By Roshan Kaderali, RN, CNM, CLE.
Crying is a baby’s way of letting us know something is wrong. When the crying becomes excessive and lasts for longer than three hours a day, however, this may be a sign that you have a colicky baby on your hands. When dealing with a colic, mothers suffer just as much as their little ones; calming a seemingly inconsolable infant can be frustrating, and mothers will do anything to soothe symptoms, even if it means staying up all hours of the night. Whether you are new to motherhood or you are already a mother of four, it can be hard to know exactly what to do when colic strikes. Luckily, there are some easy solutions to help ease your baby’s pain and discomfort, and help bring bliss back into the home!
White noise: Sometimes, all it takes to soothe a colicky infant is a little bit of white noise. The most popular white noise used to relax a baby during colicky periods is the vacuum; however a white noise machine, a recorded heartbeat, the shower or other household appliances have also been effective.
Massage and swaddle: Some soothing contact can change a baby’s whole mood. Try massaging them gently, or wrapping them tightly in a blanket to provide a safe, relaxing environment similar to the snug feeling your baby was used to inside the womb. Likewise, holding the baby will provide a similar feeling, and if one position does not work, try shifting to another.
Ease a gassy tummy: Colicky babies tend to swallow air while crying, which can result in painful gassiness. Try a natural supplement, gripe water or antigas drops containing herbs such as ginger, dill or fennel, which settle the stomach and help relax cramping muscles, while also being safe for your baby.
Keep an eye on baby’s diet: Intolerance to certain foods or ingredients may upset your baby and cause tummy troubles as well. If you are breastfeeding, try switching out certain foods from your diet to see how your baby reacts. If your baby is on formula, it may be beneficial to switch to one with different ingredients – just be sure to talk to your baby’s doctor before making any significant dietary changes.
Roshan Kaderali is a Registered Nurse, Certified Nurse Midwife, Certified Lactation Educator and founder of Mommy’s Bliss. Working with an FDA-registered current good manufacturing practice laboratory, she developed the first all-natural gripe water for the American Market.