Colic is an ailment, which affects 70% of infants worldwide. It is estimated that your baby will suffer from colic at least once during his/her infancy. The chubby and bubbly infant you brought home will suddenly turn into a crying and squalling infant in a matter of days.
Colic is characterized by excessive crying, abdominal distension and the passage of loud gas. Expert parents are easily able to identify with the symptoms. A panicky parent may want to rush his/her baby to the paediatrician at the first sign of discomfort. However, colic can easily be cured and controlled with the help of simple home remedies.
The first step to soothing a colicky infant is to hold him/her close to you and rock him/her. The rocking motion whether done in the lap or in the child’s crib can put the infant to sleep. Comforting the baby is the first step to calm it down. Coo to the baby or sing lullabies, which may quiten him/her momentarily.
It is important to not get hassled when you have a colicky baby in your arms. You may unknowingly transfer your agitation to the baby and cause the baby to cry harder. Stay calm. If you cannot handle the baby, enlist the support of other family members to take the baby off your back for some time. A different set of arms may miraculously quieten the child.
If the baby has been bawling his/her eyes out for hours despite your best efforts, there is not much you can do. Leave the baby in the crib for a few minutes and go to the other room. Colic is self-limiting and tends to get ok on its own. In any case, a few moments of solitude from a crying infant will give you momentary perspective.
It has been proved that infants who are exclusively fed their mother’s milk for 6 months are less likely to suffer from colic. If you are giving your baby top milk like formula or cow’s milk, he/she may develop an allergy for it. It is wise to detect possible allergens in your child’s feed and weed them out. Once you have identified the food that is causing the allergy, there is a possibility that your baby may begin to feel better.
One reason why babies suffer from colic is because they are not burped correctly. Make it a point to burp the baby after every feed. Burping helps to release built up gas in the infant’s stomach and gives relief from colic. The correct way to burp the baby is by rubbing his/her back while gently placing him/her on your lap or shoulder.
A good massage done with some pure coconut oil will help to relieve colic.
Try to gently massage the baby’s tummy twice every day. This is very soothing for young infants and helps to get rid of excess gas in the stomach.
Some parents, in the quest for wanting a chubby baby, overfeed their children. Excessive feeding will only put strain on the infant’s digestive system and cause colic to occur. Take your cues from the child. Always feed the baby on demand and stop when the child seems content and does not want more milk.
Asafoetida is a compound used in gravies and curries and is very good for digestion. Rubbing some warm asafoetida on the baby’s tummy will give him/her instant relief.
In order to do this, dissolve some asafoetida in hot water. Let the water cool down. Now gently apply this solution with cotton on your baby’s tummy. This will give instantaneous relief.
Some mothers tend to feed their infant in a reclining and semi reclining position. This causes the baby to gulp down a lot of air while feeding. The position in which you feed your baby can lead to colic. Sit up straight while feeding the baby. This is unlikely to cause gas bubbles in your baby’s stomach.
Feed the child a few teaspoons of water that has been infused with carom seeds. You need to soak these seeds overnight before feeding it to the baby.
A few teaspoons on this water fed everyday will make the baby feel infinitely better.
It is important that you stick to your child’s feeding and sleeping ritual. Babies who follow a strict schedule are less likely to be tired and over stimulated and less likely to suffer from colic. Feed the baby, change the baby and bathe the baby at the same time every day. Infants respond very well to a laid down schedule.
Some parents swear by a car drive and the wonders it does to a colicky baby.The jolting motion of the car can soothe his/her tummy and induce sleep in the baby. When all else fails, try taking the child out for a drive.
A few sprigs of fresh mint boiled in water and can ease colic in a baby.
Let the mint seep into the water well. Feed the baby a few teaspoons of this water for instant colic relief.
Place a warm towel or compress on the baby’s stomach while he/she is crying. This may reduce heartburn, gas and the general discomfort that the child may be feeling.
A few drops of chamomile tea, which is not too strong, may do wonders for a colicky infant. Just make sure that the tea is not too strong.
Also, speak to your paediatrician whether it is ok to give chamomile tea to your baby.
A reclining baby is likely to feel worse with colic. Make it a point to sit the baby up especially after a feed. You can prop the baby against pillows for more comfort. Allowing the baby to play for some time after a feed may also, help to eliminate gas from his/her tummy.