If your baby is crying for more than 3 hours a day and that too for more than three days a week, then your child could be suffering from colic. Nothing else, but the cries of your baby will bring you in a panic mode. You will try every best possible way to calm your infant. Colic can generally be seen in infants aged between two weeks to four months but babies up to 1 year of age may also get prone to it. Although, it does not results in long-term problems and often disappear on its own but causes pain in the gastrointestinal tract of colicky babies. The cause of colic is still unknown, but it may be due to improper feeding, allergies, weak digestion, and unhealthy eating habits of nursing mothers. The symptoms of colic are inconsolable episodes of crying, legs pulled up to the stomach (while crying), a swollen belly, clenched hands, a wrinkled brow, abdominal pain, and high-pitched cry. It does not require medication or any specific treatment to get rid of colic. You can try these simple and effective home remedies to bring your infant back to a happy state.
Give a massage to your baby with gentle movements in a clockwise direction. Pour a mild baby lotion or baby oil on your hands and slowly glide around the tummy area. It will be a soothing experience for your baby and help relax his/her muscles. Do this every day. Make sure your hands are warm enough to give massage to your little one.
- Moreover, there are a few more anti-colic massage techniques like bicycling, ‘I Love U’, Scooping the sand, and ‘Tiger in the tree. Try these to lessen the discomfort of your baby.
- Besides, massage the earlobes softly; it will lower the pitch of baby’s cry. It works as an instant remedy to soothe his/her problem.
Note: Consider taking a baby massage class before you start performing any technique.
2. Sing to Your Baby
Music can be a soothing remedy for a colicky baby. Sing lullaby to your baby or any of your favorite song or any rhymes your grandmother used to hum. It will surely do wonders and instantly calm your baby.
- Or else, you can also play any recorded music to relax your crying baby.
3. Gentle Rocking
To calm down your baby, let her/him sit in a rocking chair with the pillows around. In case, your baby is too small to sit alone then sit with him.
- Try an infant swing if you don’t have a rocking chair.
Note: Don’t use swing if your baby is less than three weeks old.
4. Try Colic Carries
If holding a baby in cradle position (feeding) does not ease his discomfort, then change in the position. It surely works for your restless baby. You can try the football hold, colic curl or the neck nestle position to lessen his pain.
5. Take Your Baby for a Ride
Most of the parents take their baby for a ride, and it really works well. The reason is that the movement and sound of the car relaxes your baby and makes him sleep for a while.
- You can also take him for a stroller ride in a park or around your house.
6. Swaddle Wrap
Wrap your baby in a soft and clean blanket. This trick will ease the baby, stopping him/her from crying. It will also prevent primitive survival reflexes that lead to jerky movements which may upset his/her tummy.
7. Warm Water Bath
A lukewarm water bath will relax your crying baby. To enhance its effects, add essential oils like lavender or chamomile in the bath water (only if your baby is older than 3 months).
- Or else, take a cloth and put it in warm water for a few seconds. Squeeze the excess water and gently place it on the tummy of your baby. This trick will treat the gastric trouble, if any.
Give your child a medicated pacifier. Let s/he suck it. It helps relax the upset stomach and normalizes the heartbeat. Thus, reduce the frequent colic.
9. Anti-Colic Bottle
If your child is bottle-fed, you can try anti-colic bottles. These are specially designed bottles that have an internal vent. It is supposed to eliminate the vacuum and air bubbles in a milk feed. Thus, helps reduce burping and indigestion.
10. Soothing Sound
Create some sound using a vacuum cleaner, hair dryer, machine, etc. A ticking clock and fan also works. The noise not only distracts the baby from his/her discomfort but also provides mental relief. The child will instantly stop crying.
- Or else, hold your baby next to the sink or running tap so that he can hear the sound of the cascading water. The sound will calm him down, and the baby will stop crying.
Studies show that motion helps reduce the child crying. Push your baby in their pram or let him/her climb the stairs. Holding your kid on the shoulder while taking a walk also works.
12. Mirror Magic
When your baby is crying continuously, just take him/her in front of a mirror. The technique will do wonders to relax a colicky baby.
Babywearing is a one-stop solution for a colicky baby. It lessens the severity of colic and also gives parents a great relief. Some researchers say that colicky babies want more attention, contact, snuggling, and holding. So, if your baby is crying a lot; try this technique.
14. Frequent Breastfeeding
It is difficult for your baby to fall asleep when s/he is hungry. This results in non-stop crying. Babies under 12 weeks old fall asleep while being fed. Hence, try to feed them a number of times in a day. Also, it regulates their digestive cycle.
