Does your baby cry… a lot? Are they fussiest in the early evening? Do you feel that no matter what you do, nothing seems to help? Is your baby otherwise healthy & gaining weight normally? If the answer to these questions in “Yes!”, your baby may be suffering from colic.
Living with a baby who is experiencing an episode of colic is an extremely stressful time for any parent. Many feel incompetent, frustrated, depressed or even angry when everything they do to try to alleviate their baby’s discomfort seem useless.
Please, rest assured. You are not alone!
Many healthcare professionals believe that as many as 1 of every 5 babies born, suffer from colic. Whilst there is no known cure, there are many remedies which may provide reflief during an episode. Some of these remedies are listed below…
Baby Bliss can teach you techniques to help you & your baby to relax. One to one, home visits are available & we are happy to visit at a time which is convenient to you & your baby. You may wish to learn only the “colic routine” which is designed specifically to alleviate the discomfort of trapped wind & colic. This routine consists of a variety of abdominal strokes, gentle movements & touch relaxation. It is recommended that you use the colic routine twice a day for two weeks, it may take several days before a baby responds, others may expel wind on & from the very first practice. From the very first routine, your baby’s gastro-intestinal system will begin to function more & more smoothly meaning that each time they have an episode, a brief massage will break up & release trapped wind. The level & pace of benefit will vary from baby to baby as there may be other factors which contribute to the discomfort.
Many doctors now refer parents to baby massage classes to address the problem without the use of drugs.
When your baby was in the womb, it was a tight fit. Swaddling creates a cozy womb-like environment & helps make your baby feel safe and secure, this in turn helps them to relax. You may also find it is beneficial to dim the lighting & remove any other stimulus, such as television noise.
Whether it is breastmilk or formula, what & how the baby eats could cause excess gas, which in turn causes discomfort and fussiness. There are lots of feeding bottles available which claim to minimise the risk of trapped wind by preventing the baby from gulping down air with their feed.
In cases of breastfeeding, changing the mother’s diet can help to alleviate colic too. Generally, nursing mothers are advised to avoid caffeine & monitor the levels of garlic, broccoli, beans, dairy or other foods known to cause flatulance as this is being passed through the breastmilk to the baby.
Whilst in the womb, your baby was accustomed to & soothed by regular, gentle movement. For this reason, motion can help to soothe a colicky baby. There are a number of ways we can recreate this in the outside world. Some Mums decide to ‘babywear’ using a sling, this is beneficial as the baby has constant movement & body contact with Mum. This closeness promotes relaxation & the movement can help to move any bubbles of air as they occur, reducing the risk of a build up of trapped wind. Many babies also respond well to the use of a swing, a walk in their pram or a journey in the car… all of these offer gentle jostling, reminiscent of being in the womb. Carrying babies on their tummy, as below may also see some benefit.
Many babies respond well to white noise, this can be achieved in a car journey, by switching on the hoover, washing machine or hair dryer or by using one of the many ‘white noise’ CD/MP3’s available on the internet. It is believed that white noise is reminiscent of the the sound of amniotic fluid & blood pressure & as such, offers a soothing reassurance to fretful babies.
There are a number of pharmaceutical & herbal preparations available, please seek the advice of your health visitor, G.P or pharmacist.