There are many babies who suffer from colic and they keep on crying for a long time. In case your child is crying for more than 3 hours continuously, for 3 days in a week; then there are chances that the baby has got colic. There are several ways to treat this condition. Medical treatment is important for treating colic in infants. However, there are also some natural ways to treat colic in mild cases. In this article we will talk about ways of treating colic in infants naturally.
It is noted that colic is the condition that affects up to 20% of infants.(1) Colic generally affects a child in the early life, around 2-3 weeks after birth and gets resolved spontaneously after 4-6 months of age. Colic can cause a baby to cry for prolonged periods and the affected infants also arch up their backs while crying and also draw their knees back. Usually the infant’s abdominal muscles are tensed in case of colic. Though the exact cause of colic may not be known, it might be occurring in infants due to indigestion or gas. There might also be possibilities that some infants may be intolerant towards the substances present in breast milk. So, lactose intolerance or an overload could be one of the causes of colic in case of infants. Evidence for lactose intolerance or overload playing a role in colic is mixed and inconclusive.(2)(3)
16 Natural Remedies To Treat Colic In Infants
Below we have mentioned some of the ways to treat colic in infants naturally.
One of the best ways of treating colic in infants naturally is to offer your baby a warm bath. This remedy has been there since ages. A warm bath would relieve some kinds of tension in the baby and it even distracts the infant from the pain in case there is any.
You just need to fill the baby’s bathtub with warm water and while your baby lies in it, massage the abdomen very gently so as to help relieve any gas.
Get Fresh Air:
Who does not love to have fresh air? In fact we all do! There is something really magical about the fresh air. Sometimes, the fresh air, the wind, the Sun, the birds around, and all of them help in shifting the babies’ mood and also comfort some babies. So, you can also try this as a remedy for treating colic in your infant naturally.
Let Your Baby Suck:
Infants have a strong sucking reflux and that need to be satiated. Usually babies comfort themselves by means of their hand-to-mouth reflex, which makes them to place their fingers, hands, or fists into the mouth.
If the baby is breastfeeding, allow the baby to feed on demand as much as you can. This would help the infant get relief from colic pain.
Do Some Bodywork Or Baby Exercises:
There are specific baby exercises which can actually do wonders in releasing trapped gas in infants. Your can do gentle massage of your body and try doing bent legs, bicycle legs, or even put their bellies on your thighs so that they get gentle pressure which help in releasing the trapped gas.
You can also take your infant to a chiropractor. However, be sure that the practitioner is specialized in infant care.
Try Warm Compress:
One more remedy for treating colic in infants naturally is a warm compress. It offers some good relief from any trapped gas and also provides comfort and relaxing effect.
For this, you need to dip a clean cloth in warm water and squeeze out any excess water from it and then place it on the stomach of your baby. You can even rub the stomach gently.
Massage With Oil:
Massaging your baby with olive oil or coconut oil gently would sooth your baby and also helps in proper digestion. Massage the oils in the entire body of your baby and also rub it on the stomach in clockwise manner.
Have Longer Feeding On Each Breast:
Make sure that you infant feeds longer on both breasts individually rather than alternating between each of the breast. After your baby has sucked milk on a breast for some time, the hindmilk comes out that is very much more nutritious than the foremilk coming out at the beginning. This hindmilk contains more of fat, and this is known to promote digestion and also relax the baby’s stomach. It must also be noted that excess of foremilk can result in digestive stress.
Change The Formula:
You must also not that if your baby is on formula milk, there must be something that would be reacting the baby in the formula. So, it is good to change this formula from time to time. You can even try some homemade formulas which are loaded with bio-available nutrients and which are quite easier to digest.
Burp Your Baby:
One more way you can treat colic in infants naturally is by burping your baby. It is essential for you that your baby burps after feeding. This helps in relieving gas and also in preventing the formation of air pockets in your stomach.
Simply lay your baby against your shoulder after you feed your baby. Make sure you are supporting the baby’s neck and shoulder quite carefully. Gently pat or rub the back of your baby till you listens a burp sound. Make sure that you do this after each of the feeding.
Change The Feeding Bottle:
One more thing to keep in mind is to change the feeding bottle of your baby. This can even help soothe the baby. This is because the amount of aid entering the baby through the feeding bottle changes when you change the feeding bottles and this can even affect the gas in the body of your baby.
Watch What You Eat:
It is very much known that whatever mother eats; gets passed on to the feeding baby during breastfeeding. So, it is essential to regulate your diet properly. Gluten, dairy, caffeine, citrus fruits and spicy foods, must be avoided if your baby is suffering from colic. This could be one of the best ways of treating colic in infants naturally.
Have A Quite Time:
Make sure that you are not trying to talk to your baby loudly or sing to them in a loud voice, as there are chances that a colic baby starts crying even more. So, always try to create a calm and quite environment.
Create The Closeness:
Another way to treat colic in infants naturally is by creating the closeness. This technique actually aids your little one to transition from a warm and dark womb to the open world. Make sure that you always try to maintain contact with your infant by babywearing. Make a constant contact with you and this would help your baby soothe and make them cry less. You can swaddle your baby while putting the baby to sleep, and this helps your baby to sleep for a long time.
