries for more than three hours a day more than three days a week.
As many as one in 20 babies have colic at some point during their early infancy. It’s important to remember, however, that no matter how hard it may be to cope with a constantly crying baby, colic is a harmless condition as long as a medical condition has been ruled out by your pediatrician.
Give Your Baby Some Quiet Time
Trying to cheer up your baby during colic episodes would not alleviate or soothe the discomforts. What your baby needs is some quiet time. You can treat your baby with some quiet time by taking him or her to a dark room and try to talk in whispers or soft tones.
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If You Suspect Overstimulation:
- Respond. Crying is a baby’s only way of communicating his needs. But it’s also his only way of wielding any control at all over a vast and bewildering new environment: He cries, you come running to his side powerful stuff when you’re otherwise completely powerless. In fact, studies show that responding promptly to your baby’s cries will reduce his crying in the long run.
- Excise excitement. Limit visitors and avoid exposing your baby to new experiences in stimulating environments, particularly in the late afternoon and early evening. Watch how your baby responds to certain stimuli and steer clear of any that seem to offend.
- Create calm. Trying to make your baby’s environment peaceful might help him relax. Dim the lights, speak or sing in soothing tones and keep other noise and distractions to a minimum.