Colic in babies is characterised by prolonged periods of crying. Usually, if a baby cries for more than three hours at a stretch, for three days a week, chances are your baby has colic. Babies suffering from colic also tend to arch up their backs and draw back their knees while crying. Their abdominal muscles are usually tense, and the baby might pass an excess of wind.
Colic usually starts when a baby is a 2-3 week old and goes away by the time the baby is 4- 6 months. The exact causes of colic are not known, but it might be caused due to gas or indigestion. Many also wonder if some babies might be intolerant toward substances in mother’s milk.
25 Effective Natural Remedies to Treat Colic in Infants
Below are some of the home remedies that you can use:
1. Warm Bath
Giving your baby a warm bath is a natural remedy for colic in babies, that has been adopted since ages. Give your baby a warm bath so that they can relieve some tension and it also distracts them from the pain if any.
- Fill the bathtub with some warm water.
- While your baby lies in the bath gently massage the abdomen to help relieve any gas.
2. Warm Compress
A warm compress provides some relief from trapped gas and provides a soothing effect.
- Dip a towel in warm water and squeeze out the excess water.
- Place the cloth on baby’s tummy; you can also gently rub on the tummy.
3. Oil Massage
Massages are extremely soothing for your baby and also aid in proper digestion.
- Olive oil or coconut oil can be rubbed between your palms to warm it up.
- Massage baby’s entire body with this oil and rub it on the tummy in clockwise movements.
4. Knee Pushing Exercise
This simple exercise can help relieve gas in the baby.
- Place the baby on his back.
- Hold the baby’s knees together and gently push the legs back towards the tummy.
- Hold the legs this way for a few seconds.
- You can do this exercise even while massaging the baby.
- Do not persist if the baby offers a lot of resistance.
5. Burp Your Baby
Burping your baby after feeding them is very important. It helps to relieve gas and also prevents air pockets from forming in the stomach.
- After you feed the baby, lay him against your shoulder.
- Support his neck and shoulders carefully.
- Gently rub or pat on his back till you hear a burp sound.
- Do this after each feeding.
Asafoetida has anti-flatulence properties, aids digestion and relieves gas. It is an Indian home remedy for colic in infants.
- Take a pinch of asafoetida add to one teaspoon of water and warm it up.
- Now rub this warm mixture around the baby’s navel.
- For babies who have started solid foods, mix some asafoetida in their water or food.
7. Longer Feeding on Each Breast
Ensure that your baby feeds longer on each breast rather than alternating between each breast. The hindmilk that comes out after the baby has sucked on a breast for a while is more nutritious than the foremilk that comes out at the beginning. Hindmilk contains more fat, this promotes digestion and soothes the stomach. Too much foremilk can cause digestive distress.
8. Create Closeness
This technique actually helps your baby to transition from a dark, warm womb to the clear, open world. Always try to maintain bodily contact with your baby by babywearing. Carry them around in a baby carrier, baby sling or baby wrap. This ensures that the baby maintains constant contact with you and is, therefore, less likely to cry. You can also swaddle the baby when putting him to sleep. This ensures that the baby sleeps longer.
9. Let Baby Suck
Sucking on fingers is a natural reflex that babies develop to soothe themselves. Therefore let them suck on pacifiers during colic can help distract them. Or if your baby likes to comfort nurse let them do that.
10. Create Movement
Rocking the baby in your arms or in a rocking chair, moving around the house with the baby in a sling, all these activities create a movement for the baby. These movements can calm and soothe an upset baby.
11. Sounds to Calm Baby
Soothing repetitive sounds can distract a baby and hence relieve tension. Therefore playing soothing sounds of water, hair dryers or vacuum is a good idea. Check to see which of these sounds works for your baby.
Basil leaves contain eugenol which has antispasmodic and sedative properties. Therefore basil can help deal with gastrointestinal problems.
- Take a few basil leaves and add it to water.
- Bring it to a boil and cool it down.
- Give your baby a few teaspoons to drink.
- Alternatively, make a paste of the leaves and apply around the navel, keep it on till it dries and then remove with water and a cloth.
Fennel has amazing properties in dealing with gas and many other gastronomic problems.
- Add a teaspoon of fennel seeds to a cup of hot water.
- Let it sit for 10 minutes and then strain.
- Give a few teaspoons of this water to your baby.
14. Chamomile Tea
Chamomile has antispasmodic and sedative properties. Therefore some chamomile tea can make your crying, colicky baby go to sleep.
- Take some dried chamomile flowers and put them in a cup of hot water.
- Let it rest for 10 minutes and then strain.
- After it has sufficiently cooled down give a few teaspoons of this drink to your baby.
Colic can be caused by trapped gas, sluggish digestive track and acid reflux. A particular strain of probiotics called Lactobacillus reuteri has been found to be effective in dealing with colic. It helps reduce gut inflammation, kills bacteria and inhibits E. coli bacteria that is present more in babies with colic than in babies without colic. Seek a doctor’s advice in deciding the probiotic to be given to your baby.
Peppermint has calming and antispasmodic properties.
- Add a drop of the oil in a teaspoon of baby massage oil and rub it between your palms to warm it up.
- Now gently massage the baby’s tummy with the oil.
17. Watch Your Diet
What the mother eats is passed on to the baby during breastfeeding. Therefore it is important to regulate your diet suitably. Dairy, gluten, citrus fruits, caffeine and spicy foods should be avoided if you baby has colic.
18. Quiet Time
Don’t make the mistake of trying to soothe a baby by talking to them loudly or singing in a loud voice. Chances are the baby will only cry more. Always try to create an environment that is calm and quiet.
19. Orange Blossom Water
The Orange blossom water has been used in the middle east for years to calm a colicky baby. Give a few teaspoons of this water to your baby to relieve gas.
20. Change the Feeding Bottle
Well, you got to wing it this time. Changing the feeding bottle can help in soothing the baby. Also, the amount of air that enters the baby through the feeding bottle can change, this can also affect the gas in the baby’s body.
21. Grippe Water
100% natural gripe water has been effective in treating colic. The water is usually a blend of chamomile, fennel, ginger and lemon balm. While buying the water make sure it is completely natural and does not contain any preservatives. Also, ask your doctor for recommendations.
22. Change the Formula
If your baby is feeding on formula, he might be reacting to something in the formula. Hence changing the formula might help. Also, try out homemade formulas that are rich in bioavailable nutrients and are easier to digest.
23. Apple Cider Vinegar
Apple cider helps to reduce heartburn and fights yeast infections, Therefore trying out apple cider might solve your baby’s colic.
- Apply about a teaspoonful of apple cider vinegar in a cup of warm water.
- Feed the baby a few teaspoons of the drink.
24. Mint Tea
Mint provides relief from intestinal cramping.
- Add a teaspoon of mint into a cup of hot water.
- Let it sit for 10 minutes, then strain.
- Feed a few teaspoons of this tea to your baby.
25. Get Help
Colic is a condition that does not have any specific cause or treatment, in spite of your best efforts the baby might still be cranky. Try to not let this put you down. Take the help of your partner or someone else to help you deal with the baby.
Colic is not a condition that needs to cause any sort of worry in the parents. The constant crying can be hard to deal with, but it rarely lasts longer than the initial six months. If you feel that the situation is out of control always seek your doctor’s advice.
Also Rad: Home Remedies for Constipation in Babies