Are you a new parent struggling with a crying baby in your arms, and you have no idea what to do? You’re not alone! Colic is a common issue that affects up to 40% of infants, causing excessive crying and discomfort. Despite the issue being so common, one question that all parents want an answer to is how to soothe a colicky baby.
Colic is a condition where a baby cries excessively and can’t be soothed, even if they’re fed, changed, or held. It’s common in babies and usually starts around 2-3 weeks of age and can last up to 3-4 months. The cause of colic is not fully understood, but it’s thought to be due to a combination of factors such as gas, indigestion, or an immature digestive system.
Colic can be stressful for both the baby and the parents. But don’t worry. There are plenty of techniques you can try to help ease your little one’s fussiness and bring some peace to your household. From swaddling and white noise to gentle massage and specialized formulas, many tricks of the trade can work wonders for a colicky baby.
A colicky baby can be exhausting for parents to deal with, but with patience and persistence, you can find an answer to how to soothe a colicky baby. So let’s dive into some proven methods for soothing a colicky baby and get you and your little one back to enjoying those precious moments together.
Learn all about infant care and tips to keep your baby happy and healthy.
How To Soothe A Colicky Baby?
These are the most effective ways to treat and soothe a colicky baby.
1. Feed Them Right
A certain ingredient can trigger colic, so before learning how to soothe a colicky baby, you first need to eliminate all the things that might be disturbing your baby, causing them to cry more.
If you breastfeed your baby, you must take care of the following
- Make sure you keep track of what you eat and drink. The foods you consume can affect your baby because they are passed on to them from you.
- It is best to avoid stimulants like caffeine and chocolate.
- Avoid nuts and dairy products if your baby has an allergy.
- Consult your doctor to see if any medicines you’re taking could be contributing to the problem.
If your baby is on formula milk, you must follow these tips
- Consider switching to a different formula brand, as some babies may be sensitive to certain proteins found in their current formula.
- Offer your baby smaller but more frequent feedings instead of larger meals, as this may help to ease their discomfort.
- Ensure that you’re not overfeeding your baby and that they are taking their time during feedings. Consider using a nipple with a smaller hole to slow their feeding if they eat quickly.
- Warm the formula to body temperature before feeding your baby, as this may make it more appealing and easier to digest.
- Hold your baby in an upright position while feeding them, as this may help to reduce their discomfort and prevent the intake of air.
2. Swaddle Your Baby
Swaddling is a traditional technique used to soothe infants and is an effective strategy for calming colicky babies. Swaddling involves wrapping a baby snugly in a blanket or cloth to simulate the feeling of being in the womb. This technique can help reduce crying, improve sleep, and increase the feeling of security and comfort in infants.
In fact, research shows that swaddling significantly reduced colic symptoms and improved sleep in infants. Swaddling has also been found to have other benefits beyond soothing colicky babies. According to a study published in the Journal of Obstetric, Gynecologic, and Neonatal Nursing, swaddling can promote better sleep in premature infants by reducing the incidence of sudden movements and sleep disruptions. Additionally, another study published in the Journal of Pediatrics found that swaddled infants had a lower incidence of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) when compared to those who were not swaddled.
It is important to ensure the blanket is not too tight or restrictive when swaddling, as this can increase the risk of hip dysplasia and other complications. It is also important to ensure that the baby is placed on their back when swaddled, as this is the safest sleeping position and reduces the risk of SIDS.
3. Use White Noise
White noise is an effective way to soothe a colicky baby and promote sleep. Research suggests that white noise mimics the sounds babies hear in the womb and can create a calming environment. Research shows that white noise significantly reduced crying in colicky infants compared to a control group. A study published in the journal Sleep Medicine found that white noise improved sleep for premature infants in the neonatal intensive care unit. Using a white noise machine or app can be a helpful tool for parents struggling with a colicky baby.
4. Give Your Baby A Massage
Baby massage is a gentle and effective technique that promotes relaxation and soothes a colicky baby. Research suggests that the touch and pressure used in baby massage can stimulate the release of hormones like oxytocin and decrease stress hormones like cortisol, reducing colic symptoms. A study published in the Iranian Journal of Nursing and Midwifery found that massage therapy significantly decreases crying and improves sleep in infants with colic. Massage therapy reduces colic symptoms and improves mother-infant interaction.
To perform a baby massage, it is important to gently touch and follow a routine your baby enjoys. Some common techniques include gentle strokes on the back and tummy and circular movements on the limbs. It is important to use a natural oil like coconut or almond oil to avoid irritating your baby’s skin.
5. Give Them A Warm Bath
Who doesnt like a warm relaxing bath? Your baby is no different. The warm water can help to relax your baby’s muscles and ease discomfort. Additionally, the sound of the water can create a calming environment for your baby.
While there is limited research specifically on the use of warm baths to soothe colic, a study published in the Journal of Clinical Nursing found that bathing is associated with reduced crying in infants overall. The authors suggest that the warm water and sensory stimulation of bathing may calm infants.
6. Use A Pacifier Or Dummy
Using a pacifier to soothe a colicky baby can be a helpful technique. Sucking on a pacifier can provide babies comfort and a sense of security. Additionally, it can help to distract them from their discomfort and provide a calming effect.
Research has shown that pacifier use can positively impact reducing crying and fussiness in infants. Pacifier use is associated with a decreased incidence and duration of colic in breastfed infants. It is suggested that pacifier use may help to promote sucking and create a calming effect, ultimately leading to reduced crying.
It is important to note that pacifier use should be done in moderation and with care. Overuse of pacifiers can lead to dental problems and may interfere with breastfeeding. It is recommended that pacifiers be used as a soothing tool rather than as a constant presence. If used right, a pacifier could be an answer to how to soothe a colicky baby.
7. Burp Them Them Often
All new parents must know that burping the baby is important after every feed. But do you know that it is also an answer to how to soothe your colicky baby? Burping is an important technique to soothe a colicky baby. During feeding, babies can swallow air which can cause discomfort and lead to excessive crying. Burping helps release this trapped air and can relieve the baby.
Research has shown that burping can be an effective technique for reducing colic in infants. A study published in the Journal of Pediatric Gastroenterology and Nutrition found that burping was associated with decreased crying time in colic infants. The authors suggest that burping may help to alleviate the discomfort associated with swallowing air during feeding.
It is important to note that every baby is different and may require different burping techniques. Some babies may need to be burped frequently during feeding, while others may not need to be burped as often. Experimenting with different positions and techniques can help to find what works best for your baby.
Overall, burping is an important technique for parents of colicky babies. By releasing trapped air, it can provide relief and help to reduce crying. It is important to consult with a healthcare provider to determine the best approach for your individual child.
Read more about common gastrointestinal issues in babies.
8. Trust Bonnisan
If you have tried all of the above and still failed to find an answer to how to soothe your colic baby? Well, Himalaya’s Bonnisan is your best bet. Bonnisan is a complete digestive tonic that helps in the management of common gastrointestinal disorders in infants and children. It relieves gas and gripes so your little one can sleep peacefully.