Colic - Home Treatment
After your baby has
started to cry, use comforting and soothing techniques to try to shorten the
episode or decrease its intensity. Certain preventive measures may also help. Colic gradually goes away on its own, regardless of what you do.
diary to chart your baby's daily activities, including
when he or she cries. The record may help you to notice patterns in your baby's
crying and increase your ability to predict when colic episodes are likely to
occur. You may be able to help prevent or decrease crying episodes during those
- Anticipate your baby's needs. Pay attention to your baby's natural habits and set a rough schedule for meals,
nap, and play. That way, you can predict behavior and respond appropriately.
You may also want to try holding and comforting your baby before his or her
usual crying time. Use a front carrier or sling so you can do other things
while you keep your baby close to you.
- Create a calm environment. During expected
fussy times, touch your baby only if needed, and try to limit visitors, bright
lights, loud noises, and chaotic situations. Overstimulation can trigger a
crying episode or make one worse.
- Reduce stress. Babies are very sensitive to the
moods of their caregivers and may cry more during times of family
stress or tension.
Take good care of yourselves to help keep your baby's environment calm and
safe. Remember that this challenging time won't last, and know that you have
- Ask for help when you need it. It may help
shorten a crying episode by having another caregiver try to soothe your baby
during times when you feel overwhelmed and discouraged. Your baby may respond
better to someone who is "fresh" and relaxed. Plan ahead by scheduling help
before you need it. Have a list of people to call in case you need help
Colic is not caused by health problems. But
when your baby doesn't feel good, crying episodes may get worse. You can help
minimize colicky behavior by taking preventive measures to reduce your baby's
risk of illness.
- If you are breast-feeding,
be aware of your diet. The foods you eat may affect your breast milk and
cause abdominal (belly) pain in your baby, which may extend a crying episode.
- Feed your baby appropriately. Very young babies may be hungry 1
to 2 hours after a feeding. Offer food on demand. But to avoid
overfeeding, be sure to watch for when your
baby is full.
- Help prevent
abdominal gas in your baby. Gas can cause pain,
leading to extended crying.
- Practice good hygiene to avoid
illness. A sick baby usually has more frequent and intense crying episodes. To
help prevent illness as much as possible, use good hygiene, such as
washing hands frequently, including your baby's. Ask
visitors to do the same. Avoid being around large crowds during a baby's first
weeks, especially around people who smoke. Breathing in
secondhand smoke can increase a baby's risk for
ear infections, and