The tips below are all suggestions that have been effective in some babies. Unfortunately not every one works for every baby. You will need to give them all a try and see which offers the greatest relief for your baby. Try each one for 5-10 minutes before switching to the next if you see no improvement. It may take that length of time for your baby to respond to the calming technique.
Holding and Carrying Techniques
- Carry your baby in a baby carrier or wrap. The baby will like to feel close to you and the warmth, on their tummy, from you may help to ease symptoms. This will also free up your arms to get other chores done, or do activities with older children.
- The Colic hold: Holding your baby over your forearm, so that its legs, near your elbow, and arms near your wrist, hang on either side of your arm, their tummy rests on your arm, and head in the palm of your hand. This can provide some relief, as it places pressure on the stomach region and may help the baby to pass winds. You can even put the warm pack between your arm and their tummy for added relief.
- Another useful hold is placing your baby on your chest, with her head under your chin, and then leaning back. That way the baby experiences a similar pressure on her tummy which can provide relief.
- Ensure that you are holding your baby properly while feeding, to prevent air from becoming trapped. Consult with a Lactation consultant who will be able to help you with the best feeding techniques.
- Swaddle your baby to keep him feeling comfortable and secure. You can buy specific swaddling blankets which make the wrapping much easier. By swaddling your baby you will help to calm him down from over stimulation, and to prevent him from being woken by his own startle reflex. Remember your baby has spent 9 months in a very warm and confined space. By mimicking the womb, you could provide comfort to your baby. If you are unsure, please see the section on “How to Swaddle your baby”.
- Using swings or rockers, that provide gentle motion, can help to calm your baby. Always ensure that your baby is securely fastened into the chair. Never leave your baby unattended in these devices.
- Baby Massage can help to calm babies. The touch and deep pressure of the massage can be comforting to some babies. You should however be directed by your baby’s response to the massage.
- Calming music may also help to calm your baby. Many CD’s are available to help soothe and calm your baby. These can even be played while your baby is sleeping to block out all the other household noises which may startle your baby.
- A dummy may provide comfort to a Colic baby. Discuss this option with your Health Care Practitioner.
- Try a change of scenery or distraction. Crying never seems as loud outside!
Natural remedies and Treatments
- Natural remedies can be very effective in treating the Colic, by easing the baby’s discomfort and calming them.
- Gripe Water can be useful in helping your baby to pass winds and ease their discomfort. This is a treatment used for decades and will probably be recommended by your grandmother!
- Probiotics have been found to help strengthen your baby’s digestive system, thereby improving Colic. See more information about this option in the section “Probiotics and Colic”.
What to avoid
- Avoid cigarette smoke around your baby. Smoking during pregnancy and exposure to cigarette smoke can cause Colic. Not only does it cause Colic, but it is not advisable for the health of your baby.
- A lactose intolerance, or allergy to a protein found in Cow’s milk, can cause symptoms very similar to those of Colic. So it is important for you to consult with your Health Care Practitioner in terms of determining the cause of your baby’s crying. If it is a lactose intolerance, or allergy,then your doctor could advise you to take one or all of the following steps:
- Change your baby’s formula onto a Soya, Lactose free or Hypoallergenic formula.
- If you are breast feeding, he may suggest you go onto an elimination diet whereby you eliminate all dairy from your diet for a period of at least 2 weeks, and see if it helps your baby’s symptoms. Other common food allergens are often eliminated at the same time to see if they could be the cause.
- See the section on Food Allergies and Intolerances for more information.
- Try a product that contains lactase enzymes, which help in the digestion of lactose, the sugar found in milk. This may help to alleviate the discomfort your baby is experiencing.
If you need to embark on a restrictive diet, it is advisable that you seek the advice of a Dietician or Nutritionist, who will help you to design an appropriate diet that will ensure you are getting the right nutrients to optimise your breast milk quality.