Tips for Managing Colic
January 20, 2022Your precious bundle of joy is perfectly healthy in every way – except for those crying bouts that seem to last for hours. Colic, a common condition that affects one in five infants,1 is when a baby cries for seemingly no reason throughout the day. Having a colicky baby can be exhausting for new parents. Here is some advice for managing the stresses of colic and the foods to avoid when breastfeeding.
More About Colic
Colic usually starts when babies are just a few weeks old. It’s generally worse between four and six weeks of age and can last until three to four months old. While it’s normal for babies to be fussy and cry, crying that is intense and happens in the late afternoon or early evening every day is a symptom of colic. Other symptoms of colic include:
- Fist clenching
- Turning bright red
- Curling up the legs
- Arching the back
While doctors aren’t exactly sure what causes colic, there are some common culprits that are believed to be triggers,2 such as:
- Overfeeding or underfeeding
- Sensitivity to formula or breast milk
- A digestive system that isn’t fully developed
- Early form of childhood migraine headache
- Emotional reaction to fear, frustration, or excitement
There is no “cure” or treatment for colic, but there are things parents can do to try and help manage the stress of living with a colicky baby.
1. Ease your mind.
Remind yourself of these three important things: There is nothing you did to bring on the colic. Colic will go away. Colic doesn’t mean baby is unhealthy or in pain.
2. Give baby extra attention.
Wrap your little one in a warm blanket and hold her for an extended period of time. Take him for a walk in the stroller. Get some extra skin-to-skin contact. Try a warm bath. Sing to them or add some background noise like a fan or dishwasher. Put baby in an infant swing.
3. Change baby’s feeding habits.
Try feeding baby in an upright position. Feed baby smaller meals, but more often. Slow down the feeding so baby isn’t eating too much, too fast. Always burp baby after feeding.
4. Change your diet.
If you breastfeed, try small changes in your diet to see how they affect baby’s colic. Avoid caffeinated drinks like coffee, tea, and soda. Avoid vegetables that may cause gas like broccoli, cauliflower, and cabbage. Cut out fruits that contain high amounts of citric acid like oranges, grapes, pineapple, and berries.
5. Try probiotics.
Recent research studies have evaluated the impact of probiotics for infantile colic.3 Researchers found that giving probiotic supplementation to babies significantly and progressively shortened daily crying times. Taking a prenatal vitamin like Prenate® Restore with probiotics while breastfeeding may also help. Ask your doctor if Prenate® Restore could be right for you.
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