Baby colic is characterized by acute abdominal pain, often accompanied by spasms. This gastrointestinal problem is more common until the first three to four months after birth. It is usually difficult to diagnose colic in newborns as they cannot explain the symptoms.
The exact reason that causes colic is not known as yet. However, it is believed that factors like the immature digestive system, immature nervous system, swallowing air while feeding, transient lactose intolerance, infant reflux, and lactation containing certain chemicals from strong flavored and gas-producing foods contribute in causing this problem.
When a healthy baby cries at least three hours in a day for three or more times in a week, it is considered as a sign of colic if there is no other cause.
More often than not, the problem develops from three to six weeks of age and subsides after three months. It usually affects 25-30% babies.
How to Relieve Colicky Babies
- • Gripe water is perhaps one of the best remedies for colic. You can find this solution at most pharmacies, health-food stores, or even online.
- • Massaging the baby’s back while holding him over your arm, face down, can help provide some relief. You may also try placing a warm compress on his tummy.
Chiropractic spinal adjustments and abdominal massage are considered highly beneficial for treating infant colic naturally.
You can take the help of a local chiropractor in this regard. In addition, consider exploring other alternative therapies like minimal acupuncture.
Here’s a video explaining how to do a colic massage.
- • Gently rubbing a paste prepared by grinding a combination of herbs, including chebulic myrobalan, nutmeg, and sweet flag on the abdominal area is considered as a natural cure to ease colic pain. Massaging with asafoetida around the navel, too, is helpful.
- • Making the baby sip herbal teas prepared from fennel, chamomile flowers, mint leaves, caraway seeds, dill seeds, and so on may help relieve the discomfort.
For instance, prepare fennel tea by boiling a quarter teaspoon of fennel in a little milk for about five minutes. Let the baby sip one teaspoon of the solution at a time. You may try other herbal preparations as well.
- • Take two teaspoons each of bishop’s weed (ajwain) and dried ginger. Grind both the ingredients and add a little black salt in it.
Finally, add a teaspoon of this home medicine in a cup of warm water and let the baby sip a little. This solution is useful for reducing gas problems, indigestion, and colic pains.
- • Rock the baby in a cradle or infant swing. Alternatively, you can hold the baby while rocking on a rocking chair. Some other tricks include, taking the baby for a car ride or dancing with the baby to induce movement.
- • At times, simply giving a teaspoon of warm water can reduce colic in babies.
- • Probiotic supplements or drops, too, are considered good for curing colic. Basically, probiotics encourage the growth of ‘good’ intestinal bacteria that aid in digestion and help maintain a healthy gut.
Besides, you can take advice from a lactation consultant on the correct techniques for breastfeeding. In case you are bottle-feeding (use an anti-colic teat), make sure you assist the baby in burping after taking every ounce of milk.
Plus, steer clear of cruciferous foods and beverages such as split peas, beans, lentils, cabbage, cauliflower, broccoli, berries, eggs, spicy foods, tea, coffee, wine, carbonated drinks, and even chocolates.
Needless to say, do not keep the baby in an atmosphere where there is cigarette smoke. Moreover, it is believed that this problem may also occur when the mother stressed or suffering from postnatal depression.
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