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Shared Tips for Colic

A topic that we had on our Facebook page recently:  Got any handy tips on getting through baby colic? Having a crying and unsettled baby is so hard, so I'm sending you strength to get through it.

The following paragraphs are the replies from 58 women that responded to our thread.  These are shared experiences from other mums - maybe there is something here that will be easy for you to try.  But rest assured that you are not alone!!

  • Cooled chamomile tea is great it is a relaxant has no caffeine and is totally natural, I used to give it to my son when he had colic to calm him and it worked for us
  • Bowen tech fixed my baby of colic! She was 3wks old!
  • In South Africa we have a great product called infants friend, it's fantastic, it's all natural and is great for when they're teething as well :)
  • Breastfeeding? Give up wheat and gluten and dairy and see if it makes a difference. Did for us! Might not work for you but certainly worth trying!
  • Get as much support as you can get around you. My niece was pretty bad and we used to meet up for dinner and take turns walking around the lounge with her while her poor parents had a chance to sit down, eat and have a glass of wine.
  • Rhuger is a godsend, and Bowen therapy is awesome. I didn't take my baby to Bowen for colic, but I would if I had to.
  • Weleda colic powder was great for us. As well as good old cooled boiled water. I just mixed it up in a little cooled boiled water in a little "munchkin" and gave it to her.
  • I found taking my baby to a child osteopath REALLY helped and the Weleda Colic Powder.
  • My son had colic and I was almost at my wits end with him in the beginning. I had tried everything I could think of/had been told/read on the net & in books. Then it was recommended that I take him to see an Osteopath.  I took him in and the Osteopath found that he was slightly out of alignment due to the very quick labour that I had with him (4 hours).  We had about 6 sessions with her and while the first couple resulted in a very clingy baby the end result was fantastic.
  • I gave up gluten and dairy, now she is older we know she is allergic to these things and it goes through your breast milk. Take a look at http://www.cryingoverspiltmilk.co.nz/Colicorreflux.htm to see what you are really dealing with. Cold chamomile tea and a bath helped my wee one.
  • A pinch of baking soda, a pinch of sugar dissolved in 30ml very light chamomile tea and then laying your baby on your shoulder and try making him burp. This really work it was the only thing we found to help my baby since we was born and because this is a natural remedies you can give to the baby as many times as you need it.
  • My little girl couldn't handle me having milk, I didn't realize till she was 3months as I am lactose intolerant so don't have a lot, but whenever I had cream etc her poor tummy was sooooo sore. I went off milk but had trouble keeping my milk supply up but her tummy ache was gone.
  • Most colicky kids are born when through caesarian I was told. My daughter was born with colic, it was terrible, and we tried everything we could think of, tried all the meds over the counter. We changed GP and our new doctor recommended baby acidophilus powder (it can be found in health shops). According to him, if the baby is not born thru natural means then the baby does not have good bugs in him/her. So the acidophilus powder actually supplied the good bugs necessary for food digestion. I used it for two weeks during which bub would poo every two hours. After two weeks, she was a changed baby. Brilliant. But it took me three months to get her over with the colic!!! Pretty daunting. I am with all the mums out there who have to go through it, watching my baby cry all day made me so helpless and the strain was immense.
  • If you're breastfeeding your baby - be very careful what you eat and drink. Steer well clear of lettuce and coffee!!! Neither of my babies suffered from proper colic, but if I ate lettuce or drank coffee they would be very unsettled after their feeds and would scream for ages then be up most of the night with a sore tummy. Only happened with lettuce and coffee, and I know quite a few people who had the same problem with lettuce.
  • Totally recommend a cranial osteopath. They can fix all sorts of things like feeding only on one side (which my daughter did at first) and aligning everything so they can get rid of colic.
  • For those in Auckland if you want to try an osteopath to see if there is a need for it (as they are VERY expensive). Unitec have their last year students who do bubs for approx $20. I found out after taking bubs to an osteo, which helped her with number 2s but $300 later she was still a terrible sleeper.
  • I highly recommend a Moby wrap or something similar for those babies who nothing works for. Our poor girl went through two months of crying between two and five hours every evening/night. The wrap is brilliant as it keeps the baby in a nice secure position, and you don't find yourself having to adjust them (and starting them off again) because of sore arms. I highly recommend osteopathy and chiropractics, but neither worked for us this time. Also going off dairy and caffeine didn't work either.
  • Nothing can ease the colic (apparently), my baby never had it thank god, but I've done a lot of research on it for a friend with an extremely colicky baby, and all you can really do is try different ways to comfort the child. One thing will probably make them feel better and settle them. A couple of things to try: different positions for baby (some like it on their tummy, some on their back or side) and rubbing their tummy or back, massage (there are massage techniques for colic you can look up on google) propping them upright or lying them across your lap with their butts a little higher than their head, vibrating / massage rockers, a bouncer, soft music, pretty lights (works wonders on my daughter every time), lullabies, dummy, cuddles in front of TV, or even just showing them something fascinating. Failing all that bundle him/her up and go for a walk in the pram or a ride in the car.
  • The other thing we did was express breast milk, and learned to leave her with my mum once a week. That was one night a week we could hang out for, for a full nights sleep. If you have a grandparent willing to help, use them :)
