But first… What is infant colic?
Baby is said to be colicky when…
- They are irritable or have crying spells
- They are difficult to comfort
- They seem to have a stomachache
- They seem to have bowel problems
- They stiffen up, twist in pain or squirm
- They are flushed and irritable
- They are restless, especially in the legs
- Their tummy is hard and they are gassy
Although some babies suffer from colic more frequently, it usually happens at the end of the day, when your baby is lying down after a meal.
At what age does colic begin?
Infant colic usually occurs in the first three months of life. It usually starts two to three weeks after birth, and is most severe between the sixth and eighth week. Colic usually subsides by four months of age.
What causes infant colic?
All babies are different … so there are several possible reasons why your baby might be colicky.
Colic can be caused by:
- A food problem that gives your baby gas
- Mom’s diet, if the baby is breastfed
- Anxiety and tension
- Immaturity of the intestine
- Air swallowed during feedings
Don’t worry: colic is part of many children’s development… In fact, 25 to 40% of babies suffer from it! That said, there are little tricks that can be used to lessen your baby’s pain and make evenings a little sweeter for the whole family.
How to relieve baby colic?
Here are a few tips to naturally relieve baby colic and enjoy more peaceful evenings!
Tip #1: Heat
Have you ever tried a hot water bottle to relieve a nasty tummy ache or muscle or abdominal cramps? Heat is indeed a key to soothing colic. But there is something better than a traditional hot water bottle to soothe baby: a small therapeutic teddy bear.
When heated, the therapeutic teddy bear has anti-inflammatory properties that effectively and naturally relieve colic. It is in fact the humidity emanating from the organic cereal pouch (heated or cooled) located inside the teddy bear, which acts on your child’s pain.
Tip # 2: Baby carrying
Comforting for the baby, baby carrying also helps soothe colic. First, because when baby is snuggled up to you, they are warm (yes, warmth is key!), but also because being close to you is comforting. As you can imagine, after spending nine months in the womb, your baby can sometimes feel a little lonely!
For maximum efficiency, choose a sling and hold your baby’s belly against you. An upright position will also be favourable to their appeasement and will allow them to digest better.
Tip #3: Massage
As an adult, we all appreciate a good massage when our back hurts! Well, it’s the same for babies when they suffer from colic. So don’t hesitate to massage them to relieve them!
Between feedings, you can gently massage your baby’s tummy. For a successful experience, set up in a calm and soothing environment, preferably in a warm room.
- Warm your hands and a bit of suitable massage oil (such as sweet almond oil or liniment).
- Start massaging your baby’s tummy, using circular movements—always in a clockwise direction.
This little ritual will help your child relax and activate their transit. Don’t be surprised if you get a little surprise in the diaper after the massage session!
Tip #4: Swaddling
For the first three months of life, it’s a good idea to wrap your newborn in a swaddling blanket to keep them warm and safe, whether they’re in your arms or lying in their crib.
Indeed, the warmth will soothe the baby and the fact of being well wrapped will reassure them: two assets when colic make them suffer. For maximum comfort, choose a soft, warm swaddling blanket that won’t make your baby sweat!
Tip #5: Rocking
Now that baby is all swaddled up, why not put on some soft, relaxing music and let the melody wash over you, rocking your baby tenderly?
The rhythmic movement will soothe your child, but that’s not all! Rocking your baby while focusing on the music will also help you relax… And relaxed parents are one of the keys to soothing your baby!
When should you see your doctor?
If you can’t get your baby to feel better at all, if the colic is accompanied by vomiting or fever, or if you’re just plain worried… It’s always best to know for sure! Don’t hesitate to book an appointment with your pediatrician.