Unfortunately, parents may have to use the old trial and error method to determine which provides the greatest amount of relief for their little colic sufferer. One thing is certain the days of “waiting it out” are the long one for those determined to find an answer. There is no need to suffer needlessly along with the baby. If you’ve tried all proper feeding and burping techniques and baby is still crying, try the following list of the most effective remedies available:
1. Music / Sound – Traditional lullabies, classical music composed for infants and heartbeat/womb CDs are very popular external remedies that relax many babies suffering from colic. You can find some particularly good ones to download from handphone apps. Some parents have had great success by placing baby in car seat on top of the running dishwasher, washing machine, dryer or near running the vacuum cleaner. A gentle “shhhhhhh”ing sound in baby’s ear can work magic, as can soft whispers and humming or singing.
2. Diet – Bottlefed babies with colic may show improvement if switched to a different formula, such as soy. The mothers of breastfed babies may have to pay close attention to their own diet to make sure that babies are not having negative reactions to certain foods. Try eliminating the following common culprits one at a time for a week to see if there are any signs of improvement for baby: dairy, caffeine, chocolate and gas-producing foods such as broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, onions, peppers, melons, tomatoes, citrus fruits, beans, and peanuts.
3. Gripe Water – Be sure to check the ingredients before buying a gripe water. Many claim to be natural but include artificial ingredients and preservatives. Colicky infants’ digestive systems certainly do not need any of these potential irritants. Some gripe waters are not very helpful.
4. Warm Aromatherapy Bath / Massage – Add a few drops of lavender to a warm bath and follow with the soothing touch of massage. Focus massage on the tummy area to relieve painful trapped gas. You can research baby massage techniques on the web or pick up a book on the subject. A good one to try is The Practical Art of Baby Massage by Peter Walker. You can buy lovely lavender, chamomile and fennel massage oils specifically designed for baby massage on the Web. There is also a popular baby massage tool called “Snukkles” which may work well for you.
5. Swaddling – Babies are often soothed when swaddled or held close to a parents chest and heartbeat since they are reminiscent of the comfort and safety of the womb. Newborn babies are soothed in nurseries with swaddling. Techniques on folding soft, stretchy blankets are easy to learn. Find instructions and diagrams online or pick up a book/ magazine on the topic. A good ready-made wrap to try is “Swaddleme”, easy to find on the Web.
6. Motion – Walking, rocking, and movement are very comforting to most infants. The good old rocking chair may be all it takes. Some parents have been known to push a stroller or drive around in the car until baby falls asleep. Try putting your baby in an infant chest carrier or sling so that your hands can be free. Walk with baby facing down across arm with your hand under their abdomen, applying gentle pressure. This position is often referred to as “the colic hold”. Many babies like to be outdoors. Almost all babies love swings. Try a combination of the above to see what helps soothe baby the best.