Tips to Calm a Baby with Colic

March 20, 2012

Having a baby with colic isn’t easy. Here are some tips to keep you and your little one calm during this time.

What is colic?

If your healthy baby cries for an extended period of time (3 hours per day, 3 days per week, for at least 3 weeks), your baby is considered to have colic. Colic is typically not caused by any specific illness and usually goes away on it’s own. However, your baby’s intense crying can put significant stress on you and your family, so it’s no surprise that moms look for tips to minimize colic.

What should I do if I suspect colic?

Take your little one to the doctor to ensure there are no underlying medical conditions. Call a doctor immediately if your little one is vomiting, running a fever or having bloody stools, as these are not symptoms of colic. Once, you’ve ensured that your baby is just colicky; you can begin to work on ways to manage it.

How do I manage colic?

There is no perfect treatment for colic, but there are many tips that may help to improve the symptoms. If your baby has colic, try these tips:

  • Research has shown that the best way to reduce colic is to cuddle with your little one. Who doesn’t love snuggling? In fact, it reduced crying by 43-50%. Also, try to increase the amount of time your little one spends at breast to get more skin-to-skin contact for baby.
  • Some babies benefit from soothing rhythms, similar to what your baby experienced in the womb. Try spending time in a rocking chair or putting your little one in a vibrating swing or seat. Also, the vibrations of a car ride can be soothing. Even placing your baby near a running dryer or white noise machine may help.
  • Play soothing music for your little one. The calm melodies could be comforting.
  • Some babies need decreased stimulation so try swaddling him or her in a quiet, dark room.
  • Some colic can be caused by digestive problems, so be sure to burp your baby frequently and try gently rubbing your baby’s back.
  • Occasionally, a food allergy or intolerance can be to blame for both formula and breastfed babies, whether it’s lactose sensitivity or sensitivity to something in a moms diet. Talk to your doctor if you notice more intense crying around feedings.

How can I manage the stress of colic?

Colic can be extremely stressful to family members and these emotions are totally normal. Don’t feel ashamed because you’re frustrated. Be sure to take care of yourself and rest assured that your little one will grow out of this phase. When you’re frustrated, step away and take some time to compose yourself. Also, remember that you have friends and family there to support you. Don’t be afraid to ask for help.

Was your little one colicky? What worked best to calm them? Share in the comments below.

8 thoughts on “Tips to Calm a Baby with Colic

  1. A pacifier, her favorite blanket (smelled like me), and her bouncer vibrating with womb sounds. Otherwise constant nursing.

  2. What a helpful article for moms of babies with colic. My first had colic, and if I wasn’t nursing her (and sometimes even if I was), our saving grace was a vacuum cleaner humming right beside her. Soothing sounds and even a blow dryer didn’t do the trick.

    Just make sure not to get in the habit of driving your little one in a car to soothe him/her. If your baby has colic, you are more than likely sleep deprived. Sleep and driving do not mix!

    It DOES get better, though. I remember a friend of mine telling me not to worry and that my little one would be a wonderful toddler. She was right. She’s almost seven now and she’s still a great, mild-mannered kiddo!

  3. Colic just showed up for our 6 week old baby boy this week. I am definitely frustrated since I can’t help him. But I have noticed keeping him close &I cuddling with him has helped.

  4. There’s a lot of advice on how to cure/soothe colic but little on how to prevent it. We heard the horror stories so we prepared for it and tried to prevent it.

    We avoided colic by properly breastfeeding. A few of our friends were not as lucky and they were helped either by fennel tea or by Biogaia drops.

    Colic definitely are one of those things where it is better to be a bit paranoid and prevent them than to have to cure it.

    My wife wrote a comprehensive article on the subject titled simply Colic

  5. Rose Falcon says:

    To cure my colicky baby who was not sleeping through the night and always was a crying baby, I have successfully used babies magic tea. This organic herbal formula made my life easy and the baby is now the happiest baby in the block.

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