The 10 Best Solutions for a Colicky Baby – As Told by Parents Who Have Survived It
Colic is not just overwhelming for the baby; it’s highly stressful for parents too. Especially at the end of a long day, when colic episodes hit, and your baby won’t stop crying, that’s a whole new level of stress and helplessness. It’s times such as these when you might second-guess all the care you’re giving your baby, wondering if you are doing the best you can and if the crying is caused by an underlying issue. It’s important to remember at this moment that you are doing your very best and that colic is absolutely normal, albeit worrisome at the moment.
Luckily, there are ways and remedies many parents swear by that can calm the fussiest of babies and get you past that incessant howling that breaks your heart and troubles your tired mind.
Solutions and Tricks to Soothe Your Colicky Baby
Let’s dive into some popular and tested methods many parents use to give their baby relief from colic.
1. Swaddle Your Baby
Since babies have spent considerable time in their mother’s uterus, they positively react when swaddled. “Swaddling my baby in a warm blanket, arms snuggled down against her sides, works amazingly in soothing her during a colic episode, as it mimics the snug environment she was used to inside me”, Mona Jaisingh says about her little one.
2. Make Shushing Sounds
Static sounds like ‘shhh’ and ‘zzz’ are very comforting to babies. Why? Because these sounds are similar to the whooshing sounds babies used to hear when they were in their mother’s womb. When you play these sounds or hum them, the baby subsequently calms down.
“For Ishaan, white noise apps and devices have proven efficient in calming him down and lulling him to sleep”, says Ameya Khanolkar, parent of a 7-month-old baby boy. “Make sure the sounds you play are louder than your little champ’s cries; otherwise, they won’t hear it”, he adds.
“Holding our baby close to our chest and gently rocking them has worked for us,” says Ashadeep Kinagi, a housewife. Babies, when in the womb, were rocked for 24 hours, so if you think that being extra close to you or rocking would smother or spoil them, that’s not the case. Instead, it will provide them with security and comfort. “Fresh air and fresh surroundings are also helpful in calming the baby. You can take your baby to a balcony for a short stroll to shift their focus from crying to observing what’s happening around them”, says Ashadeep.
4. Gripe Water
Gas, bloated tummies, and acid reflux make babies cranky and irritated. And, when they cry, they end up ingesting more air. “Most of the time, if a baby is crying in a fussy way, it could be due to colic,” quotes Shraddha Mishra, a millennial mom and blogger. “People often blame the mom for it. Like, you must have eaten something which went into the milk and made it heavy for the child. This is not completely true. It could be due to any reason. Anti-gas solutions help in temporary relief.”
If you notice your baby struggling to pass gas or making gruntling sounds, you can give them gripe water. Its anti-flatulent properties provide instant relief from gas-related issues, acidity, and stomach pain. The instant effect of Woodwards Gripe Water is because of its Ayurvedic formulation that includes Sarjikakshara and Dill seed oil which have cooling and soothing properties.
5. Check Your Diet
You don’t need to change your current diet completely, but you can experiment by eliminating dairy or gas/allergy-inducing items from your diet for a week or so to check if they improve your little one’s cries. Vegetables like cabbage and cauliflower and dairy items like cheese and cow milk are known to cause gassiness in breastfeeding mothers. Vijaya Swamy, a housewife from Delhi, saw a change in her baby’s attitude when she excluded spicy food and beans from her breastfeeding diet.
6. A Good Massage Is Always Soothing
Loving massage strokes never fail. Gently rub your baby’s belly, back, legs, and arms to relax them. A good massage also releases trapped gas from the stomach. You can refer to guided expert videos for the correct technique or get a professional baby masseuse (maalishwali) to come home periodically.
7. Burp Your Baby Well
“Babies should be burped very well after their every feed, at least 10 minutes,” suggests Shraddha Nair. Place your baby tummy down with their belly resting on your arm and gently rub their back to release the pressure in their stomach.
8. Develop a Sleeping Routine
Colicky babies are not sound sleepers but need enough sleep so they don’t get into the vicious cycle of exhaustion and crying. Give your little one a calm space, away from loud noises and distractions. Create a dedicated sleeping routine by dimming the room’s lights, feeding and then putting them to sleep. Do not engage with them, but you can sing soft lullabies to help them drift to sleep.
9. Use a Pacifier
Sucking is one of the first reflexes a baby is born with, and it is greatly comforting to them. Try giving your munchkin a pacifier to soothe them while they are colicky. While a pacifier may bring instant relief to some babies, it may not always work for every baby, but it’s worth trying.
10. No Shame in Taking Help
Yes, there is no shame in sharing the care of your baby when you are exhausted or very new to taking care of your baby. You can a trusted family member to help calm the baby down while you catch a break. “What also helps sometimes is the baby’s attachment towards other people. It’s not just the mother a baby is always comfortable with; it can be a grandmother or an uncle, too. Many times, when we are not able to soothe our baby, my mother (the baby’s grandmother) would use her soothing touch and shushing sounds to give our little one some relief.”, Uma Krishnan from Chennai proudly says.
Like we said before, colic is a ‘phase’, and your baby will outgrow it. However, for the time it does last, you can try the above solutions. Remember, if one method didn’t work doesn’t mean nothing will work. As long as you are attending to those cries, you are doing a great job. And, if still, nothing helps, consulting a doctor is recommended. Don’t worry, you’ve got this!