If you have a baby with that suffers from colic, you’re probably desperate to find a solution to end the problem – for both the peace of your baby and yourself. Many over-the-counter remedies don’t work as claimed, and natural alternatives are generally more effective and preferable. Read on for some things you can try to help your baby. First of all, if you’re breastfeeding then try to do so as long as possible. Since breast-milk is easier on baby’s tummy, it lessens the chance of developing painful gas. If your baby still tends to suffer from colic, feed him half the amount you usually do, but twice as often. This helps to digest the milk easier. You may also want to check your own diet – foods you eat can sometimes have a negative reaction for a nursing infant. Gassy foods like broccoli and cauliflower, tomatoes, beans and cabbage tend to be of the top culprits, as we as chocolate, caffeine and excess dairy. Try eliminating such things one by one to see if it helps your child at all.
If your baby is on a formula diet, however, sometimes something as simple or switching to a soy formula can help – milk-based formula can sometimes cause digestive issues. You should also try the same technique of cutting the amount of formula in half, but feeding the baby twice as often.
When feeding, the baby should always be kept in an upright angle. This will help to prevent air bubbles and gas buildup that will later cause a fussy baby. After feeding, you should let your baby remain in an upright or semi-upright position for at least 30 minutes – this will also help the digestion process. Make sure to always burp your baby, as well.
Gripe water is a popular remedy when it comes to relieving colic. It is supposed to be natural, but this is not always the case, and a lot of times such products don’t work or may even make colic even worse. Here is a good article about gripe water. Try it.
If your infant is still suffering, a warm bath can be soothing and sometimes help a lot. You can even add a few drops of lavender, or purchase a natural lavender-scented baby wash and wash baby with it or just add some to the bathwater. This will help to calm and relax the baby.
Afterwards, you can also try massaging your baby. You can do this anytime, actually, but it’s especially soothing right after that warm bath. Massaging the back and stomach can be especially helpful, and there are different baby massage techniques you can find and apply by looking around the Internet – there are even books on baby massage. Baby massage oils are also becoming more popular, and those made of lavender will be especially calming.
Another good way to ease pain that may lead to colic is to place a heat pack or hot water bottle on your baby’s tummy – but be sure to take care that the pack or bottle is really only warm, not hot! And don’t apply it directly to baby’s skin.
Very young babies tend to love to be held very close or swaddled in a blanket, as it reminds them of when they were still snug in the womb. It’s very comforting, and thus this can help relax a baby during a bout of colic. If you aren’t sure how to swaddle, you can find out how through a quick search online – it really isn’t that hard once you get it down. There are also specially made blankets just for swaddling, which make it a lot easier to quickly wrap baby up with no instructions needed.
Just about any type of constant motion can also help an infant with colic. At first you may want to try walking the baby around the house – you may even want to try the “colic hold,” in which you hold baby face down over your arm, with your hand underneath baby’s tummy. Rubbing his back while in this position can help, too. If you have a rocking chair, this is a good way to try to comfort and calm your child. But every baby is different, and may prefer different forms of movement. A walk around the block with the baby strapped into an infant carrier or stroller may help, as may a 10 minute drive around the neighborhood.
Almost all babies love music and constant sounds, and sometimes playing some soft lullabies or classical music for your child can help. Many infants also respond positively to white noise, such as that of a vacuum cleaner or washing machine. Sometimes just simply humming to your baby or singing a lullaby yourself, or whispering in his ear, can do wonders.