When you become a parent, it can come as a surprise that “mind reader” is part of the job description. When your baby’s fussiness can’t be connected to hunger, a dirty diaper, or being overtired, it’s most likely gas or colic. Which one? And what to do? Here’s your fussy-baby cheat sheet.
Is it colic?
Babies with colic have regular fussy periods, usually between 6:00 p.m. and midnight. What makes colic, colic, is that it’s exceedingly tough to calm your baby and the crying lasts and lasts. At its peak, crying can go on for three grueling hours. Yikes. You can help by doing this:
Wear your baby. The gentle bump-bump-bump of being walked while nestled in a baby carrier can be a great soother. The combo of close contact and motion does the trick.
Swaddle up. A safe, tight swaddle is comforting for newborns because it reminds them of the close quarters of the womb.
Try an old-school approach. Parents have been using gripe water for colic since the way-way back of the 1800s. While the formulas of yesteryear featured alcohol (oops!), today’s are a mix of sodium bicarbonate (AKA baking soda) and baby-safe herbs like ginger and fennel, historically known to help soothe a sensitive stomach. Mommy’s Bliss Gripe Water is free of alcohol, added sugar, and artificial flavors and colors. And our ginger and fennel are organic. Ahem.
Is it gas?
Babies are full of toots and burps, thanks to a still-developing digestive system and a habit of gulping air while feeding and crying. If you notice your baby is squirming and pulling their legs up, she’s probably trying to relieve gas pains. You can help by doing this:
Mimic baby’s moves. Help your baby pump their own gas out by laying them flat on their back and moving their legs in a bicycling motion.
Try gas drops. Ask your pediatrician about gas drops containing simethicone, a baby-safe medication that breaks down gas bubbles, making them easier to pass. Look for a gentle formula, like Mommy’s Bliss Gas Relief Drops, which is 100% free of sugar, alcohol, and artificial flavors or colors.
Feed differently. Tilt your baby’s bottle at an angle so the entire nipple is filled with milk —not air bubbles — and be sure their little head is higher than their stomach. Using powdered formula? Let bubbles settle post-shake before feeding.
This site is intended for informational purposes only and does not provide medical advice. Please consult your physician or other health-care professional.