Colic - Home Treatment
After a colic episode begins, comforting
measures may help.
- Respond to the crying quickly and
appropriately. Quickly assess whether a cry likely indicates "I'm hungry" or "I
need to be changed," and so on, and act accordingly. Doing so may prevent your
baby from getting so upset that he or she cannot be consoled. For more
information on figuring out what your crying baby needs, see the topic
Crying, Age 3 and Younger.
Burp your baby, especially if you suspect abdominal gas started the crying
- Reduce the activity around your baby. Overstimulation from
noise, lights, and too much attention can trigger a crying episode. Move your
baby to a quiet and calm environment.
infant massage. Some parents use infant massage to try
and relieve colic. Research does not show one way or the other whether this
method helps babies with colic.1
Soothe your baby by helping him or her to be more
comfortable. Don't worry that you may be spoiling your baby by giving frequent
and loving attention.
If you find that you are losing patience or are
afraid that you may hurt your baby, act immediately.
- Place your baby in a crib to cry while you go
into another room and calm yourself.
- Ask someone to take over for
you. If nobody else is home, call a friend who can help you calm down. If you
are afraid you cannot control yourself and cannot get other help, call
Call your doctor if you frequently feel overwhelmed or
are unable to get adequate support.
Do not use
unproven or dangerous treatments for colic. Get
advice from your doctor before using alternative therapies, which may have
Also, be careful about acting impulsively or
using desperate measures to treat colic. For example, do not:
- Let your baby stay in the crib and cry
until he or she is exhausted.
- Stop breast-feeding your baby. This
will not cure colic.
- Give your baby aspirin or aspirin products, because
of the risk for
- Give your baby alcohol
(even a pacifier dipped in brandy or other alcoholic
- Shake or spank your baby for crying. Serious or even
fatal brain injuries may result (shaken baby syndrome).
- Give your baby
medicine unless it is recommended or prescribed by
Some doctors prescribe probiotics, which are bacteria that help maintain the natural balance of organisms (microflora) in the intestines. Studies are being done to find out how helpful probiotics are for babies who have colic.
It is important to
take care of yourself and remember that colic is not caused by poor
parenting. Colic is temporary, and it will not affect a baby's general health
or future development.
If nothing seems to console your baby,
keep trying comforting techniques, but realize that sometimes nothing works. If
you are not successful and you become exhausted by these efforts, ask for
someone else to take over for you.