How to Soothe a Colicky Baby

When my 8-year-old daughter was a baby, she suffered from a bad case of colic, which meant I spent many nights awake with her as she cried uncontrollably. What worked one night to calm her down was not guaranteed to work the next night.

So what is colic?

Colic is condition that afflicts the gastrointestinal tract of infants, causing fussiness, gasiness, a distended belly, abdominal pain and long bouts of crying.

If you’re the parent of  a colicky baby, there are things that you can do help ease your child’s discomfort that will allow your baby, and you, to get some sleep.

  1. Move, move, move: Babies with colic love constant motion, so car rides, baby swings and rocking chairs can sometimes lull your child to sleep. You can also take your baby for a walk in a stroller. If it’s cool out, don’t forget to bundle him up.
  2. Burp your baby frequently. Babies with colic build up gas inside of their bellies, which causes pain and discomfort. If you burp your baby regularly, you can help reduce gas buildup.
  3. Place your baby in a room that is away from bright lights, loud noises and crowds of people since too much stimulation can aggravate colic.
  4. Lavender has calming properties that can soothe your little one.
  5. Swaddle your infant. Some babies respond well to being wrapped up. I tried this technique on my daughter more than once, and it definitely helped.
  6. >Give your baby a massage. Lay your baby across your knees and rub his back to help release the gas inside of your baby’s belly. It may also put your baby to sleep.
  7. Give your baby anti-gas drops, like Mylicon. Your doctor can even prescribe anti-cramp medicines, like Levsin.

Remember, it can be very frustrating when your baby cries and nothing that you do seems to help, so if you get to the point where you want to cry and scream, place your baby in his bassinet and walk away for a few minutes. It’s better to let your baby cry for a couple minutes rather than losing your cool.

Do you have any other suggestions for dealing with colic? Please feel free to share them with us.