15. Knee Exercise
Try some gentle exercises to ease your baby and help him aid digestion. First of all, lay down your baby on his back on a soft couch. Slowly and gently bend the knees of your baby towards the tummy and bring them back after few seconds. Repeat this several times. This will surely make him/her feel relaxed.
Home Remedies for Treating Colic in Adult Babies
If your baby is more than six months old, you can try these colic remedies too:
The eugenol content in basil is packed with antispasmodic properties that soothe pain and give relief. Boil a cup of water and add a tsp of dried basil leaves. Cover it with a lid and let it steep for 15 minutes. Strain it and fill the decoction in a bottle. Give it to your baby until the problem resolves. A breastfeeding mother can also have it.
Note: Make sure the solution is not too hot.
Take one tsp of dried mint leaves, add it in a cup, and pour hot water into it. Stir well and cover the container for 10 minutes. Strain it and feed it to your baby when it cools down.
18. Chamomile Tea
Take a tsp of chamomile flowers and add a cup of hot water. Cover and let it steep. Allow it to cool and strain it into a bowl. Now, soak a clean cloth in it, squeeze the excess water, and place it on the abdominal area of your infant. Press gently and repeat it for a few minutes.
- Or else, give chamomile flowers tea to your infant twice a day.
19. Olive Oil
Heat olive oil for a few seconds. Rub it gently on your baby’s tummy. It will give relief in pain and any uneasiness s/he might be feeling.
20. Gripe Water
Gripe water is a liquid supplement of certain herbs such as fennel, ginger, licorice, cardamom, etc. It is sweet in taste and is used to prevent hiccups, flatulence, and colic.
Note: Before purchasing any gripe water, check the list of ingredients as your child might be allergic to it.
Asafoetida is an excellent remedy for treating digestive problems. Take a dash of powdered asafoetida and one tbsp of water in a small bowl. Simmer it for a couple of minutes. Let it cool down a little. Dip a clean cloth in it and gently rub it around the naval of your baby. This will provide instant relief. Do this twice a day.
22. Cumin Seeds
Cumin tea is also an effective remedy for a colicky baby. It is suitable for the mother as well as her baby and relieves them from gastric trouble. Just steep a tsp of cumin seeds in a cup of water overnight. Strain the solution in the morning. Give a tsp to your baby thrice a day. The mother can consume upto 1 cup of the tea, three times a day.
23. Carom Seeds
Carom seeds provide relief from stomach ache. Prepare a mixture by adding one tbsp of carom seeds in one cup of water. Soak these overnight and strain it another day. Give one tbsp of this to your baby when s/he cries.
24. Bay Leaves
Bay leaves tea is another effective remedy for a colicky baby. To prepare a tea, just take a medium sized bay leaf and add one cup of water to it. Put this in a pan and boil the mixture. When the water turns a little green, then turn off the flame and let it cool down. Give one to two tsp according to the age of your baby, but not more than two times a day.
- Alternatively, you can also add some peppermint leaves in the above decoction (while boiling). Give in a similar way as above.
Note: Do consult a doctor before giving this tea.
25. Fennel Tea
Fennel tea is a wonderful remedy for a colicky baby. This can be consumed by mother and the baby both. Boil a cup of water and add 1 tbsp of fennel seeds (crushed). Let it steep for some time. Once it cools down, give ½ tsp of this tea to your baby, three times a day. Mothers can drink one cup of this, twice a day.
Cardamom is another effective natural ingredient which provides relief in stomach cramping, bloating, and colic. It is suitable for infants also. To prepare an infusion, just add 1 tsp of cardamom powder to a cup of boiling water and steep for some minutes. Let it cool down. A breastfeeding mother can have this decoction (1 to 2 tsp) twice a day in between the meals.
Important Note: Be extremely cautious while giving any treatment to your little one. Do check with a health care practitioner before trying any of the above remedies.
- If your baby is crying then, it’s perfectly okay. Don’t panic.
- Exercise regularly.
- Take nap. It will boost your stamina and enhance the milk supply.
- Have a healthy diet to keep yourself energetic.
- Always burp your baby during and after feedings.
- Keep a cool head as your frustration may further annoy the baby.
- Consumption of chocolates, dairy products, caffeine, peanuts, and citrus by breastfeeding mothers may affect gastrointestinal tract of the baby. Hence, limit their intake.
- Increase your fiber intake.
- Use soy products for a couple of weeks.
- Never skip your breakfast.
- Do not overfeed your infant.
- Don’t consume alcohol.
- Quit smoking. Smoking increases the risk of colic, hence, if anyone in your house smokes ask them to do it away from your child.