It’s tough to see a baby cry. And that’s why colic is so painful for parents. It can be frustrating – not to mention emotional – to have an inconsolable baby who cries excessively.
Doctors tend to diagnose colic if a baby cries for over 3 hours at a time a few times per week. The condition is quite common. One out of every 4-5 babies suffer from this condition, starting at 2 weeks and disappearing at between 6 and 9 months.
Most studies attribute colic to abdominal pain. Whether it is from an immature digestive system, food allergies or swallowing air, the remedies you can use to try soothing your baby are the same.
What can you do to provide some relief?
Change your diet
If you are breastfeeding, you might be able to provide some relief by eliminating gassy foods from your diet like beans and cabbage.
If your baby is bottle fed, try changing the formula with one that does not have iron in it.
Burp the baby after every two ounces consumed.
Calming your baby provides comfort and soothes your baby naturally:
- Swaddle your baby in a light blanket and rock. The light constriction and motion is comforting.
- Insert a pacifier to elicit sucking
- Massage your baby’s back while the baby is sitting to eliminate gas bubbles
- Change your infant’s position so that the baby is straddling your forearm, head down with hand support
- Create background noise with nature CDs, classical music, exhaust fans, or ticking clocks. Singing lullabies are calming.
Certain herbs have proven medicinal qualities that can soothe your little one’s tummy. You should talk to your baby’s doctor and let them know that you are planning to give them herbal teas. They need to know what your baby is eating in order to help your baby, too.
- Peppermint tea has carminative oil, which lessens stomach and intestinal gas. Peppermint works to decrease bowel inflammation and diminish gas formation
- Dill can be used to make a tea, which is commonly used as a remedy for colic.
- Chamomile tea has been used for centuries to calm babies with colic. No adverse reactions have been seen from using this.
- Lemon Balm, which is a member of the mint family, has been used for centuries to successfully sooth the stomach and intestines by relieving bloat and gas.
- Fennel tea can be made from crushing 1 teaspoon of fennel seeds and adding to a cup of hot water; cover and steep for 10 minutes. Cool, strain and administer one teaspoon of this tea to the baby. The University of Maryland Medical Center recommends giving 1 tsp. of fennel tea before and after feedings.
*Consult with the pediatrician prior to giving fennel tea as it increases the incidence of seizures in epileptics.