Is your baby crying frequently and is unstoppable for hours? It can be due to baby colic. Check here for more about colic in babies and know how to calm a colic baby.
When my daughter was born, she cried the same night. And then she cried night after night. I couldn’t find a solution to ease her pain. Every night seeing her crying and howling in pain was an extremely painful experience as a new mom.
I consulted her pediatrician and she said it’s absolutely normal in babies to cry for hours and this happens due to colic in babies.
And when she said that you can’t really do a lot for easing the colic pain, it was heartbreaking but still, I kept wondering how to soothe a colic baby. And found some tips to avoid the crying episodes of my little one.
What is colic in babies?
Colic is when a generally normal and healthy baby cries for hours for unknown reasons. Colic happens at a specific period every day (mostly late evenings or nights) and the baby cries for a prolonged period (more than 3 hours) and becomes extremely fussy and unmanageable during a colic episode.
Symptoms of colic in babies
Crying is common in newborn babies but when a baby cries intensely for a prolonged period and you are unable to trace the reason for her distress.
- Unmanageable crying that seems like a baby is in extreme pain and wants to communicate that to you
- The baby is being extremely fussy even after a prolonged period of crying has passed
- She cries intensely for hours even after she is fed well
- Crying for no traceable reason
- The crying period happens at a predictable time mostly late evenings or night
- The color of the face changes with the distress and prolonged crying (becomes pale or red)
- The baby seems to be in too much pain and her body stiffens due to intense crying
What causes colic in babies
So far there is no firm answer on the causes of colic in babies. No research has shown data to present the actual reasons for colic in babies.
But some common (or possible) reasons for colic sited by medical experts are:
- A Baby’s digestive system is still in a developing stage, that struggles to cope up with a change
- Gas can be a possible reason for baby colic
- Acid Reflux
- In rare cases, a baby may have some underlying health issues that make her cry intensively, you need to consult a medical practitioner to know the reasons for your baby’s prolonged crying
- Colic may also happen due to an imbalance of good bacteria in the digestive tract
- If the baby is not burped properly after each feed, she can get colic pain or gas
- Another reason for prolonged crying can be that the baby is not getting enough milk supply
- It also can be the thing that she is overfed and is unable to digest the breast milk
How To Calm A colic baby
Colic mostly vanishes by the time a baby is 4 months old. It can take a little longer in some babies. Till that time you can follow these tips to soothe a crying baby and can get some relief during postpartum stress.
Help your baby to swallow less air
swallowing air can create gas in babies which can lead to colic pain.
Make sure your baby is latched properly while breastfeeding
Improper latching may lead to swallowing air along with breast milk.
Burp her well after every feed
Every time you feed your baby, make sure she burps properly and all the air in her tummy is thrown out so that there will be fewer chances of getting gas and colic.
Use white music to calm a fussy colic baby
Using soothing white music may help you to calm a crying baby. A piece of gentle music meant for babies can be a saviour. You may find many such white music videos (audios) on youtube. Many babies respond to soothing white music and get calmed during distress.
You can play soothing music for your baby at the predicted crying time, even before the baby starts crying.
Lullabies May Help A Colic Baby
The traditional way of singing lullabies for babies does work wonders too. A baby may get calmed down to the soothing lullabies sung by her mother.
A mother’s voice is as it is soothing for a baby, singing lullabies will make this bond stronger with your little one.
Mantra And Shlokas Can Help A Crying Baby
Many moms claim that listening to Shlokas and Mantras (A tradition of Hindu Culture), has helped their fussy babies to get calmed quickly. These Shlokas or a simple Om Chanting may work like meditation for anxious babies.
Swaddling A Baby Can Help Her Sleep Well
Swaddling is another traditional way to help babies sleep well. I know a crying baby will not let you swaddle her but you can swaddle her every day at a specific time, much before the episodes of Colic crying start.
Rock Your Baby
Rocking a crying baby helps a lot to soothe her. You can use a rocker or just can rock her in your arms. Motion helps babies to soothe faster and helps them to sleep nicely.
Keeping babies in a baby swing too helps the baby to sleep well.
A Night Time Baby Massage Routine May Help
Yes, baby massage is an essential step in soothing the baby’s body and mind. You can set up a night time baby massage routine to help her feel calm and sleep properly.
A Warm Water Bath To The Rescue
Even if you are bathing your baby in the morning, set up a night time baby massage routine followed by a warm water bath. It will help your baby to feel fresh and get rid of tiredness. An infant massage followed by a warm water bath will help your baby sleep through the night.
Relieve Constipation In Babies
The basic reason for colic and gas can be constipation. Relieving this root cause can help your baby to get rid of frequent stomach aches and gas. Check here How To Relieve Constipation In Babies.
Apply Hing (Asafoetida) On Baby’s Tummy
This is a very old practice to apply a hing paste (Asafoetida powder mixed with water or coconut oil) to the baby’s tummy, around the naval area. It gives quick relief from gas and the baby feels better with hing application.
Foods That Cause Colic In Babies
Many medical experts claim that a mother’s diet has nothing to do with colic in babies. But many oms do swear by their experiences of experiencing baby colic after eating specific foods.
Here are some foods that you may want to avoid while breastfeeding a baby to prevent colic.
- Sparkle water or Aerated Drinks
- Tea And Coffee
- Energy Drinks
- Oily And Spicy Food
- Bread or buns made with refined flours
- An excessive amount of dairy products may disturb a mother’s digestive system and that can affect a baby too
- Undercooked meat and eggs
- Fish containing high mercury amounts like a shark, tilefish, marlin, tuna, etc.
- Gassy vegetables like cabbage, broccoli, and cauliflower, etc
Tips To Prevent Colic In Babies
- Make a schedule of breastfeeding and avoid overfeeding your baby
- Burp baby properly after every session of breastfeeding
- Help your baby latch properly to avoid air intake while breastfeeding
- Follow a good diet that will help your baby get relief in colic and gas
- Avoid bottle feeding as it mostly leads to swallowing of air
- Give baby a good massage and warm water bath regularly
Following these tips, you may get to know how to calm a colic baby. All these factors matter a lot for the baby’s health. Consider the tips mentioned above and help your baby to stay happy and healthy.