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Newborns are so wonderful and perfect. There is just something about a tiny baby that is so innocent and sweet. Along with all of the cuddles and snuggles with your little babe, a lot of us seem to experience the struggles of colic and LOTS of crying. This often leaves us frustrated and exhausted as we try to endlessly console a screaming baby who is not consolable. The good news is that there are many natural ways to relieve colic in babies.
- Don’t worry, you’re not alone
- How do I know if my baby has colic?
- What causes colic?
- Things to consider when dealing with colic
- 1. Check to see if your baby has a lip or tongue-tie
- 2. Determine if you are dealing with reflux or colic
- 3. Evaluate what is going into your baby’s stomach
- 6 natural ways or remedies to soothe your colicky baby
- 1. Burp often and effectively
- 2. Find a good baby probiotic
- 3. Try natural homeopathic remedies
- 4. Give your baby a massage
- 5. Take your baby to a chiropractor
- 6. Go outside
- Remember to ask for help
Don’t worry, you’re not alone
As a new mother I felt completely overwhelmed during those first few months, so when my baby began to fuss and cry constantly, I seriously did not know what to do.
I am sure I am not the only mother that has felt this way, and thankfully I was able to find some natural ways to help ease my baby’s discomfort.
My baby boy seemed to ALWAYS be gassy or colicky.
I would find myself constantly analyzing every single event leading up to his bouts of colic, trying to pinpoint what was different or what could have caused the tummy ache.
Sometimes I would figure out a possible cause and be able to eliminate it, other times I felt like it was a complete guessing game.
As my baby did get older, he eventually grew out of a lot of those issues and now looking back it does seem like a bit of a blur to me.
Either way, I survived those first few months and I was able to offer some natural remedies and techniques that did help along the way.
Try to enjoy every newborn snuggle you get and hopefully these simple tips will help your baby with any tummy discomfort they have while alleviating some frustration on your end.
How do I know if my baby has colic?
Here are a few signs and symptoms to watch out for that might mean your baby is experiencing discomfort from colic.
- Arching back
- Lots of crying and often inconsolable
- Irritability and excessive fussiness
- Clenching fists, red face, curling knees up to chest
- Crying occurring at the same time each day (often late afternoon or evening)
- Intense crying occurring for no reason (baby isn’t hungry or needing a diaper change)
What causes colic?
Well, to be honest, not one single thing is the culprit for colic. I wish it was because then it would be a whole lot easier to diagnose and treat.
The direct causes of colic seem to be a little fuzzy but a few things that are said to be possible causes are
- Allergies or sensitivities from the baby’s diet
- Babies have an immature digestive tract so babies will eventually grow out of it
- Swallowing too much air while eating
- One of those “things” newborns experience to some degree or another
- Tongue or lip tie
With little clear direction to what the actual cause of colic amongst babies can be, it seems like colic can happen for a variety of reasons and it is not a one size fits all.
Things to consider when dealing with colic
There are many different external factors that could be causing your baby to have colic. It is important to rule out any external physical issues that could be making the situation worse along with your baby’s diet.
Some babies suffer from reflux and it is easy to get both reflux and colic mixed up since they both present similar symptoms. Try to pinpoint what exactly your baby is dealing with so you know how best to treat the problem.
1. Check to see if your baby has a lip or tongue-tie
When I first had my baby, I seriously knew nothing about lip or tongue ties little did I know my baby had both!
I wish I was more aware of this as a first-time mother because it would have solved a lot of headaches.
Check out this post “How to tell if your baby has a tongue or lip tie” for more information about lip and tongue ties, how to spot them and what to do.
A great place to start is to meet with a lactation specialist or even a pediatric dentist that specializes in ties.
2. Determine if you are dealing with reflux or colic
If you have heard of colic, I bet ya you have heard of baby reflux too, right? Reflux can present itself in similar symptoms but often has other reg flags show up too.
Other signs of reflux could be excessive spit up, resistance to laying on their back, gassy or foamy bowel movements, or failure to thrive and gain weight.
I felt as though my baby has a little “silent acid reflux” so I decided to treat him with a great homeopathic remedy that seemed to alleviate a lot of those issues.
You can find Nat Phos at Amazon or at most health food stores.
You could either dissolve a tablet in breastmilk or formula or if you feel comfortable you can give it straight to your baby. They dissolve very quickly.
I would give 1/2- 1 whole tablet after each feeding. Your infant could have as many as six tablets per day.
3. Evaluate what is going into your baby’s stomach
Whether you are breastfeeding or not, take a look at what your baby is eating. If you are breastfeeding, then take a look at your own diet.