  • My son was terrible during the "witching hour" which for us ran from around 3-4pm till 8-9pm. He would cry and be so unsettled. There wasn't much that could be done, and I remember hanging out for that magic 3 month timeline when people said it would stop, and it didn't!! I found the best thing was starting a routine, so we both knew what was expected. I used white noise (hair dryer) sometimes and would rock or pat him to sleep also. He would also wake around 2 hours after he went to sleep and I would give him another bottle - cluster feeding was what really helped in the end I think, and the routine, which helped my sanity more than anything.
  • I tried gripe water, but it never really worked. Infacol was great though, I used it in every bottle. I
  • An older man (70+) at a wedding we were at gently took our screaming child from us and put her tummy down along his forearm with palm under her chest and swung her gently...she instantly stopped crying and went to sleep....Amazing! He said it was the 'colic hold' his mum used to use with little ones. We used it from then on with great results.
  • Would definitely second the Rhuger recommendation - I didn't need to use it for my two but when we lived in Dunedin I had a number of friends who did and found it to be excellent. It's a rhubarb and ginger concoction.
  • Haven't got time to read through the other comments so I may be repeating what others have said. I tried Osteopath, talking to a pediatrician, a couple of herbal remedies (Weleda and something else) - all worked for a day or two then he got bad again. Finally gave in and tried Infacol and it was amazing! Worked straight away and we never looked back! Good luck, it is so hard, but it doesn't last forever.
  • Changing the way you hold baby, nd gentle rubs on the bellie - my baby had colic real bad - didn't give her anything for it, just kept her up rite rubbing her back then lay on floor rubbing her tummy - a warm bath is the best! Well till they cry again. But the best move is to rub the bellie round and round - I liked the sing the teddy bear song at the same time. It won't take long till its all over and then overnight baby will be a different baby
  • Sometimes forceful letdown, oversupply or lactose intolerance can be the culprits. Seek help from a breast feeding counselor, La Leche League leader, lactation consultant, your well child nurse and sometimes a GP will be able to help pin point a cause. Once you have a cause then you can seek the remedies, in the mean while, loving attentive mothering, the use of slings and front packs can help both mum and baby. Lots of reassurance and support for Mother. I think you'll all agree "colic" and crying babies are VERY stressful!
  • I found wearing earplugs made a huge difference to how I coped & it was much easier to calm her when I was calm myself. You can still hear of course but it's a little less piercing. Swaddling, rocking, humming & having the head of the bed slightly elevated helped too.
  • My first son had terrible colic and the best ways to help sooth him was to hold him against me, facing out and put pressure on his tummy just under his ribs, or holding him over my shoulder with his tummy pressed into my shoulder. He was also soothed in the shower; thankfully we have infinity hot water as we spent many hours standing under the warm water. Sometimes he would sleep in the shower!!! It does pass, even though it seems sooo hard at the time. Luckily number 2 has not got colic. I do believe in the thought that a stressful pregnancy can lead to an unsettled baby.
  • All great advice from those above! What a fabulous forum... I reckon try homoeopathy or osteopathy first. Then try your diet. Gluten (wheat) and dairy proteins (not lactose which is a sugar) are common sources of food sensitivity in our babies. If this is the case then it is best to exclude whichever is causing the colic like symptoms and KEEP BREASTFEEDING you baby until at least age 2 to allow him/her to develop a healthy gut and immune response to these foods. It has been found (and I have personal experience) that if you breastfeed during the time that you introduce foods that may produce allergy breast milk supports the healthy response of your babies immune system and you child is far less likely to form an allergy. In my case, it was dairy. My daughter was breastfeed till age 26 months and can now eat proper ice cream with the rest of the family. Cool stuff this breast milk!
  • Get a professional opinion and make sure it is colic. I got told my baby had colic by my midwife and after many weeks of a screaming child I took her to the plunket family centre for the day and found out it was actually silent reflux.
  • My second baby was terrible, we tried lots of things that sometimes worked, sometimes didn't, but I am reassuring you it will get better I promise, my heart goes out to those mums that have babies with this problem, it is terrible, I even found it hard to bond with my baby, and I also got the blues little because I felt useless not being able to make... My baby stop crying, mine went day and night!!!
  • Firstly my naturopath said pasta is bad for wind as is any vegetable that is strong eg broccoli, cauliflower, garlic, toms cabbage, also lookout for fruit!! unfortunately this makes it hard to have a healthy diet... also dairy can be a problem.  A naturopath can realign them, gripe water with added ginger can help, also a big one is the good bacteria to help their stomach digest foods, particularly if you have had or having any antibiotics, as it kills off the good gut bacteria.
  • Hope things get better real soon for you xox
  • It's a toughie. Time and endless amounts of patience worked for us EVENTUALLY. A front pack too - they are upright & can snuggle into mum.
  • I like all the suggestions about keeping the baby close, upright in various carriers. So much experience here from mothers who have been there.
  • Colic is sure hard! We tried white noise combined with a baby swing; this would help calm him down. Infacol and gripewater did not work for us, we tried rocking and frontpacks, swaddling, elevating the bed and all sorts...I think you just have to put up with it till it's over, took us 9 weeks!
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