Best Home Remedies for Colic in Babies
You bring your newborn home, and from that day onward, you marvel at your munchkin who simply feeds, sleeps, pees, poops, and cries on repeat. Then a few weeks or months later, on an unsuspecting day, he breaks out into continuous, ear-shattering cries, complete with an unhappy red face, clenched fists, and flailing legs.
No matter what you try, you can’t soothe your crying baby. It gets worse as these heart-breaking, stressful episodes are repeated for what seems like forever! It might be colic you’re dealing with.
What Is Colic?
Severe abdominal pain due to discomfort in the stomach and intestines can be colic. When a baby cries for about three hours a day, more than three days a week, for three successive weeks, it is said that the infant is suffering from colic. It’s really tough to calm a colicky baby.
Colic generally starts in infants between two weeks to four months of age, but there are cases where babies’ up to the age of 1 are prone to it too. When your baby cries due to colic, you may immediately get into panic mode, and as a parent, you no doubt feel helpless and look for methods to soothe your little one. Read on for some effective remedies that will help you relieve your colicky bub.
8 Home Remedies to Soothe a Colicky Baby
While there’s no sure-shot “cure” for colic, and it will eventually subside on its own, here are some remedies that will help soothe and console your colicky baby.
1. Provide a Soothing Environment
Soothing background music does wonders for a colicky baby. Hold your baby and make a ‘shssss’ sound to calm them. You can even play white noise – sounds of the sea waves, rainfall, and so on which have a calming effect on a fussy baby. Don’t forget to dim the lights while you’re at it!
Swaddling will help drastically reduce overstimulation. A swaddle creates the right amount of pressure and a cocoon-like environment for the baby, and it mimics the womb to help with overstimulation.
A swaddle restricts any frantic arm movements and can calm your baby. The swaddle adds gentle pressure on the baby’s tummy, thus easing colic and soothing their cries.
3. Gripe Water
Searching for the right gripe water can be incredibly frustrating for sleep-deprived parents eager to give their little ones relief from colic. Choose one that doesn’t contain alcohol! With Woodward’s Gripe Water which contains Sarjikakshara and Dill seed oil, you will be able to see noticeable relief in your baby’s colic, gas, and other gastrointestinal pains. You can give a little at a time to prevent gagging, and try giving it a few minutes before or after a feed or whenever your baby seems to be in distress.
4. The Airplane or Football Hold
This holding position is also popularly known as the “colic hold” or “colic carry.” Hold your infant tummy side down across your forearm with his head towards the palm end and his legs toward your chest. The mild pressure from your hand on his tummy will help soothe your colicky baby.
5. Slower and More Frequent Feedings
If your baby takes feeds too fast or too much at a time, it could lead to an increase in intestinal gas due to the breakdown of excessive lactose, whether it is breastmilk or formula. Feed your baby frequently and as much as he demands for the best results. Avoid over-feeding, as a baby’s stomach is approximately the size of its fist, and the tiny tummy may get tense. You can also administer Woodward’s Gripe Water to your baby before or after a feeding session if you notice a pattern of colic episodes. This will help your baby comfortably take their feed and digest it well.
6. Diligent Burping
This is one step you shouldn’t miss! Ensure you burp your baby after every feed. This helps release the trapped gas in your baby’s stomach, which could be the reason for discomfort that could lead to colic. Lay your baby high on your shoulder and gently pat the back. Due to this action, the stomach gets a gentle pressure, releasing the gas they may have swallowed while feeding. In severe cases of colic, you may be required to burp your baby even more frequently.
7. Baby Massage
Baby massage is also one of the many effective home remedies to release gas in the baby’s tummy, which can make them more uncomfortable. Gently bend your baby’s legs forwards towards their tummy and try doing the bicycle movement to exert gentle pressure on the belly. A good massage is a beautiful way to promote relaxation, bonding and relieving gas! Try massaging your baby’s belly in a clockwise, circular motion using your fingertips.
8. A Warm Bath
Nothing helps babies when they are uncomfortable due to gas and colic better than a warm relaxing bath. Baby bath chairs are at an incline which, when coupled with warm water, helps provide soothing relief each time your baby has a bath. Ensure that the water is lukewarm while you gently massage the soap onto your baby’s body, thus helping them relax.
There is no single magic pill to cure colic; you’ll need to understand that it’s just a phase that will pass with time. So, add Woodward’s Gripe Water to your arsenal of home remedies for colic, work your way through the list above, and listen closely to what your little one tells you as they react to different things! Over time, you’ll get an idea of what works best to tackle your baby’s colic episodes.