A colicky baby can strain even the healthiest relationship. Though it’s normal for infants to cry at least part of the day, a baby with colic will cry inconsolably for hours. The reasons for colic are largely unknown, but there are several potential treatments for colic. Experiment with colic treatments until you find the right one for your baby.
Holding your baby often can be comforting. She may enjoy constant movement and feeling close to you. A baby sling can help you go about your day while still holding your baby. White noise machines can also help some babies with colic. Massaging your baby, especially around the tummy area, where gas builds up, can also ease her crying.
When feeding your baby, try to keep him as upright as possible, which helps the milk get into the stomach. Burp your baby often — some babies are colicky when they have gas. In some cases, the problem may be with the formula that you are feeding him. Switching brands may make it better. If you are breastfeeding your baby, there may be something in your diet that’s disagreeing with your baby; dairy products and cabbage-family vegetables like cabbage, broccoli and cauliflower are common culprits. Eliminate these from your diet and see how your baby does.
Gripe water is a tincture of herbs like fenugreek and ginger, which are supposed to calm your baby’s stomach. Though generally considered safe, you should talk to your doctor before giving your baby anything other than formula or breast milk.
Finding the Right Treatment for Your Baby
The trouble with treatments for baby colic is that no one treatment has proven effective in all babies. The most important thing to do is try different methods to see what will work with your baby. For example, though some babies will do well through holding and comforting, others need their alone time and will do better if you simply place them in their crib or in a baby swing.
Treatment for Parents
Parents also have a hard time dealing with colic. Not getting enough sleep and constantly having to tend to an inconsolable baby can wear on your nerves. It’s important to get a break every now and then. Recruit friends and family members to watch the baby for an hour or two while you get out of the house. Additionally, when you’re reaching your breaking point, it’s OK to leave your baby alone in her crib for a few minutes while you calm down.