It seems like there is a long list of problematic foods that could cause your baby to have some tummy troubles.
Whether everything on those long lists applies to you and your baby, I don’t know, BUT maybe start recording a food journal and see if certain foods do trigger your baby.
It could help to start eliminating some of those main culprits like dairy, gluten or spicy foods.
My best recommendation is to eat as clean as you can and record the foods you eat to see if you can find a possible cause.
If you are not breastfeeding, your baby could be experiencing some troubles from the formula you are using.
It could help by switching to a different formula and finding a more sensitive one but just be sure to do your own research on formulas as the market is saturated with tons of different choices.
Another option would be to try to find donor breastmilk or try using goats milk or homemade formula.
These will all provide great nutrients to your baby and might make it easier to digest than many of the other commercialized formulas.
6 natural ways or remedies to soothe your colicky baby
If you do think you are dealing with a colicky baby, don’t worry. As frustrating and exhausting as it is (trust me, I know) all is not lost.
Here are 6 great ways to help ease discomfort for your baby.
1. Burp often and effectively
It is funny to think back to myself when I was just barely a mother. I did not feel like a was a naturally good baby burper.
I’m pretty sure I looked so funny trying to burp this tiny newborn, sometimes with little success.
Thankfully, just like all the other mothers out there, with practice, I got pretty good at it and was able to burp my baby in a way that was helpful and effective to him.
I found it really useful to break up feedings halfway through with a burping session. This can avoid any big build-ups of air bubbles.
I used a couple of different burping techniques but I really found it helpful when I would start at the bottom of my baby’s back, and rub in an upward motion from the left side (which is where his stomach is located) of his back to the top of his back.
2. Find a good baby probiotic
Finding a good baby probiotic gave my baby a night and day difference.
Babies have immature digestive systems that are still developing, so good support from a probiotic offer healthy bacteria that their tummies need.
There are SO many probiotics out there to choose from so make sure to do your own research and pick one that will best suit your baby.
Check out this post to find some good recommendations for baby probiotics.
3. Try natural homeopathic remedies
I really like to have a good stock of natural remedies that will help my baby if needed. Homeopathic remedies are great and I have had a lot of success with them.
Both of these options are great remedies to have to help relieve symptoms of colic along with gas.
4. Give your baby a massage
Baby massage can be calming and relaxing.
I don’t know about you but I LOVE to be massaged and if I don’t feel too good, massaging can really help relieve tension and stress. Your baby can receive those same benefits.
I liked to use some essential oils for my baby. My go-to would be Digestzen from Doterra.
I would use the rollerball that was already prediluted. Apply a small amount to the abdomen area, start at the right lower side of their tummy, and massage in a clockwise direction.
Doing bicycle legs can help relieve gas pain in babies too! Or bending their knees up to their chest can help expel any trapped gas!
5. Take your baby to a chiropractor
Chiropractic work can work wonders for little ones. Think about it, birth can be pretty intense and often times newborns can get out of alignment during that birth process.
This can cause all kinds of problems, such as sleeping issues, digestion problems, and difficulty with bowel movements.
My baby got adjusted a few different times and I found it very helpful and saw such an improvement in him.
6. Go outside
It always seems like when the evening rolls around, your cute little newborn starts to fuss which then leads to crying. It is pretty typical with colic that the evenings can be especially rough.
I remember at times not being able to console my screaming colicky baby. It was like nothing worked.
But I remember my Mum telling me, “go outside”. Guess what? It worked! Even if it’s cold or dark, going outside can be a bit of a shock and distraction for a sad crying baby, and 99% of the time this trick totally worked.
Remember to ask for help
I know it is hard to ask for help sometimes but in all reality, we really NEED to.
Whether it be your husband, mother or mother in law, I am pretty sure they would love to lend a hand.
Be open with your husband about your frustrations and feelings so he can know how to help you.
Take turns dealing with rough nights or evenings and try your best to work as a team and support one another.
Those first few months can be so exhausting that you really shouldn’t do it alone.
Don’t be afraid to ask for help and reach out to family and friends for help and advice.
I loved talking to other mothers in a similar situation to me and get their take on things. We can always learn from others!
Those first few months with your newborn are so precious and fly by in a flash. Colic is just one of those things some of us get to experience.
Remember it is not forever so do your best to still enjoy every newborn snuggle. Try these simple tips and tricks and they will be able to help give your baby relief.
Are you currently dealing with a colicky baby? Have you found any techniques that seem to help? Please share them with me, I would love to hear any other helpful tips other mothers are using.
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