Colic is the term given to excessive, frequent crying in babies who appear to be otherwise healthy and well-fed. Unfortunately it is common affecting around 1 in 5 babies (according to NHS Choices) and the causes of it aren't very well known.
Colic normally starts at a few weeks old and stops around 4 months affecting both boys and girls and both breast-fed babies and bottle-fed babies.
The signs include arching the back, hands clenched in fists and knees drawn up to towards the stomach. Some believe it may be caused by trapped wind and indigestion causing discomfort.
It can be very distressing for both parents and baby. Here are a few things you can try which may help:-
See your GP
Your GP can assess your baby properly and see if there are any other causes.
Hold them when they are having an episode
Comforting cuddles, skin to skin and your warmth may help. You might like to hold them in a sling or baby carrier.
Hold them in different positions
Some positions may be more comfortable than others. Cradling them on their front, across your bent arm with their head, back and neck supported may be comforting. (With their head nestled into the crease of your elbow).
Rock them, take them for a walk in the pram or go for a drive
Babies love movement and often puts them to sleep.
Dim the lights and make the environment quiet and soothing
The epsiodes mostly start in the evening when the household is at it' busiest. Babies are very sensitive and may react to being overstimulated if there is a lot going on around them.
Reduce or eliminate drinks and food with caffeine such as tea and coffee if breastfeeding
Alcohol and spicy food may also be a consideration for reducing or eliminating from your diet.
Feed on demand
Some babies feed for comfort whether breast-fed or bottle-fed.
Always burp them after a feed
Sit them upright supporting their head and neck and rub their back or place them over your shoulder.
If bottle feeding try using a fast-flow teat and hold them upright when feeding to reduce the amount of air they swallow.
Play 'white noise'
The sound of the vacuum cleaner, hairdryer or washing machine can be soothing for babies.
Bathe your baby in a warm bath
Instead of using soap or commercial products put a couple of drops of 'Oilatum Bath Formula' in the water so that their skin stays moisturised.
Give them a massage
Our Baby Massage 'colic routine' strokes about 30 minutes before the episode starts may help ease discomfort and help you to relax too.
Remember to nurture yourself
Babies are sensitive to your emotions.
Get help and support from loved ones when you can and try to get some sleep when baby sleeps.
If your baby is suffering with Colic and would like to arrange a Baby Massage course or Mum & Baby Yoga & Pilates get in touch.
Here are some links which you may find useful: