Helping your Baby with the Pain of Colic

May 28, 2009 by  
Filed under Newborn Care

Although colic is relatively common, experts have yet to identify the real cause. Colic causes stomach or bowel pain, which for a baby can be excruciating. If you think your baby might have this condition, you need to have him or her seen by a doctor.

For a baby with colic, you can try turning the baby so he or she is in a different position, which can help. Another method for easing the pain of colic is by holding the baby close so there is slight pressure on the stomach.

New discoveries include soothing sound to calm a baby with colic.

For example, a noise machine that has the sound or rain or ocean waves might be beneficial. Numerous studies have been performed showing that both of these sounds are very similar to what the baby hears while in the womb. Therefore, if the baby is suffering with pain from colic, these sounds offer calmness.

Sometimes, sound is a great distraction so if your baby is crying or upset because of colic, you might try running the dishwasher, vacuuming the carpeting, or playing music. The concept here is that the sound takes the baby’s mind of the pain or startles the baby so he or she is able to pass gas, which also provides much-needed relief.

You might try using the noise approach, keeping the television on, playing various CDs, or having some type of noise going in the room where the baby is.

Although tiny, even newborns can feel stress. After all, they have only been in the world a short time so everything is new and unknown. To ease the effects of colic, most doctors recommend providing the baby with an atmosphere that is relaxing. If you have tried the sound option but to no avail, then try a quiet room. Keep in mind that many things come with colic to include acid reflux, which is miserable for adults that understand what it is, let alone small babies that have no clue.

As we mentioned, most studies show that music is magical. Choose soft jazz, classical, or some other soothing type of music that will create a peaceful environment. Anything such as Chopin or Beethoven work amazingly well. Not only will this type of music probably help with the colic issue, but it also introduces your baby to fine music.

Interestingly, while there have been many studies that can prove music helps ease the pain of colic, just how it works is not fully understood. However, with so many doctors and parents seeing the results, it is certainly worth trying.

You should also consider the types of foods and beverages your baby is being given.

Before you make any major changes, you should consult with the pediatrician. One example is herbal tea, which many parents swear by. Now, since this is a newborn baby, the doctor should approve and the tea should be mild and only lukewarm. Green or peppermint tea is great options that can help with colic while also boosting the baby’s immune system.

Even the type of formula or the nipples being used could have something to do with the case of colic. What happens is that some nipples will allow the baby to suck in too much air. Obviously, since colic is a problem related to excessive gas, this only makes matters worse. Be sure you choose the best nipples possible and even change your baby’s current formula.

There is no cure for colic but there are things you can do to ease the pain. For mothers that breastfeed, even positioning the baby properly will reduce the amount of gas buildup. Of course, most women realize that breast milk contains colostrum, which are important antibodies that help with the development of the baby’s immune system.

The final recommendation for colic is to be patient and understanding.

Since there is no cure for colic, it is important to understand that your baby is not faking anything but living with real pain. Being patient and loving is both comforting to the baby and to the parent. While it might seem like a lifetime when dealing with a colicky baby, typically this condition will disappear after a few months. Being extra loving and patient will help everyone get through a difficult time.

With colic, it is all about time. Keep in mind that if your baby has colic and by age two months the symptoms have not decreased or gone away, you should meet with the doctor to determine if there might be another health issue going on. Sometimes, babies have lactose intolerance where they are allergic to certain milks, especially cow’s milk. As mentioned, changing formula, preferably to soy could be all that is needed.