Colic is a common condition in infants characterized by excessive crying and fussiness. It affects around 20% of all babies and can be a source of frustration for parents. The good news is that there are several pediatrician-recommended tactics that can help ease colic symptoms.
Dealing with Colic in Newborns: Tips for Parents
What is the main cause of colic?
The exact cause of colic is still unknown, but some experts believe that it may be related to the immature digestive system of the baby, leading to abdominal discomfort and gas. Other possible factors include overstimulation, changes in routine, and difficulty adjusting to the world outside the womb.
Is colic painful for babies?
Colic can be very uncomfortable for babies, causing them to cry and fuss for hours on end. While colic is not painful in the traditional sense, it can cause discomfort and distress for the baby, as well as stress and frustration for the parents.
What are signs of colic?
The signs of colic include excessive crying, fussiness, and gas pains. Colic usually begins when the baby is a few weeks old and reaches its peak at about 6 to 8 weeks of age. The crying typically lasts for at least three hours a day, three days a week, for three weeks or more.
How does baby colic go away?
Colic usually goes away on its own by the time the baby is three to four months old. However, there are steps that parents can take to help relieve the symptoms of colic and make the experience easier for both the baby and themselves.
What is the best thing to give a baby with colic?
There is no one-size-fits-all answer to this question, as every baby is different. However, some of the most commonly recommended remedies for colic include:
- Swaddling the baby
- Holding and rocking the baby
- Massaging the baby's tummy
- Using a baby carrier
- Giving the baby a warm bath
- Playing soothing music or white noise
- Offering a pacifier
If these remedies do not work, you may want to try over-the-counter gas drops or ask your pediatrician about a possible lactase deficiency or food allergy.
How do you get a colic baby to sleep?
Getting a colic baby to sleep can be a challenge, but there are several tips that can help:
Establish a bedtime routine: Create a calming and consistent bedtime routine that includes a warm bath, gentle massage, and swaddling.
- Use Babies’ Magic Tea is a simple solution for babies and newborns with typical digestive problems. Unlike all other colic treatments, Babies' Magic Tea has No sugar, No Alcohol, No artificial colors or flavors, No gluten, No dairy, No soy, No chemicals,
Hold and rock the baby: Physical contact, such as holding and rocking the baby, can be comforting and help soothe a colicky baby.
Soothing sounds or white noise: Background noise, such as white noise or soft music, can help mask other sounds that may be waking up the baby.
Try different positions: Experiment with different holding positions, such as placing the baby on their belly or over your shoulder, to see if it helps them fall asleep.
Offer a pacifier: Some babies find comfort in sucking, so offering a pacifier may help calm a colicky baby and encourage them to sleep.
- Give it time: Colic can be a temporary issue that resolves on its own over time. Try to be patient and keep offering comfort and support to your baby.
Maintaining a Routine
Keeping a routine for your baby is one of the most effective ways to help reduce colic symptoms. A consistent schedule for feeding, sleeping, and playtime can provide structure and stability to your baby's day, helping them feel more relaxed and calm.
Here are a few tips for maintaining a routine with your baby:
- Establish a consistent bedtime routine: Having a regular bedtime routine, such as a warm bath, a gentle massage, and a lullaby, can help your baby wind down and get ready for sleep.
- Keep feeding times consistent: Try to feed your baby at the same times each day to help regulate their digestive system and reduce colic symptoms.
- Set aside time for play: Set aside time each day for play and interaction with your baby to help stimulate their development and provide a positive distraction from colic symptoms.
- Pay attention to your baby's cues: Observe your baby's behavior to determine when they are hungry, tired, or need a change of pace. Responding promptly to their cues can help prevent colic symptoms from escalating.
It's important to be flexible and adjust your routine as needed. For example, if your baby is particularly fussy one day, try giving them an extra feeding or holding them for an extra long time. Additionally, try to stick to the routine as much as possible, even when you're away from home or traveling, to provide a sense of stability for your baby.
Maintaining a consistent routine can be especially helpful for colic, as it can help soothe your baby and reduce the symptoms. It can also provide structure and stability to your baby's day, making it easier for you to manage and care for them.
Holding and Comforting Your Baby
Holding and comforting your baby is one of the most important ways to help soothe colic symptoms. Swaddling, rocking, or holding your baby close can provide a sense of security and comfort, helping to calm and relax them.
Here are a few tips for holding and comforting your baby:
- Swaddle your baby: Swaddling your baby in a soft, warm blanket can help them feel secure and calm, much like they did when they were in the womb.
- Rock your baby: Rocking your baby back and forth in your arms can help soothe their colic symptoms and calm them down.
- Hold your baby close: Holding your baby close to your chest, with their head against your heart, can help provide a sense of security and comfort. This position is also known to soothe colic symptoms in babies.
Using a Baby Carrier to Soothe Colic Symptoms
Using a baby carrier to hold your baby close to your body can be a convenient way to soothe colic symptoms while on the go. It's important to be mindful of your baby's cues and to adjust your holding and comforting techniques as needed. For example, if your baby seems uncomfortable or agitated, try switching to a different position or technique. Additionally, try to keep your holding and comforting techniques consistent, as this can provide a sense of stability and comfort for your baby.
Holding and comforting your baby is an important way to help soothe colic symptoms and provide them with a sense of security and comfort. With a little patience and creativity, you can find the perfect holding and comforting techniques to help your baby feel calm and relaxed.
Changing up your baby's feeding position
Changing up your baby's feeding position can be a simple and effective way to help reduce colic symptoms. Experimenting with different positions can help you find the one that works best for your baby and provides the most comfort.
Feeding Positions to Try
- Cradle hold: Hold your baby in your arms with their head cradled in the crook of your elbow. This position is great for younger babies and provides support for their head and neck.
- Football hold: Hold your baby under your arm, with their legs pointing towards your elbow. This position is great for colic, as it helps to relieve gas and reduces pressure on the stomach.
- Side-lying position: Lie down on your side with your baby facing you, their head resting on your chest. This position is great for nighttime feedings and can be more comfortable for both you and your baby.
- Upright position: Hold your baby upright, with their head supported, during feeding. This position helps to reduce the amount of air that they swallow and can be helpful in reducing colic symptoms.