A colicky baby is typically described as a baby who is otherwise healthy and well-fed, but has periods of fussing, irritability, or crying lasting for a total of 3 hours a day and occurring on more than 3 days in any 1 week for a period of 3 weeks.
(It should be noted that most infants will normally cry for 2 to 3 hours per day, but this is usually spread out over a 24-hour period.)
Colic typically begins when a baby is about 2 to 3 weeks old and reaches its peak at 2 months. Usually at 3 months it will begin to subside and by 4 moths it is gone completely. This however, does not offer much comfort to tired parents while they are going through it.
What actually causes colic is still unknown, though not for lack of trying. Each baby is different and there is no definitive answer for every case.
Take heart however, because there are certain home remedies for colic that can work really well. Parents or caregivers will just need the patience to go through the trail and error process to find out which particular remedy can bring some relief to their particular child.
It is important to remember however that any baby who demonstrates colicky symptoms should be taken to their pediatrician for an official diagnosis to rule out any more serious causes of baby’s discomfort.
Possible Causes of Colic,
Again while there is no definitive answers as to what causes colic in every baby here are a few possible causes:
* The particular diet of a breastfeeding mother
* Overfeeding baby in an attempt to lesson crying
* Certain Formulas
* Foods with high sugar content
* Infant is swallowing air while feeding or crying which increases gas or bloating
* Presence of anxiety, fear, excitement or excessive anger in the home
Possible Symptoms of Colic,
* Fussing or crying usually occurs suddenly and often after a feeding
* Cry is loud and continuous and lasts anywhere from 1 to 4 hours
* Baby’s belly is prominent or distended
* Baby’s face gets red or flushed
* Baby’s hands are clenched
* Baby’s feet are cold
* Signs of gas discomfort
* Baby’s knees pulled to chest
* Flailing arms and legs
* Arched Back
* Hereditary – happens more often if either or both parents were colicky as infants
Home Remedies for Colic
* Try The Colic Carry
The Colic Carry is a certain way you can hold your little one that seems to bring some babies relief.
Extend your forearm with your palm up, then place the baby on your arm chest down. Keep his or her head in your hand and their legs on each side of your elbow. Support the baby with your other hand and walk around the house with them in this position.
* Burp Often
Some babies do simply have more abdominal gas than normal and need to be burped more often to expel it. Try different feeding positions and try burping baby more often – even as frequently as after every one ounce to see if this helps.
* Change the Nipples if Bottle Feeding
Some bottle nipples can cause baby to swallow more air causing them the discomfort. Try different bottle nipples to see if this is part of the problem.
* Change Formula
Ingredients in certain formulas might be what is causing the discomfort for your little one. Some formulas contain cow’s milk and other ingredients that babies cannot digest properly.
* Keep a Log
It can really be helpful to keep a log of exactly what your baby is eating and when as well as how long baby starts crying, stops crying and the time of day each occurs. Also, if mom is breastfeeding, include in your log everything she is eating during the day as well. It could very well that it is something in the breast milk that is causing discomfort.
* Change Mom’s Diet
As mentioned above if a mother is breastfeeding there might be something in her diet that the baby is not tolerating well. This could be especially true if mom drinks cow’s milk. Try cutting the milk out for a few days to see if this is the issue. Other foods you can try cutting out are: chocolate, citrus fruits, strawberries, bananas, spicy foods and caffeinated drinks. Many of these are common causes of digestion problems.
* Warm Their Tummy
Some babies get comfort from warmth on their bellies. You can try a warm water bottle or heating pad set on the lowest setting placed on top of baby’s tummy. Be sure however to put a towel between baby and bottle or pad so they do not get burned.
* Try the Vacuum
You might have heard this told as an old wive’s tale but many parents swear it really works. Something about the white noise of the vacuum cleaner or even a dishwasher seems to calm colicky babies. Try running the vacuum cleaner or the dishwasher with baby close by or get really creative and record the sound to play anywhere and anytime it is needed.
* Try the Dryer
Another mystery but another home remedy that works really well. Simply put the baby in an infant seat and rest it against a running clothes dryer. The baby will get the buzzing sound and the vibration through the seat. (Never leave a baby unattended by a dryer however.)
* Wrap or Swaddle
Wrapping or swaddling a colicky baby seems to soothe them as well. You can try purchasing a backpack for baby that will keep them safe, warm and moving around with you or try wrapping baby snuggly in a blanket.
* Purchase a Swing
Motion seems to work well for babies with colic, so you can try purchasing a swing that might calm baby down which will give you a little break at least.
* Try a Car Ride
You’ve probably heard about the circle “car rides” around the block that many parents swear by and for good reason. It really works! It seems to be a combination of the white noise with the vibration that helps to soothe baby.
* Try a Massage
Some babies seem to calm down with gentle massages. Make sure your hands are warm and soft and apply very gentle pressure to back, legs and tummy.
When to See a Doctor For Colic,
As mentioned above, any baby that demonstrates signs of colic should be seen by their pediatrician as soon as symptoms begin to rule out more serious causes of distress. Besides, who knows? Your doctor might have home remedies of their own that might work or even over the counter aids that might make baby more comfortable. Never, however, give your child any kind of medication without recommendation from a doctor first.
Be Sure to Visit Our Sister Sites
*While this site is dedicated to Home Remedies, there might be a rare occasion where you might need a little help from an outside source. The following are some other products or procedures that you can try if your situation is a little more severe and these home remedies aren’t quite doing the trick.