What is Baby Colic?
How can you soothe a baby with colic?
Home remedies for colic
When I was expecting, I heard of this term colic for the first time and released how dreaded it was. Then I just knew that it means crying and I failed to understand why mums should dread it, since it is only natural for a baby to cry. I am sure there are similar questions in the mind of any expectant or new mother, so we will try to answer at least some of those queries about baby colic, here in this article.
What is Baby Colic?
Colic is defined by doctors as a condition where an otherwise healthy baby cries inconsolably for 3 or more hours for 3 or more days a week. Babies who show colic are known as colicky babies.
How long can Baby Colic last?
Colic condition usually starts at around 6 weeks and peaks at around 3 month, after which it will get better. It usually disppears at around 6 months, but in rare cases can last upto 12 months. Crying happens at a particular time of the day, usually the early evening/ afternoon.
Causes of Colic
For ages, it has been believed that the reason for colic can be trapped gas in baby’s stomach after feeding.
What to do in case baby has Colic?
Colic is usually harmless although it may not seem so at that point to you. Ideally, you need to be patient and realize that it is just a phase and will pass off soon.
- It is said that breastfed babies are less likely to experience colic. One reason could be that there is more chance of them swallowing air through a bottle than from breast. Do burp your baby in between and at end of every feeding.
Here is the right way to burp your baby so that any gas stuck can get dislodged
- If you are specially concerned, do speak to your baby’s doctor about this. Your doctor might suggest a change of formula if you are giving one.
- Try to observe your baby for what triggers the sudden unconsolable crying. You might get some clue and might be able to avoid it.
- Rocking the baby in your arms or a swing might help. So can holding her close and swaddling. You may also trying a lullaby to soothe her.
- Taking baby out in fresh air might help too. Try distracting with thing of interest.
- Traditional Indian remedy involves Janam-ghutti or Gripe-water, but doctors these days recommend not giving these. If you still want to give these to your baby, do consult baby’s doctor first.
Home remedies for Colic
There are many home remedies suggested by elders which can be tried and may help to varying degrees.
Fennel seed water/ saunf ka pain to avoid colic in babies
This was suggested to me by a very dear friend and I used to have it. I don’t know how effective it would be for others, but my daughter did not have colic and this might have helped in some way. I used to have this during the first 2 months after delivery and while I was breastfeeding. Since nothing should be given to babies other than breastmilk till 5-6 months, mother should have it and the benefits are passed to baby along with the breastmilk.
We all know that fennel is good for digestion and it is traditionally served in India after meals, as a mouth freshener and also to help in digestion.
To make fennel seed water or saunf ka pani:
- Take 1 litre of water and 1 tablespoon fennel seeds.
- Bring the water to a boil and add the fennel seeds.
- Now turn the heat to a simmer and let it boil for 15-20 minutes.
- Turn off the heat and cool it down.
- Strain and drink this water throughout the day.
If you have tried this remedy, do let us know.
What not to do when your baby has colic?
Do not lose patience
A colicky baby can test your patience, combine that with an exhausted body, sleepless nights and it is very easy to get frustrated. Please remember that you baby is not doing this to bother you, she just cannot help it and is unable to communicate it in any way other than crying. Whenever you feel like you are losing it, request another responsible adult to take care of the babying give you a break of some time till you feel composed enough to handle it again.
Try to do it all by yourself
If you try to do it all by yourself, you are bound to get frustrated and take it out on your baby at some point. So, get help! Ask your spouse, parents, in laws, hired help to help you in whichever way possible.
Hope this article has answered a few questions and you feel better equipped to take care of your colicky baby. Even if this phase seems like stretching forever, always remember that even the worst form of colic subsides by 3-4 months, so just keep it together for a little while more, Mommy!!