Remedies for colic help moms and babies around the world go through the period of colic.
Dealing with a colicky baby can be an exhausting and frustrating experience. It is, however, important to remember that it is temporary and isn't anyone’s fault. Colic just happens. Through colicky crying and fussing the baby is expressing his/her emotions, communicating with you. Visit Colic In Infants section to read more about causes and symptoms of colic.
In this section I collected all the known to me remedies for colic that mothers use to help their babies. It includes a couple of my favorite non-traditional remedies for colic. Colicky babies, in general, respond better to homeopathic cures. I do not recommend giving your baby anything medicated. Colic is NOT a disease; it is your baby’s way of adjusting to the outside world.
First of all and before trying any remedies for colic, you need to talk
to your baby’s pediatrician to make sure there are no medical reasons why your baby cries. Bring your baby for a visit if needed. Do not simply blame
excessive nonstop crying and baby screams on colic. Visit Crying Babies section to read more.
With that being said and after you checked for other obvious reasons for cry, like dirty or wet diaper, hunger, fear, pain and your baby is still crying, try these:
When my son was gassy, my husband was laying him down on the bed and pushing his legs up towards his chin. It worked magic in releasing trapped wind. Do it rhythmically, take breaks. Be gentle and make sure the surface is soft so that not to hurt baby’s back.
Hold, carry and stay with your baby. Colic time is not the time to discipline him/her by leaving crying in the crib or teaching them to cry themselves to sleep. Colicky babies need your care, attention and reassurance that they are needed and loved as never before.
Many babies love being swaddled. Most former Soviet countries' parents swaddle their babies all the time, but especially for the night time.
It gives the baby the sense of protection, security, and comfort and prevents them from waking themselves up. It also works for many colicky babies.
La Leche League Leaders Diane Wiessinger, Diana West and Teresa Pitman mention another colic relief in their book “The Womanly Art of Breastfeeding” – the colic hold. Here is how to do it: turn your baby with his/her back towards you horizontally with the head to your left. Place your left arm under your baby across his body: from his/her left shoulder towards the right thigh. So both baby’s arms will be on either side of your arm. The head will be turned right and the left cheek will be resting on your arm. You can also add rocking to it.
This is a great hold indeed. You can keep your baby close, warm up his/her tummy with your hand and arm and still have one free hand.
Stay calm yourself for two reasons. First, your baby is reading your emotions and feeding on them. Stressed mothers have stressed babies. Second, if you let yourself lose it, you may end up shaking the baby. And this is a no-no!
Russian educationist Olga Eremeeva suggests one of the most interesting remedies for colic. When a baby starts reacting to bright light, he/she also discovers bright colors. She calls this time “orange period” - when the baby is attracted to bright colors. According to Eremeeva, a baby will stop crying if you wave a red or an orange fabric in front of him/her. I read about this trick recently and didn’t have a chance to test it, but when you try it, please share your experience in the comments section at the bottom of the article, so that other moms could see it too!
Smoke and tobacco-burning by-products can be another cause of colic. Visit Smoking section to read more.
The following couple of colic tips pulled out of my non-traditional remedies-for-colic box worked for calming down my son:
Another method is a home-made analog of gripe water. I am not a fan of store-sold gripe water, as it has several additives to make it stay good for a long time. It may also contain alcohol. Instead, I used to prepare my own fennel/dill water at home.
Fennel and dill are known for their soothing and gas-relieving qualities. I think fennel is more effective. Both waters are made from seeds of fennel or dill. They both are used as spices, so not at all hard to find. I found mine in an organic produce store.
Fennel seeds should not be confused with anise. They both have a very similar taste, so they are used interchangeably in cooking. But to make fennel water you need fennel, not anise!
If you find fresh seeds (some people grow them), it is even better. I used dried seeds, so I soaked a teaspoon of them in cool water for an hour to soften them. Pour the water out and put softened seeds into a glass of hot water, cover and let it sit for 30-50 minutes. The water will smell like cooked dill and will change color to slightly yellowish. You may give your baby a teaspoon of this water up to 4 times a day.
This water expires fast. You need to make fresh every day. This is what makes it different from its commercial alternative. It is natural!
I always made a little more and had some myself too. It is calming and soothing.
These remedies for colic are gentle and natural. Therefore, you may hear that they
don’t always work. It is true, they may not work for you, but they definitely
won’t harm you. Try and see for yourself. Hopefully one of my favorite remedies for colic will become your favorite too!
If everything fails, you will need to learn to live through colic. Always remind yourself that this is temporary. Take naps. A calm and rested mother handles crying baby much better.
If it becomes unbearable, find a way to get out and away from your baby. A couple of hours of solitude is often all it takes to regain strength and refill energy.
There are many ways to show your love and devotion to your kids and to win their trust. Breastfeeding is the most natural one.