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Why won’t my baby stop crying? Why won’t my baby settle? Is it reflux? Is it gas pain? Is it Infant Colic?

The first few months of becoming new parents for some can be a very distressing time dealing with what is medically termed ‘Infant Colic’.

Signs and symptoms include “episodes of crying lasting more than 3 hours a day, occurring more than 3 days in any week for 3 weeks in a healthy baby aged 2 weeks to 4 months”.

The effect on families can be very distressing and it is important to have a good support network to help you through the emotional episodes.

In my experience, I spent waking nights crawling the Internet searching for answers. I did not even know what I was looking for, something I had not been given any warning or information leading up to the birth of my first baby.

The term colic continued to pop up and I soon realised I was dealing with something different to the normal expected baby crying cues.

She would constantly cry between feeds, a loud screech in pain and never seemed to feel relaxed and calm. A constant attempt to try soothing her became a regular routine for our household.

When I attempted to find out what exactly causes colic (visiting GP’s and reading up on websites) they all came back with the unknown.

Some theories, holding little solid evidence, suggested indigestion, trapped wind or dietary sensitivities to proteins and sugars found in the milks.

Recent research performed at the Department of Neurology, Division of Child Neurology, University of California, San Francisco has identified a different relationship; The relationship between migraine and infant colic.

The review concluded cases of infant colic are associated with increased odds of migraine. This research suggests if colic were a type of migraine disorder, it would allow implications of a safe treatment intervention for families diagnosed with this type of behavior in their babies.



Getting closer to a true diagnosis of infant colic commonly experienced in babies of today, is a breaking step forward for supporting mothers who spend agonising hours in frustration and tears trying to soothe an innocent hysterical baby.

How to comfort your baby during Colicky times

I found the following techniques taken from Health Direct my go-to-guide for ways to soothe your baby during timed of colicky episodes.

Please remember, each baby will respond to different methods, so just be patient and see what works best for you.

Try the following:

  • Holding your baby during a crying episode can sometimes help, as can wrapping them snugly in a blanket or baby sling.
  • Hold your baby in different positions, such as on your shoulder, cradled in your arms or lying tummy-down along your forearm.
  • Sit your baby upright during feeding to prevent them from swallowing air.
  • Don’t drink too much tea, coffee and other caffeine containing drinks if you are breastfeeding. Some women also find that spicy food and alcohol can aggravate colic.
  • Use a ‘fast flow’ teat if you are bottle feeding, as holes in bottle teats that are too small may cause your baby to swallow air as they feed.
  • Always burp your baby after a feed. To do this, sit your baby upright or hold them against your shoulder, making sure you support their neck and head. Gently rub their back and tummy until they burp. They may vomit a small amount of milk when you do this.
  • Babies like movement, so pushing them around in their pram or pushchair or going for a drive can be comforting. Rocking them over your shoulder or carrying them around the house may also be helpful.
  • Some babies find ‘white noise’ soothing. This is the background sound of a washing machine or vacuum cleaner.
  • Gentle stomach or back rubs or a warm bath may also help to relieve colic.

I know how hard it is, not to mention so very stressful to stay in control of the situation, try take a few deep breaths, be 100% engaged in your babies needs, patiently knowing this is just for now.

Has your baby had colic, do you have any tips or things you did that seemed to help your baby, please share below in the comments. 

Image courtesy of Shutterstock.com
  • This is interesting! Thank you for sharing this!

    Reply

  • It seems some babies have a reaction to what the mother is consuming. I found I couldn’t eat dairy. I met another lady who also couldn’t eat particular products. I don’t think it would be for all babies but worth the try if it is bad. Simply remove items from your diet for 3 days. If it gets better then try introducing again. If it returns then you know that’s it.


    • yes that is a really useful tip that alot of people would find helpful

    Reply

  • Hubby would lay our bubs over his forearm on their tummies, and they would relax. I never could. I would put bub on my shoulder for hours and rock or walk through the house. Only occasionally, I could sit propped up in bed with bub on my chest. We still prop up the cot mattress with a folded blanket or the bed frame with a brick if the kids get the flu.

    Reply

  • Colic is something that every baby suffers. I found that when it’s really bad a weak caraway seed tea may help only about 3 seeds per 100 ml of water, boil and cool the tea also I would alternate water and chamomile tea also weak through out the day.

