Soothe Your Baby’s Colic


It’s normal for infants 3 months and younger to go through fussy periods, especially between 6 p.m. and midnight. But if the go-to techniques like feeding, changing, swaddling, and rocking don’t stop your baby’s cry, your little one could be part of the 20 percent of babies who have colic.

Causes of baby colic
If your baby develops colic, or excessive crying, you’ll start to notice it between his second and fourth weeks. His crying will intensify -- rather than trail off -- as the day goes on, and he’ll probably be gassy and alternate between extending and curling up his legs.  

Doctors don’t know exactly what causes baby colic, but these are some possible factors: 

• An immature nervous system

• Trouble with self-soothing

• A medical problem, like a hernia

• Something in your diet irritating his tummy, if you’re breastfeeding

Soothing your crying baby
Perhaps the most upsetting thing about a colicky baby is that often nothing seems to console him. But that doesn’t mean you can’t try. Here are a few tactics that can calm baby colic.  

Rock him. Rocking or putting your baby in his baby swing with some white noise -- like a vacuum or the dryer -- in the background can sometimes help, since the steady motion can be soothing.  

Walk with him in his carrier. Like rocking, this motion is comforting, and being close to you might also help him feel better.

Swaddle him. Wrap your baby in a large, thin blanket. It’ll help him feel warm, cozy, and secure.

Give him a pacifier. It doesn’t always help, but for some babies, the sucking motion is soothing.

Rub his back. Lay your baby tummy-side down across your knees and gently rub his back with your fingers, which could release some of the pressure in his stomach.

Check your diet. If you’re breastfeeding, certain foods in your diet could be causing discomfort for your baby. Milk products, caffeine, cabbage, and onions are all potential culprits, so try omitting them one at a time, over a period of days, to find out if one of them is the real culprit.

Remember, there’s hope!
You might not believe it now, but baby colic doesn’t last forever. By the time your baby reaches the 4-month mark, his colic will likely pass -- and you’ll all be happier!

Photo by Minnie Zhou on Unsplash

by Marygrace Taylor