Colicky Baby? Survival Tips for Parents
Your baby has been crying inconsolably, youâ€™ve fed him, changed him and heâ€™s warm enough but not too warm, youâ€™ve driven around in the car with him but nothing will stop the crying, and you wonder: does my baby have colic?
All newborns have normal periods of fussiness and crying, but up to one in four cries more often and for longer periods, which can be very stressful for parents.
The official definition of colic: the baby has periods of crying and discomfort that last three hours a day, at least 3 times a week, not caused by any known medical condition.
You should see your family doctor if your baby has long periods of crying and you are concerned. If the diagnosis is colic, there are measures you can take to soothe the baby. Parents should remember: itâ€™s not your fault! Most babies outgrow colic by the time they are three months old. Itâ€™s important to take a break from baby when you feel frustrated and let someone else help out (remember never to shake your baby).
Tips for soothing baby:
â€¢ Carry baby in a cloth carrier or a baby sling, swaddle younger babies.
â€¢ Infant massage can help prevent and soothe colic
â€¢ Place a warm water bottle on your babyâ€™s stomach (not too hot).
â€¢ Motion sometimes helps; try going out with the stroller or for a car ride.
â€¢ White noise or vibration helps some babies
â€¢ Some babies are over stimulated by too much activity, light or noise
â€¢ Learn babyâ€™s cues for feeding and sleeping, and try to establish a routine. Consult a La Leche League volunteer for help with breastfeeding.
â€¢ Some foods may cause gas. Common culprits include dairy, wheat, coffee, and broccoli. Consult your doctor before making dietary changes.
If your family doctor has ruled out any other medical condition you can consider homeopathic treatment.
Cocyntal : A homeopathic preparation that includes 3 homeopathic remedies and is meant to cover a range of symptoms. If this doesnâ€™t work seek a remedy that has been tailored to your childâ€™s individual symptoms.
Colocynthis: A remedy for severe colic with doubling over, legs drawn up. Baby feels better with firm pressure on the tummy.
Dioscorea: The infant arches back and screams; has wind in abdomen, feels better for being held upright. The child does not like pressure on the abdomen.
Chamomilla: This baby is extremely irritable and fickle but feels better when carried. There is abdominal bloating and there may be a green diarrhea.
Lycopodium: Indicated for gassy, constipated babies who feel relief from having their tummy rubbed and donâ€™t like constrictive clothing around the waist. Their fussy time is 4-8 pm.
The remedies above are only a few examples; there are many others, and more details about your child are needed to make a proper selection. This article is not intended to replace medical advice, see your family doctor if your baby has persistent crying.