Like many brand new squishy babies, my second child wasn’t too keen on exiting the womb. And she didn’t adapt to life on the outside quite as naturally as I had hoped.
From the moment she arrived, my bub suffered with colic, or unexplained crying, for hours and hours on end.
Quite truthfully, having a colicky baby made the whole ‘newborn bliss’ experience less than blissful. It was hard on me, spending hours on end trying to calm her. It was hard on my toddler son who didn’t have his mummy to play with anymore. But it was hardest on our newest family member, who clearly was in a world of pain.
We can only imagine what infant colic feels like to our little ones. All we know is that we will do ANYTHING to help them settle, to stop the crying and to make them feel better.
What is colic anyway?
Infant colic is described as episodes of unexplained crying for more than three hours a day, for more than three days a week, for more than three weeks at a time, in an otherwise healthy child. While experts aren’t sure EXACTLY what causes colic, it may have something to do with tummy troubles, gas or abdominal pain.
Colic affects as many as one in three babies and usually goes away when baby reaches four to six months. Until then, you can try these colic solutions, all of which have worked for other parents with colicky babies.
How to help a colicky baby
1. Infant massage
Colic is often thought to be due to excess gas, which is why experts often recommend infant massage. Baby massage can not only help to settle a colicky baby, but also relieve all that built-up gas.
Pair the massage with a warm bath or gently rub baby’s back which can also help soothe baby and stop the pain.
Recently Aussie researchers made a breakthrough discovery concerning infant colic – there is a particular probiotic that may work miracles for preventing it.
The probiotic is lactobacillus reuteri which is already found in heaps of different foods such as yoghurt. Obviously new babies can’t eat these wonder foods just yet, so frazzled parents can also find the probiotic in baby-friendly drop form from your local pharmacy.
3. An anti-colic bottle
For many mums, an anti-colic bottle is the answer to relieving infant colic. It worked for our reviewer Kylie, who shared her success story with us last month.
Kylie tried the Tommee Tippee Advanced Anti-Colic bottles. They are new to the market, but already proving incredibly helpful to soothe colicky babies. Parents have reported 80% less colic in their infants after using this bottle. I wish they were around six years ago when my daughter had colic!
You can have a read of our full product review or pick up your own bottle to try below.
4. Leg Lifts
This is one of the easiest colic cures and, amazingly, the one that worked best for us. It’s all about getting rid of that excess gas through the fine art of baby farts.
Gently lift baby’s legs to her chest and let those bottom burps rip! You can also try the bicycle move to see if that helps, where you gently ‘pedal’ baby’s legs.
5. Consider your diet
In some instances, your baby’s tummy troubles may have something to do with what you’re eating (if you’re breastfeeding). You’ve probably just spent nine+ months avoiding some of your favourite foods, so having to limit your diet again is no fun. But, if it helps bub, then it might be worth a shot.
Some of the foods that have been linked to colic include dairy products, caffeine, spicy foods, nuts and grains and veggies such as broccoli, onions, brussels sprouts, cauliflower and cabbage.
6. Suck, skin, swaddle and swing
Allowing baby to suck on a dummy may help keep them calm. But you can also try these other methods, including swaddling or skin-to-skin. Gently swinging or rocking bub to bring a sense of security and mimic the sensation of being back in the wonderful colic-free womb can also work.
7. White noise
White noise can also work. The idea is that it simulates the sounds of being in the womb, relaxing your upset bubba. Try a vacuum cleaner, ceiling fan or running tap water. And if you’re feeling stressed or overwhelmed from all the crying, it’s okay to put baby down in a safe place – their cot or pram – and leave the room for a while.
Yes, colic is painful for everyone, both physically and emotionally. But be patient, mammas! You know what they say – this too, shall pass. Before you know it, your colicky baby will be a cheeky toddler and your days of late night rocking sessions and sleepless snuggles will be long gone!
Until then, hopefully one of these options will hold the answer to relieving your baby’s pain and putting those colicky days and nights behind you. Good luck!