Seven tried-and-tested tips to soothe a colicky baby

Colic is when babies cry inconsolably for more than three hours a day, for at least three days a week.

Myupchar August 27, 2019 16:12:22 IST
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Seven tried-and-tested tips to soothe a colicky baby
  • Colic is when babies cry inconsolably for more than three hours a day, for at least three days a week

  • The inconsolable crying usually starts in the early evening and lasts for hours

  • Irritability and signs of abdominal pain, such as gassiness or spitting up, are some other symptoms of colic

You take the best care of your baby. You keep them clean and dry. Your doctor says that your baby is healthy and normal, but your baby still cries for hours. Your constant trials to soothe him/her are in vain - it leaves you frustrated.

This type of crying is normal and you are doing nothing wrong. Your child could be one of many colic babies. The good news is that the colic phase is temporary and it will last in about three months.

Seven triedandtested tips to soothe a colicky baby

Representational image. Reuters

Colic is when babies cry inconsolably for more than three hours a day, for at least three days a week. It starts in the second week of life and lasts until about three months of age. The inconsolable crying usually starts in the early evening and lasts for hours. Irritability and signs of abdominal pain, such as gassiness or spitting up, are some other symptoms of colic.

Top tips to soothe your baby

  • Feeding and winding your baby: Feed your baby regularly or whenever they seem hungry. Don’t forget to burp them after every feed, as the trapped wind can make them uncomfortable. If you're bottle-feeding, try an anti-colic teat and bottle to help your baby swallow less air. Sit your baby upright to take the bottle, and make sure that the milk covers the entrance to the teat as the baby drinks. Remove the bottle at regular intervals. Overfeeding may make the baby uncomfortable or nauseous.
  • Laying your baby down on their tummy: The change in position may calm some colicky babies. Try laying your baby down on their tummy and rub his/her back. This will soothe them and may help them pass gas. This will also strengthen the neck and shoulder muscles of your baby. This should be done while they’re awake and under supervision.
  • Cuddling your baby: Babies identify the smell, touch and heartbeat of their mothers. They feel secure and happy when moms hold them close to their chest so that they can hear their mothers’ heartbeat. Moms should take care to be relaxed when they do this. Singing a lullaby and swaying with the baby in your arms can also soothe some babies.
  • Playing white noise: Repetitive sounds or vibrations, like a recording of rain or the sound of a hairdryer or vacuum cleaner, can calm your baby. The background noise of a washing machine or dishwasher may also calm your baby. Just make sure the sound isn’t very loud - it should be like a hum in the background.
  • Reducing external stimuli: Turn the lights down, reduce noise around the house, and speak or sing softly to your baby.
  • Moms, try changing your diet: What you eat and drink affects your breastmilk, and may cause tummy problems for your baby. If you are breastfeeding your baby, talk to your doctor about changing your diet to see if your baby cries less. Try avoiding cow’s milk: some babies can develop an allergy to cow-milk protein even when they are fully breastfed. If your baby is formula-fed, your doctor may prescribe a hypoallergenic formula. Some babies are allergic to lactose - they have trouble digesting the sugars (lactose) in breastmilk and formula. Your doctor may suggest adding lactase drops to your babies milk for a week, to help your baby digest lactose.
  • Massages for baby and parent: Babies find massages soothing - they may help your baby's colic, too. Massage your baby’s tummy in an anticlockwise direction to soothe tummy cramps or constipation. This can also help with their digestion. Treat yourself to a massage every now and then - when you’re relaxed, you can pay more attention to your baby.

Make a note of what works and what doesn't. Keen observation will help you to find a solution that works best for you and your baby.

Health articles in Firstpost are written by myUpchar.com, India’s first and biggest resource for verified medical information. At myUpchar, researchers and journalists work with doctors to bring you information on all things health. To know more on this topic, please visit https://www.myupchar.com/en/disease/colic

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