7 Tricks to Relieve Baby Colic
Baby colic, also known as infantile colic, is the name given to a number of symptoms which appear in the first weeks of the baby’s life up until the age of about 3 or 4 months. They include long periods of inconsolable crying, irritability, and anxiety, without any obvious cause.
According to Wessel’s diagnostic criteria, baby colic is defined by a rule of three: “Crying for more than three hours a day, for more than three days a week, for a period of more than three weeks.”
Some research papers show that the prevalence of baby colic is highly variable, varying between 8% and 40% of infants younger than three months old. However, there are ways to help reduce the chances of baby colic.
What Causes Baby Colic?
According to an article in the Mexican Journal of Pediatrics, the causes of baby colic are still unknown. At the physical level, associated symptoms include excessive air-swallowing (aerophagia), digestive problems, bacterial fermentation of carbohydrates in the colon, allergy to milk proteins, and more.
However, there is also a relationship between this condition and the family dynamic. Problems between parents, stress, anxiety, smoking, and difficulties during pregnancy can all affect the baby’s mood and physical well-being, causing pain.
As well as sudden and intense crying, other symptoms of baby colic can include the following:
- Bringing their legs up to their abdomen
- Closing their fists
- A tense or rigid abdomen
- Blushing in the face
- Calming down after passing wind or defecating
Tricks to Relieve Baby Colic
1. Keep Calm
It’s completely normal for you to feel desperate or nervous when your baby just won’t stop crying. However, instead of letting it get oto you, it’s far better to try to stay calm and transmit that sense of calm to your baby. This way, your baby is more likely to relax as a result of your words and attitude.
Take a deep breath and remember that baby colic is a benign condition that will disappear in the coming months when they’re a little older.
2. Calm Your Baby
Some babies are sensitive to music and movement. You could sing them a lullaby or put on some relaxing music whilst gently moving to the rhythm.
3. Take Care Over Your Breastfeeding Technique
Many women feed their baby according to the baby’s instinct. However, if the baby doesn’t suck properly, they’ll swallow air. As a result, they may develop colic. It’s important to make sure that all of the nipple is in their mouth (almost all the way to the areola).
We also recommend that the baby rests for brief periods while feeling, which will allow them to better process their food. If you’re bottle feeding your baby, opt for anti-colic models. You should also take care with the angle of the bottle to avoid them swallowing air.
4. Anti-colic Postures
Rest your baby‘s head on your shoulder in an upright position. This will help them to easier get rid of gas. You could also rest them on your legs, face down, and get them some soft pats on the back.
5. A Gentle Massage
Babies love physical contact and it’s one of the few ways they have of communicating. Massages can help relax them and reduce the frequency of colic, as well as improving intestinal mobility.
However, we don’t recommend massages while they’re crying. Try to do it at other times like when changing their diaper or giving them a bath. To do this, gently stroke their tummy in circular motions for 3 to 5 minutes.
Another exercise which can help to relieve baby colic is by playing with their legs and flexing them. Lie them down, and gently lift their legs up to their tummy. Then, stretch them out and do 4 sets of 15 flexes.
Then, do the same exercise with each leg individually. This will help intestinal movement and relieve baby colic.
7. Herbal Tea
The moderate use of chamomile while you’re breastfeeding carries a very low risk. Chamomile contains anti-spasmodic, digestive, anti-inflammatory, and sedative properties. This makes it very effective for treating baby colic.
Lemon Leaf (Melissa)
This has sedative effects. It also has anti-spasmodic and anti-gas properties. It’s recommending for treating baby colic because of these properties and its low level of toxicity.
This herb is good for treating digestive problems such as indigestion, stomach pains, and diarrhea. It also has soothing effects for anxiety and dizziness.
Relieving baby colic can be tiring and demand a lot of patience. However, all parents need to be conscious that baby colic is not an illness, but a condition that doesn’t have serious health consequences.
The baby simply doesn’t yet know their bodily functions and they get scared. As a result, peace and understanding are key to taking care of your baby during this stage.
Sometimes, crying has nothing to do with colic and could be caused by other things. Therefore, pay a visit to your pediatrician if you have any concerns.