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How to Soothe a Colicky Baby 
by Milenna June 27, 2005

Professionals and mothers alike have been puzzled by the term they call colic. No one really knows what causes it, but mother’s everywhere would love to find a cure. Colic has been scientifically defined as sharp intermittent pains in a baby’s abdominal that occur when the baby’s digestive system is still developing.

Is Your Baby Suffering From Colic?

One way to determine if your infant is suffering from colic is to use the “rule of three,” which mean if your baby cries for 3 or more hours a day, three days a week for three or more weeks then they probably have colic. Mother’s usually know when something is wrong by using instinct. If are unable to easily soothe your infant then colic may be a factor. Consult your physician if you are unsure.

Suggestions for Calming a Fussy Infant

  • Lay your baby over your knees facedown without putting pressure on their stomach. A light amount of pressure can help with abdominal pains and calm the baby.
  • Swaddle the baby in large blanket wrapping it snug around their body. This helps them feel secure and keeps them warm.
  • Carry the baby as much as possible (don’t worry infant can’t be spoiled). Research has shown the more babies are carried and held the less likely they are to have colic. It also helps in brain development. Talking and paying attention to your infant can be useful to their mental and physical development.
  • If you bottle feed use bottles that don’t store the air and make sure you use the right size nipple, this will cut down on gulping and air to getting into the baby’s system, which may result in gas pains.
  • Give them a warm bath to assist in the calming effect.
  • Try a “white noise”, which is defined as a noise that resembles the noises they heard while in the womb. A fan, vacuum cleaner or recorded sounds of a heart beat from a specialized CD for infants can work well.
  • Help your baby pass stool or relieve constipation (which is very uncomfortable) by gently massaging their stomach or moving their legs in a peddling-like motion (like you are peddling a bicycle); if your infant is constipated they are sure to be a little colicky.

Maintain Your Composure

The one important thing to remember is to stay calm. If you start to grow tired or get impatient you need to find someone else to take the baby to while you regain your composure. Remember there is no cure for colic; it is something you will have to wait out. Luckily, babies tend to grow out of it by 2-3 months of age, this is when their digestive system starts to mature and their body adapts to their food and environment.


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