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All Natural Infant Colic Remedies
Any parent whose baby has suffered from colic can tell you that it is one of the most excruciating experiences imaginable. There’s nothing worse than seeing your baby in pain and not being able to do anything about it. And you’ll try anything that might provide colic relief for your baby.
But before you can find the best colic remedy, you need to know for sure that your baby has a real colic issue and not some other, less serious, tummy trouble. How do you know if it’s really colic? Here’s a quick, easy guideline to follow:
If your baby cries for three hours a day straight on at least three days a week for three consecutive weeks, then you’re most likely dealing with colic.
Thankfully, neither one of my babies suffered from colic, but my husband’s baby sister did, and I know of plenty of babies at the daycare where I work that have suffered from it. There are plenty of different remedies for colic, but not all of them will work for every baby. You’ll want, of course, to find the perfect solution for your unique situation. And, if you’re anything like me, you’re going to want to find an all-natural remedy. If you’ve tried all the proper feeding and burping techniques and your baby is still crying continuously, study the following list of some of the most effective remedies available and try one (or more) of them out today.
Traditional lullabies, classical music composed for infants, and heartbeat/womb/white noise CDs are very popular relaxation aids for babies suffering from colic. You can even find digital versions of each of these types of sounds on Amazon. Some of the best ones are:
- The Happiest Baby on the Block
- Bedtime Mozart
- Help Your Baby Sleep Through the Night
- Sleep Aid for Newborn Baby
Some parents have had great success by placing their baby in a car seat on top of a running dishwasher, washing machine, dryer, or by running a vacuum cleaner. A gentle shushing sound in baby’s ear can also work wonders, as well as soft whispers, humming, or singing.
Another popular choice for soothing fuzzy babies is the Sleep Genius app. This app also works well for helping adults who are having trouble falling asleep!
Bottlefed babies with colic may show improvement if switched to a different formula, such as soy. I know this one little switch worked amazingly well for one infant at the daycare. Soy or lactose-free formula can be more expensive than other types of formula, but the extra cost you have to pay can be worth every penny when it comes to the extra comfort it buys your baby.
Mothers of breastfed babies may have to pay close attention to their own diets to make sure their babies are not reacting negatively to certain foods they are eating. Try eliminating the following common culprits one at a time for a week to see if your baby shows any signs of improvement: dairy, caffeine, chocolate, and gas-producing foods like broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, onions, peppers, melons, tomatoes, citrus fruits, beans, and peanuts.
As I mentioned earlier, my babies never had any problem with colic, but my older one did have some trouble with gas, even after we switched her to a pro-sensitive formula. Gripe water became my new best friend. Turns out, it can also be a helpful solution for colicky babies.
You have to be sure to check the ingredient lists before you select the best gripe water to buy. Many claim to be all natural, but a careful study of their ingredient lists reveals that they include artificial ingredients and preservatives. Colicky infants’ digestive systems certainly do not need any of these potential irritants, so avoid these at all costs. Two of the best all-natural gripe water brands are Colic Calm and Mommy’s Bliss.
You can also make your own gripe water by using the recipes found here and here.
One of the things I didn’t know about before, so I wasn’t able to use them with my babies, is probiotics for digestive health. I’ve been taking them regularly for about a year now, and I wish I’d been using them my whole life. They make THAT much of a difference! I’ve also started giving them to my girls to improve their overall health.
You can start your infant off on the right track by giving them probiotics. This digestive supplement solves a whole host of physical problems, including colic. Several companies make infant probiotics, but the best come from Gerber, Mommy’s Bliss, and Culturelle.
You can also get something called Natrum Phosphoricum 6X. This is a natural salt your body (and your infant’s body) needs. Our adult bodies generally produce enough on their own, but this is not always the case for infants. Supplementing with this may help your infant overcome his/her problem with colic.
Warm Aromatherapy bath/Massage
I know I personally find a warm bath to be just the thing when I need something to soothe and calm me down. Some parents find that a warm bath calms their colicky babies down. Add a few drops (between 4 and 7) of lavender essential oil to a warm bath and get ready for the beautiful sound of silence.
For an even more soothing experience for your baby, follow up the bath with a massage. Focus on the tummy area to relieve painful trapped gas, and move your baby’s legs in a “bicycle” motion to help your infant get the gas out on his or her own. You can research other baby massage techniques on the Internet or in books like this one. You can buy massage oils specifically designed for infant massage to further enhance the relaxation.
Babies are often soothed when they are swaddled or held close to their mothers’ chests where they can hear the heartbeat, since this reminds them of the comfort and safety of the womb. You probably learned the swaddling technique at the hospital before you brought your baby home. I know I did.
If they didn’t teach you how to swaddle your infant at the hospital (or you don’t remember what they showed you because you were busy focusing on other things), you can find lots of website tutorials on swaddling an infant. This, for example, is a great step-by-step guide. You can also find ready-made infant swaddlers, like the Swaddleme, on Amazon.
Walking, rocking, vibrations (remember the washing machine mentioned above), and movement are very comforting to most infants. The good old-fashioned rocking chair may be all it takes.
Some parents have been known to take their babies outside (sometimes just a little fresh air helps) in a stroller or drive around in the car until the baby falls asleep. I know my husband did this with both my little girls when they were first born. It worked really well for the older one, but not so much for the younger.
You can also try walking around with your baby in an infant chest carrier or sling, so your baby can feel close to you and you can keep your hands free to do things around the house. You can also walk around the room holding your baby in “the colic hold.” In this position, your baby is facing down across your arm (with his/her head toward your elbow), and your hand is under your baby’s abdomen, where you can apply gentle pressure.
Another great motion tool is the infant swing. My younger daughter loved to be in her swing, and it almost always worked to get her to quit fussing and go to sleep.
All of these things have been shown to help soothe colicky babies, although as I mentioned previously not all methods may work for every baby. Try one or a combination of all of the above to find the one that helps give your baby the relief he or she needs, and you might just find it ends your suffering as well!