    Reply

  • Great ideas and a useful article.

    Reply

  • i used infant marina drops from the chemist with my daughter it worked really well and worked right away!


    • Thats good to hear you had instant relief. It is funny how some methods just work for some but not for others. Head over to my site if you liked the post. :)

    Reply

  • my friend had gone through this with her first child

    Reply

  • This is a great article.


    • Thanks for your feedback. I hope it helps a lot of mums who need that little extra support on the topic. Take care and feel free to share the article on your social media platforms if you know a mum in need. :)

    Reply

  • According to my Mum and Dad I was a very colicky baby and was taken to a paedatrician for several months. Mym Mum and dad rubbed my back so much rubbing my back trying to get me to bring up the wind that they wore a baby blanket pretty thin. it was very cold weather with only a radiator for heating – no bodysuits in existance In summer it was my tops or dresses. Sometimes in desperation after a couple of hours Mum would give me another feed, I would burp a few times then sleep for hours. Dad could sometimes feel the “knot”(That’s what he called it) of wind in my stomach. If he pused on it gently with one finger sometimes he could get me to burp fairly quickly. Mum reckons he was more successful at that than she was. They tried all sorts of remedies and medications If was several months before I “out grew” it. Then we moved house when I was a little over 12 months old. It unsettled me and I had it again for a couple of weeks. At that point Dad was on holidays so he had the chore of “shifting” the wind. Babies will often pull their legs up if they have stomach pains at all. Some babies also suffer from reflux. Reflux can also cause vomitting, your baby retains less feed and if a baby is affected the same as an adult can get chest tightness and a sore throat. One thing that can help relieve that is raising the head of your baby’s bassinet/cot. It a cot you can put extra pillow/s under the mattress. A friend of mine even used phone books under the mattress as a temporary alternative and it definitely helped so as soon as the shops were open she went bought some pillows. To use for that purpose cheap ones work just as well as expensive ones do……or you could fold a blanket and use.


    • Thanks for your story, the one thing we can all be thankful is that the phase passes. I too had to elevate my baby sleeping so she did not cough or perhaps reflux herself awake.It was very effective.
      I think as long as mothers are aware of what infant colic is and has supportive information then it makes a world of difference. :)

    Reply

  • Our son had dreadful colic between the ages of 1 month to 6 months. As soon as he finished breastfeeding, I would burp him. Then shortly after he would start to cry tucking his legs up into his stomach with pain. The only thing that helped him was Gripe Water just beforee a feed. He grew out of it when he started solids.


    • It certainly is so much more then wind. It is hard because no one really knows what exactly it is until this promising research on migraine.

    Reply

  • I did find Brauers stomach calm to help.


    • We love the Brauer products, I did a review on the Calm drops for irritability on my blog. I found colic calm worked for us however never tried this one…Gosh we found some days it would help others it did not. Such a hard one this topic.

    Reply

  • Super informative article – thank you

    Reply

  • After having 2 children who suffered severe colic then causing me sleep deprivation I really don’t know how I had another child.


    • Oh gosh…. I feel this little one is a HANDFUL and the thought of another scares me….what age did you decide after the first one? We are thinking when she is about 2years old….

    Reply

  • Leg exercises and infants friend


    • It amazed me how much gas would come out in a little session of leg pushes….a good laugh too.

    Reply

  • this is such a hard thing for parents, especially mums to go through. My second child just cried all the time, mainly when I tried to lay her down, so as you can imagine sleeping was normally short bursts combined with lots of crying from both of us :( – I went to numerous drs’, maternal health nurses, friends family – all to discover that no one could pinpoint what was causing her to cry all the time – it was heartbreaking. On the plus side she is now 4 years old, sleeps extremely well, and is one of the happiest kids I know. So even though there is a dark cloud at the start of her life, we have both come out of it intact and happy (probably relieved in my book that we actually got through it) – good luck to all the mums and bubs out there


    • I know exactly where you are coming from, we are only at 10 months old but I still have not forgotten the first 3 months!!! It really does take support, patience and that mummy love to get through. Glad you enjoyed the post TAYNIK46 Thanks.

    Reply

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