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Understanding Colic: Treatment

Colic should go away by the time your baby is 4 months old. 

Until then, if your baby has colic, here are a few techniques you can try to ease the crying.

Feeding Tips

Whether your baby is bottle-fed or breastfed, changing eating habits could help offer relief.

Feed only a little at a time. Overfeeding can cause gas and discomfort. Give your baby small amounts of formula or breastmilk every 2 to 2 1/2 hours.

Reduce the amount of air your baby swallows. Try a special gas-reducing bottle or a nipple with a smaller hole. You can also sit your baby up while feeding so she swallows less air.

Change your diet if you breastfeed. Caffeine and dairy both could cause problems. Cut them out and see how your baby reacts. Talk to your doctor before you ditch dairy -- a nursing mom needs her calcium

Try a different formula. If you bottle-feed, ask your doctor if a change in formula is right for your baby. He might suggest a formula with soy or protein hydrolysate. Also, warm the formula to body temperature before feedings. And burp your baby a few times during feedings to release trapped gas.

Soothe Your Baby With Sound and Motion

Use motion to soothe. Motion helps calm babies. Put your baby in a sling carrier on the front of your body and walk around. The combined warmth and rhythm may lull her to sleep.

You can also sit with your baby in a rocking chair or put your baby in a swing or stroller. The gentle movement may stop her tears. If all else fails, secure her in the car seat and go for a ride.

Use sound to calm your baby. Many babies respond well to the gentle hum of some machines, such as a:

  • Clothes dryer
  • Fan
  • Vacuum
  • White-noise machine

But don't put your baby on top of a dryer -- not even in a carrier or car seat -- because of the risk of falls.

 

Calm Your Baby’s Senses

Colicky babies can become overwhelmed by bright sights and loud sounds. Here are a few ways to lessen the sensations.

  • Lay your baby on her back in a dark, quiet room.
  • Swaddle her snugly in a comfy blanket.
  • Lay the baby across your lap and gently rub her back.

Be Careful With Colic Remedies

A few home remedies have been touted for relieving colic, but with the exception of probiotics, there isn't much evidence to prove they work. 

Talk to your doctor before trying any of these treatments, because they could be harmful to your baby:

  • Antihistamines
  • Herbal remedies, such as chamomile, gripe water, colocynthis, and fennel seed
  • Motion sickness remedies
  • Rice cereal
  • Simethicone

WebMD Medical Reference

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