Coming home with a newborn baby brings happiness to everyone but when colic makes a presence, stress sets in. How can do you soothe a colicky baby?
The plaintive cries of a baby with colic can put any parent under a lot of stress and you might find yourself shedding a tear or two. Before you lose your head, colic rarely lasts beyond your baby’s third month and usually peaks at four to six weeks of age. If you’re not certain if your baby has colic or not, look out for these symptoms:
- Apparent abdominal pain
- A distended belly
- Long, inconsolable bouts of crying (usually stating in the early evening and lasting for hours)
The colic causes pain in your baby’ gastrointestinal tract. The cause of the condition is not really known, but many physicians think your baby’s diet or either something a nursing mother is eating or it could be sensitivity to formula. With this article we want to help you try to soothe your colicky baby with our parent-tested strategies.
- Keep Calm
Between you and the baby, you have more power to control your emotions. Stay calm and composed, this will make it easier for you to work on calming baby too. Check to see if there are any other possible causes of distress, once you’ve ruled them out, give your baby a little break and leave them alone for a bit. Maybe it’s tiredness that’s making them whine and a moment to relax will help them settle down.
- Make Clean Noise
Babies get attracted to some sounds that are pleasing and these very sounds may help your little one calm down. We’d suggest using flowing water but we don’t want you to waste water so rather go for a vacuum cleaner, a fan, or radio station that’s all static. Just don’t leave your baby alone around any of these things.
- Colic Carry
Hold your baby in the ‘colic carry’. Position your baby so that the rests on your forearm and the head is supported in the palm of your hand or the crook of your arm.
- Swaddle And Rock
Some babies like being wrapped tightly, more especially when they are being rocked. You can also try to rock and roll your baby in your arms.
- Keep Your Little One In Motion
Take your for a ride around the block or put your baby in the stroller and go for a walk. Steady rhythm of any kind of movement can soothe a colicky baby.
- Adjust The Diet
If you’re breastfeeding and none of the above helps, try changing your own diet by eliminating dairy products, caffeine, onions, cabbage, broccoli, garlic and spicy foods. If your baby is formula-fed, ask your family paediatrician about switching to a soy-based, predigested, or other hypoallergenic formula. Formula-fed babies need iron, so low-iron formulas are rarely recommended.
Never make your baby suck on an empty bottle because it can cause your newborn to swallow air, leading to a tummy full of wind. For the same reason, don’t let the baby suck on a teat that has a hole that’s too large. Although trapped wind isn’t the cause of colic, it can sometimes lead to just as much crying.