It is essential to note that creating movements could help in treating colic in infants naturally. You can bounce your baby on an exercise ball for a few hours to create movements. Other fantastic tools to create movements in the baby would be vibrating recliners or rockers and swings. These movements can relax and soothe a baby.
Knee Pushing Exercise:
You can treat colic in infants naturally by simple knee pushing exercise. This exercise can relieve gas in your baby.
Simple place your baby on their back and hold the knees of your baby together and then gently push their legs back towards their tummy. You need to hold their legs this way for a few seconds. This exercise can also be done while baby massage times.
Sounds To Calm Your Baby:
You must be informed that there are sounds which can calm babies. The sounds distract the baby and thus help in relieving tension. So, playing soothing sounds of water, or vacuum can be a great idea.
Other Natural Remedies to Treat Colic In Infants Naturally
Asafoetida: Asafoetida is known for treating colic in infants naturally because of its anti-flatulence properties that aids in digestion and in relieving gas. For using this natural remedy for colic in infants, you need to take a pinch of asafoetida and add it to a teaspoon of water and warm it well. Now, rub this around the navel of your baby. In case your baby has begun with solid foods, you can mix some asafetida in their food or water.
Mint Tea: Mint is known to offer fair relief from intestinal cramping. So mint tea can also be used for treating colic in infants naturally. For using natural remedy for colic in infants, add one teaspoon of mint in one cup of hot water and allow it to sit for 10 minutes and then strain it well. You now have to feed a few teaspoons of the mint tea to your colic baby.
Chamomile Tea: Chamomile is a herb that has got sedative and antispasmodic properties. So, chamomile tea can make your colicky or crying baby get some relief and help the baby falling asleep. For using this as a remedy to treat colic in infants, you need few dried chamomile flowers which are to be put in one cup of hot water and allowed it to rest at least for 10 minutes before straining. Once, it is cooled, give your baby a few teaspoons of it.
Apple Cider Vinegar: Apple cider vinegar is also known to reduce symptoms of heartburn and fights against yeast infections. So, one can give colic babies a tablespoon of apple cider vinegar for providing some relief.(4) Apply one full teaspoon of apple cider vinegar in one cup of warm water and feed few of the teaspoon if it to your baby.
Orange Blossom Water: The orange blossom water is also known to calm a colicky baby and it is used as a treatment in the middle east. To relieve gas from your colic baby, give the baby a few teaspoon of this water.
Basil: Basil leaves are also known for treating colic in infants naturally. These leaves contain Eugenol which has got sedative and antispasmodic properties. Thus basil leaves can be used for dealing with several gastrointestinal problems.
For using this as a remedy, you need to take a few leaves of basil and add them to water. Then boil it and allow it to cool down. A few teaspoon of this is to be given to your baby to drink. You can also prepare a paste of the basil leaves and apply the paste around the baby’s navel and keep it there till it dries up and then clean it with water and a clean cloth.
Fennel: One more way to treat colic in infants naturally is by using fennel seeds as a remedy. Fennel has got amazing healing properties and properties for dealing with gas and several other gastronomic ailments. Add one teaspoon of the seeds to one cup of hot water and allow it to sit for at least 10 minutes and then strain it well. A few teaspoons of this prepared water is to be give to your colic baby.
Peppermint: One of the best ways to treat colic in infants naturally would be a massage to your baby with the massage oil and peppermint in it. Peppermint has got antispasmodic and calming properties and thus can help relieve the pain in colic babies. Add one drop of the peppermint in one teaspoon of baby massage oil and rub it well in your palms to massage the oil gently over the tummy of your baby.
Probiotics: One more effective ways of treating colic in infants naturally could be by using probiotics. Colic can be due to trapped gas, acid reflux and sluggish digestive track. Lactobacillus reuteri is a special strain of probiotics that is known to be effective in dealing with the condition of colic. These probiotics help in reducing the inflammation in the gut, killing bacteria and inhibiting the e-coli bacteria found more in the colic babies than the babies without the condition of colic. It must be noted that doctor’s advice is a must before giving probiotics to babies.
It must be mentioned that colic in infants requires appropriate help from an expert medical professional. You also need to have the support and help from your partner so as to calm your colic baby. So, do not hesitate in asking help from your family members when your baby is crying out of pain in colic.
Risks Involved in Treating Colic In Infants With Natural Remedies:
Elimination Diet: You must make a note that in case you are breastfeeding your baby you must eliminate certain types of foods from your diet; which include potential allergens such as diary too. However, you must always talk to your doctor before making any changes to your diet while breastfeeding phase.
Start Anise Tea: Anise tea is an herbal tea used to treat colic. However, you must keep a strict note that there are some types of anise tea which are really toxic.
Gripe Water: There are some people who suggest giving a colic baby gripe water, which is a liquid containing herbs, such as lavender or chamomile. However, gripe water has no proven benefits, and there might be some risks associated with this remedy too.
It is true that despite of all the best possible efforts taken by parents, sometimes babies simply cry and parents find nothing to calm them. This could be really heartbreaking. In case none of the natural remedies work in treating, make sure that you consult with your child’s doctor and take the prescribed treatment immediately.