Having a new born baby in your hands is like holding a beautiful glass vase. You can admire it on and on, and you won’t get bored. It is well known that a new born baby cries, but when your baby cries for a longer time even after you try everything to soothe your baby, then it must be infant colic.
Colic is very common in babies from age 2- 3 weeks and it can last up to 4 months of age. There is no specific reason as to why a baby suffers colic. Once your baby starts crying because of colic, a doctor won’t be able to fix it right away. There are ways to only soothe your baby but the colic has to go off by itself.
What is colic?
It is severe pain in abdomen area which can be caused by gas/wind or obstruction in the intestines. This pain can last up to 3 hours a day and can go on for 3 to 4 weeks at a stretch.
Symptoms of Colic
- Crying – continuous crying even after trying to soothe your baby. Even after you feed or change nappy, crying does not stop.
- Time – Baby becomes cranky and cries at one particular time every day. (Like may be 6:00 PM everyday)
- Dull evenings – Studies show that colic pain increases more during the evening and baby cries a lot during evening.
Natural ways to soothe your baby and cure infant colic
Baby’s position while feeding
You must have noticed that many doctors advice to hold the baby as upright as possible while feeding your baby. This method is said to reduce the pressure in the abdomen and might soothe the baby. When you hold your baby upright while breastfeeding, it will help the baby to intake more amount of milk than other positions.
Let the baby burp
Infant burping is something very important. You need to hole the baby in upright position until the baby burps. This will facilitate better digestion and prevents puking. You can pause in-between while feeding for the baby to burp and continue. If you are bottle feeding, you can do the same or feed your baby frequently with less quantity of milk.
The mother’s diet
If you are breastfeeding your baby, then your diet is very important for the baby’s health. A mother tends to eat all possible healthy food to supply essential nutrients to the baby through breast milk. But there are chances that your baby might be allergic to certain foods.
In this case, you need to change your diet. Please do consult a doctor before you change the diet. Doctor might ask you to avoid peanuts, wheat, soy, dairy products and fish/meat. In this method, you can check if the baby’s symptoms have come down in 2 weeks of time after changing your diet course.
If you are feeding formula milk to your baby, try changing the brand and variant to find out if the crying comes down. You can try feeding soy milk (formula variant) for your baby, to understand if your baby is lactose intolerant. Lactose intolerant babies do get affect when you feed normal formula milk.
Change the feeding bottle
If you are bottle feeding your baby, try changing the feeding bottle. Bottles that have disposable and collapsible bags are best suitable for infants as they decrease the amount of air that is sucked while drinking milk. You also need to clean and sterilize the bottle after every single use. Change the nipples in bottle every 3 or 4 months.
Colic pain can increase or stay the same because of the gas inside the baby’s abdomen. Since the baby does not move, the chances of gas getting released is less. When you give a good massage all over the body, the gas might get released.
- You can use coconut oil, sesame oil or mustard oil to massage the baby.
- Take 2 teaspoons of oil (your choice).
- Heat the oil until it is warm.
- Check the heat and apply oil all over the baby’s body.
- Gently massage for 5 minutes.
- Leave the oil on the baby’s skin.
This will help the gas to come out and also nourish your baby’s skin.
Asafoetida for colic
For babies above 3 months, if you think the baby still suffers colic, asafoetida can help. This can help to push out the gas.
- Take a very small pinch of organic asafetida (not bigger than a mustard seed).
- Mix it in warm water until it completely melts.
- Feed the water to baby.
Please note, do not use too much asafetida as it is a string spice. Use it only thrice a week.
Warm water is harmless and an easy way to soothe the baby. It will keep the baby hydrated and can also flush out harmful bacteria.
- Heat water until it is warm.
- Feed one spoon of water in the morning, noon and night.
You can feed 3 spoons of water every day.
Apart from all the above mentioned remedies, you can soothe the baby by the following.
- Make some noise to distract the baby’s crying. (Mixer, washing machine or a toy).
- Swaddle the baby and keep in a cozy place.
- Keep the baby close to you. (mother)
- Rock the baby gently.
- Give a warm water bath.
Sometimes colic pain might go off even before the baby is 3 months. If not, it will get cured by itself. Once the baby starts solid food, colic will be completely out of the system.