How to Relieve Colic

Colic is very common in babies, it occurs in about 20% of babies around the world and it can be very distressing and concerning for the parents as they see their little bundle in so much discomfort. There are ways in which your baby can be comforted and relieved though whilst they are experiencing this uncomfortable time.

Colic usually occurs around early evening and symptoms include a painful, distressed cry which can’t be comforted by feeding or coaxing and also the screwing up of the face or curling up of legs which show that the baby has tummy ache. Colic is caused by the build up of gasses over the course of the day which your baby is unable to pass naturally because their stomachs are under developed. It then makes the baby very uncomfortable which leads to them crying without being comforted and looking as though they’re in pain. The good news is that colic usually stops occurring once your child is around 12 weeks’ old but for a tired and anxious parent it can seem like a very long time to wait so in the meantime it would be extremely beneficial to find ways in which to relieve their infant of colic.

Whilst your baby is feeding ensure that you wind them constantly throughout. This will help to prevent the amount of gasses which build up for later in the day as you will be helping your baby to bring up any wind that they have. There are various pieces of research which suggest that breast fed babies are more likely to have colic as they take more air in but this isn’t always the case. The best way to help prevent how much air that babies take in whilst feeding is to keep winding them. If you are bottle feeding you may also want to look into the different kinds of bottles which you can buy that can help channel the air out of the bottle so that your baby takes in less air.

During a colicky episode your baby may seem as though they will not stop crying and they are tensing up as they are in pain. A good way to help your baby to calm down and to relax is to give them a warm bath. The warm water helps to relax them and also the different atmosphere can help as a distraction technique. If your baby is quite distressed it may be an idea to have a bath with your baby so that they feel as protected and safe as possible whilst they’re feeling so uncomfortable.

Baby massage is a great way to help to reduce the symptoms of colic but it is important that you do this in the correct way. Infant massage has many benefits to both the parent and baby as it helps to create a bond. If your baby is suffering from colic then try some gentle circular motions on their tummy in a clock-wise direction at various times throughout the day. This helps to move the wind that is in the baby’s tummy but it is important to do this in a clock wise direction, if you don’t then it can cause more discomfort. Whilst your baby is having a colicky episode you may also want to massage their tummy as even if it doesn’t help to move the wind through it can help your baby to relax.

There are certain over the counter medicines you can buy too which can help reduce the effects of colic. Infacol is one and you use it several times a day, usually about twenty minutes before each feed and it has a building up a effect so you may not notice the results on day one but after a few days you should notice that the colicky episode isn’t as severe. Once you decide it’s time to stop using Infacol it’s important to wean your baby off it gradually so by reducing how often you use it by maybe a feed a day until you no longer rely on it this is so that the colicky episodes do not come back.

Although colic is a very distressing ailment and it can cause parents to feel helpless and panic it is very natural and common so do not panic. Colicky babies do not need to be taken to A&E even though they look like they are in pain. It can seem like a very long couple of weeks when you are battling with this uncomfortable condition but there are certain things that you can do to help your baby feel more comfortable and to reduce the symptoms.

If you need more information or support there are several organisations which can help you in this area. Please visit www.colic.org.uk for more information.