What is Colic?
Pain in the abdomen, usually caused by digestive discomforts. It can due to reflux, gas, food sensitivities, immature digestive and nervous systems, overstimulation, etc. Your baby is considered colicky if she cries for more than 3 hours a day on more than 3 days per week.
- Feed baby often (small frequent meals are easier to digest)
- Soothe baby with skin-to-skin contact during and in between feedings
- Avoid foods in the cruciferous family, such as broccoli, onions, garlic, brussel sprouts, turnips, radishes, kale, collards, cauliflower, and cabbage during the first 6 months if breastfeeding
- Avoid stool softeners and prune juice if breastfeeding
- Avoid caffeine, chocolate, peanuts, peanut butter, sugar, and white flour if breastfeeding
- Eliminate possible allergens like soy, wheat, corn, and dairy if breastfeeding
- Breastfeed or bottle-feed in a secure and serene environment. Babies can pick up on our signals, so the more calm you can be, the more calm they will be.
- If your baby is formula fed, make sure to check with your pediatrician in regards to certain allergies to the proteins in cow's milk. Always remember that human milk banks are there for a reason, and this can be a great option for a baby who cannot digest formula. (You can find more information about human milk banking in the resources section of my site)
Remedies for Colic
- Tea (fennel, dill, anis, cumin, coriander, or caraway; also catnip or catmint)
- Pour 1 cup boiling water over 1 tsp seeds and steep for no more than 15 minutes
- a few teaspoons to infant OR mother may drink a cup before breastfeeding as it will pass through breastmilk
- Slippery elm bark tea or gruel
- Light pressure on the abdomen or a light abdominal massage
- Infant massage
- Chiropractic treatment (check my Web site for recommendations)
- Gripe water (available in most pharmacies and Whole Foods)
- Turn off the lights and television and create a nice, quiet atmosphere
- Bathe with your baby (once umbilicus is healed).
- Dance to relaxing music or rock in the rocking chair
- Hold baby face down, back upwards on your forearm (pressure on the tummy this way will feel good and could relieve gas)
- Get a baby carrier and wear your baby frequently. Babies are still new to our world and they can become scared. Many babies are very sensitive to other people and things happening around them and being next to you and touching you can be very calming.
- Take your baby outside for a walk
- Bounce on an exercise ball
A colicky baby can wear on a parent's nerves quickly. Do not shake your baby or leave your baby in a crib to cry. If you are feeling overwhelmed, get help from a friend, your partner, a relative, neighbor, or other trusted person. In the meantime, remember that your baby is very sensitive during this “fourth trimester” of life. Giving him the love he deserves will help him learn to trust in you. You are doing great, and many parents are going through the same thing at this very same time! Take care of yourself when you can so that you may have the energy to handle colic if and when it comes.
If you need more support, check out the resources page on my site or look into hiring a postpartum doula! Additionally, you can contact me directly.