The effects of colic are possibly tougher on you and your spouse than they are on your infant. Together with exhaustion and frustration, you may even experience feelings of guilt and inadequacy as you try to soothe your baby, and sometimes you might feel your efforts go in vain. Colic is common, and affects one in five babies. It is a condition in which babies cry inconsolably for hours, generally during the same time of day, usually in late afternoons or evenings. Though staying calm might not be that easy, if you want to learn the tricks of coping with colic, the below given guidelines will perhaps prove helpful.
Check the bottle
If you are bottle feeding your baby, you need to make sure you use a bottle that will not lead to gulping. The more air your baby swallows as he or she feeds, the more the chances of him experiencing tummy trouble. The nipple of the bottle should not have too big a hole that would result in too much liquid coming at him quickly, nor should it be too small, else it could make your baby gulp due to an increased effort to get food fast.
Keep your baby upright while feeding
Try and hold your baby more upright while feeding them so that the breast milk or formula travels to their tummy more smoothly. If he is hunched over or curled up, chances are together with food some air too will reach his tummy.
Avoid frantic feedings
Feed your baby before he ends up starving. If hunger is the reason behind him crying he possibly will also gulp air together with his meals. It will be best if you feed him in some calm environment. You can put on some calm soothing music, turn the lights off, and ask siblings not to make noise.
Burp him frequently
If you burp your baby frequently it will help the air bubbles move out of his tummy. It is not necessary that you will burp your baby only after he has completed his full meal. You can hold your baby up when you change sides while nursing and give him a burp, or you can burp him every few minutes while bottle feeding.
If you are breastfeeding – adjust your diet
If you feel it is something in your breast milk that your baby is sensitive to, try eliminating it. You can stop having dairy products for about 2 weeks, as that is the time it will take for cow’s milk protein to move out of your milk. If even this does not help, you may have to stop eating spicy foods, nuts, wheat products, cruciferous vegetables, strawberries, garlic, alcohol and caffeine. Stop eating them for sometime, and after few days introduce one at a time to observe if your baby is reacting to the particular item before you introduce the next. This might take some time but if it prevents your baby from being colicky, it definitely is worth it.
A natural brew
For a long time parents have depended on natural remedies to treat their colicky babies. Weak herbal teas particularly with dill, fennel, peppermint, chamomile and anise have been a favourite with most parents. You should, however, be careful with the dosages, for which you can consult a trustworthy herbalist, and also talk to your infant’s doctor.
Massage your baby
If you rub your baby’s belly gently it can help drive out gas from his tummy or at least will give some relief. You can place your baby, tummy down, across your knees, and then rub his back gently. This can at times help release pressure.
You can sing to your baby or play a CD of lullabies, and this might help relax your colicky baby.
Infants like sounds that seem similar to what they heard when they were in the womb, whooshing noises and rhythmic heartbeat. So, you can place the infant seat of your baby near the clothes dryer while it is running, or your baby might even calm down when he hears the sound of your kitchen’s exhaust fan.
Gripe water is a home remedy for babies with colic and has been used for many many years. However we dont recommend that you make it yourself as you can easily buy it off the shelf. It is normally given to the baby with a dropper in liquid form however there is no clinical evidence that gripe water is effective but it is something you should look into especially as its a herbal remedy.
Tommee Tippee Baby Bottles
The Tommee Tippee bottles encourage your baby to feed naturally and stops them gulping the milk down and makes them work for it. These are great bottles and Daisykins recommends them for any new parent.
You cannot stop your baby from crying, in fact crying might be the only thing he needs to do at the time. However, following the various tips given above may help soothe and relax your colicky baby.
We are writing these articles from our own experiences so if you are ever unsure then please go and see you doctor for further advice.