A majority of newborns suffer from colic until they are three months old. Colic is a gastrointestinal condition that leads to abdominal pain and gas, leading to irritability and frequent crying. The condition normally starts in the evening and can last the entire night. This can be frustrating for both baby and caregiver. Its cause remains unknown, although scientists think it might be some nutrients in the mother’s diet passed to the baby through breast milk. Whatever the cause is, the immediate concern is how to soothe your colic baby.
How to Soothe Colic Baby
Try a Gentle Massage
Gently massage your baby’s belly using baby oil. Massage the rest of the body as well to make her feel comfortable and relaxed. Avoid overstimulating the baby by overdoing it.
Make Some Noise
Babies tend to relax and be calm when they hear sounds that they associate with the swooshing they heard while still in the womb. A gentle purring of the vacuum cleaner and washing machine can actually soothe your baby. You can also find white noise online to help the baby relax.
Not all babies are soothed by noise and movement. Others just need less stimulation and respond to quiet and dim lights.
Another way how to soothe colic baby is by keeping it moving. Gentle rhythmic motion can soothe your colicky baby to sleep. You can put her in a swing and once she falls asleep, move her to her crib.
Hit the Road
The outdoors can actually soothe your baby. Take your baby for a walk in a stroller, or wear your baby in a sling or carrier. The experience can soothe your baby as well as relax you. If you have been outside for a while, going back to the house may actually help soothe the baby.
Try a Different Position
Try holding your baby in different positions to see if it may relax them. Try laying him on his tummy or cuddling him close to your chest.
Babies love to be swaddled and there is a reason for this. Swaddling a baby imitates the snuggly feeling they had when they were still in the womb and is one of the best ways how to soothe colic baby. After having a warm relaxing bath, swaddle your baby well using a smooth and comfortable swaddle cloth. This will help the baby relax well, feed well and sleep well.
Research shows that babies who are swaddled tend to sleep for longer than those who are not. Sometimes when asleep, babies tend to twitch; this twitching can startle them, causing them to wake up and cry. Swaddling prevents this.
Avoid swaddling your baby after two months of age to prevent the risk of the baby turning over and lying on their belly without support which can lead to suffocation.
Bathe Your Baby
A warm bath can be relaxing for your baby. As you bathe them, gently massage their back and belly. You can make it extra fun by spritzing warm water on their back as they bathe.
Offer a Pacifier
Sometimes the situation can be dire and nothing seems to soothe colic baby. In this case, you can try and offer a pacifier to the infant and see if he takes to it. The baby may also prefer to suck on fingers.
Ease a Gassy Tummy
Gassiness doesn’t cause colic but increases the discomfort for your baby. To prevent gassiness always burp your baby after feeding and keep them upright when feeding.
Use a Warm Water Bottle
A warm water bottle might just be what your baby needs for how to soothe colic baby. Make sure the water is warm by using a thermometer to help you get the right temperature. Wrap the bottle in a soft towel and place it on your belly. Hold your baby with his belly facing the bottle, close to you.
Probiotics help relieve colic symptoms in babies. Research shows that babies who suffer from colic have different bacteria in the gut from those who don’t suffer from colic. Probiotics can help restore the balance of good bacteria in the stomach. First get a recommendation from your doctor about the best probiotic for your child.
Babies love cuddles and will be soothed by being held close. Holding your baby close to your chest by rhythmically swaying him might lull him to sleep. Your baby will be comforted by your heartbeat and warmth.
Singing softly to your baby will also soothe him when he is irritated.
Avoid Eye Contact
Even though you may be drawn to those beautiful eyes, don’t give into the temptation. Looking at your baby’s eyes will stimulate the little one and may cause them to cry even more. So as hard as it may be, just look away and focus on keeping him comfortable.
Mirror on the Wall
Your baby may be fascinated by looking at a reflection of him in the mirror. This is a good way of distracting him during the colicky periods. It may seem unconventional, but a mirror could be a great way how to soothe colic baby.
Hold Them Upright After Feeding
Avoid laying your baby down immediately after feeding. Instead, set her upright and burp her to prevent acid reflux. GERD may be a contributing factor to colic, making the baby cranky.
Is It Possible That My Baby Can't Tolerate Certain Foods?
Adjust Your Diet If You're Breastfeeding
The first line of action is to eliminate dairy products from your diet for a few weeks. Cow’s milk usually takes a couple of weeks to clear from your system.
Other foods to avoid are caffeine, wheat, and eggs. You may also want to eliminate onions and cabbages from your diet for a while. Reintroduce the foods one by one to see which foods your baby will react to.
Ask About a Formula Change
Although there is no direct relation between the type of formula your baby takes and colic, you may want to replace your normal formula with one that contains hydrolyzed cow milk to see if it will change anything.
When to Seek Medical Advice
Seek medical attention if:
Your baby has never been colicky before.
The colic is accompanied by diarrhea, fever, vomiting, or any other symptom not associated with colic.
Your child is crying incessantly and you suspect that it could be something more than colic
The child is four months old or older and still suffers from colic
The child is not feeding right and is losing weight or not gaining any.
You are feeling stressed out and frustrated.