7 Ways To Offer Your Baby Colic Relief

Colic – the inconsolable crying of a young baby, present for more than three hours per day, at least three days per week for more than three weeks, is one of the most distressing experiences parents can suffer. What can be done?

There are lots of different approaches to helping babies with colic, some working better than others.

I expect you are interested in the chiropractic approach to a colicky baby. Unfortunately, due to current Australian advertising laws, I can’t tell you about this. What I can do is give you some advice for you to try at home.

#1. Breastfeeding Mums can experiment with their diet

If you are breastfeeding, try to experiment with eliminating certain foods from your diet to see if that helps your baby feel more comfortable.

Many babies have very sensitive guts and react badly to breastmilk when mum has eaten:

  • Dairy (milk products such as milk, cheese, yoghurt, chocolate)
  • Gluten (present in wheat, rye, oats and barley but also ‘hidden’ in products like soy sauce and lollies)
  • Certain vegetables (onions, garlic, cabbage and broccoli)
  • Spices like chilli and curry
  • Caffeine, chocolate and nicotine.

#2. Bottle feeding Mums can try different formulas and probiotics

If you are bottle feeding, try changing the brand of formula you use as they are all slightly different. There are several lactose-free and casein free formulas in case your baby is intolerant to those. Probiotics might also help develop your baby’s gut flora and improve his sensitive gut.

Look for a high-end brand with strains specifically for babies such as Lactobacillus Rhamnosus, Lactobacillus Reuteri, Bifidobacterium Lactis, Bifidobacterium Infantis and Lactobacillus Fermentum. If Mum is breastfeeding, probiotics for Mum can also be beneficial.

#3. Try a different feeding position

The position your baby breastfeeds in may cause him to swallow air causing abdominal discomfort.

Have Mum recline at a 45-degree angle (propped up by pillows on the couch or in a recliner) and have your baby parallel to her, on his stomach on top of her. This way, your baby can control the flow of milk easier by pulling away if it all becomes too much.

#4. Make sure your breast is fully empty before offering the other side

Getting too much foremilk may also cause tummy upsets, so make sure the breast is fully empty before offering the other side, even if it means offering the same side twice.

If the baby is bottle-fed, experiment with different sized teats and holes and different milk thicknesses.

#5. Help your baby along with regular burping

Regular burping is absolutely essential.

If your baby struggles to bring up wind, burp more often and try different positions, such as sitting, draped over the shoulder or on his belly on your arm or lap.

A gentle tummy massage in a clockwise direction may also help release wind, as may performing ‘bicycle legs’ – bringing alternate legs to the tummy.

#6. Slow life down to baby pace

With all the new experiences a baby has, life can become all too much. When a baby is exhausted and overtired, he can only communicate this in one way: crying!

Consciously try to slow life down to baby pace: do less and go to fewer places, even more than you have already had to do. Have friends come to your house for coffee rather than going out, do your grocery shopping online and maybe ask someone to help with school drop off and pick up for a while.

Do not totally withdraw from social interaction, though. It is incredibly important for Mum’s health to connect with friends and family, to get a change of scenery, fresh air and sunshine. Baby will quickly pick up on Mum’s anxiety and frustration and will communicate his worry in the only way he can.

#7. As always, support each other through this tough time!

As parents, you really need to support each other at this difficult time. Know that your baby suffering colic is nobody’s fault and is not a reflection on your parenting.

When you need a break, take turns comforting the baby, have a friend take the screaming baby for a walk down the street for a while and take up the offers of help from grandparents, aunties and uncles. Anyone can help hold, rock and sway to try and soothe the baby.

Swaddling may also comfort him. Carrying him in a sling or going for a ride in the car can also be helpful. A warm bath may make him feel better or maybe a gentle massage.

Most of all, love and enjoy your little precious one, he is not crying to upset you!

Remember, we are always here to help.

Now you have a few ideas for colic relief! If you have any questions, please contact the caring team from Family Chiropractic Charlestown in Newcastle.

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