How To Soothe A Colicky Baby

A crying baby is no fun, although that’s the way they communicate at their very young age when they are hungry, tired or having dirty diaper. What about if the baby cries for hours and it seems like not helping even you have tried hard to soothe those tears? You observed him draw the legs up with ear-shattering cries, clenched fists and unhappy face every day almost the same time. Yes, it’s not normal crankiness and your baby might be having colic!

What is Colic all about?

Colicky babies cry and fuss a lot. They could suddenly start crying for no apparent reason from evening till mid night, or even any time. It’s very challenging and upsetting to parents if the crying continues and couldn’t be comforted. This is commonly happened. 1 in 5 babies will experience colic and starts when they are 2 to 3 weeks old. It might become more serious around 6 weeks old and the good news is it will gradually go off by 10 to 12 weeks old.

Colic is normally diagnosed when your baby is crying for:

  • at least 3 hours a day
  • at least 3 days per week
  • at least 3 weeks continuously
  • no medical or physical cause

Symptoms of Colic

How do you know if your little one is having colic? Below are some signs of colic which might be useful especially to first time parents.

  • Repeating crying for no reason even though they are not hungry or having wet diaper
  • Crying with the above “Rules of 3” pattern – more than 3 hours a day, 3 days a week and 3 consecutive weeks
  • Occur around the same time daily – commonly in the late noon or evening, but could be varied
  • Bend their arms and legs towards the belly
  • Have almost red and flushed face when crying
  • Have bloated tummy and pass gas more frequently
  • Increased bowel activity
  • More intense crying with higher pitched screaming
  • Do not feel like want to be soothed even you feed or comfort them
Colic - What is Baby Colic | Treatment | Bioven Lactase ...

While the exact cause of colic is yet to be further determined, some experts believed that it might be due to various factors such as immature digestive system, acid reflux or even allergy to cow’s milk.

It could be challenging for parents to determine whether the baby is having colic just by observing the symptoms. While visiting paediatrician is important if the symptoms prolonged, there are some natural and yet effective remedies that you could try it out to soothe your colicky baby.

Try the Five S’s Strategy

Five S’s strategy is something interesting as it mimics the womb environment that gives baby the sense of security and comfort feeling. Furthermore, it’s an easy-to-try soothing techniques! 

  1. Swaddle – it’s like wrapping up the baby to make them snug and warm, just like the good old days in the womb
  2. Shush – mimicking womb-like sound help babies sleep better. You may think some of the sound is loud and noisy, babies might find them comforting because this is what they heard in womb
  3. Swing – a slow and smooth movement can calm a fussy baby. You can start swinging by supporting the baby’s head and neck, sway back and forth with a smooth motion, and you have a happy baby!
  4. Side Stomach Position – some babies sleep better on their tummies. You may hold them on their tummy or side, lay them over the shoulder or forearm with the hand supporting the head. Always remember to put them on their back for sleep time after they are soothed or calmed down to prevent Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS)
  • Suckling – Satisfying the sucking urge can quickly calm a baby. While you could let your baby suckle at the breast, some mummies would opt for pacifier.

Baby Massage helps too!

It’s possible that massage may help your baby’s colic as it moves trapped wind go through the digestive system and make them more comfortable.

Apply any baby oil or lotion that specially formulated for babies, rub your hands to make it warm and start it with gentle strokes in a clockwise direction. Do this for approximately 15 minutes during daytime and again before bedtime. This could help in releasing some of the colic stress.

male hands holding a screaming newborn
male hands holding a screaming newborn

Use Anti-Colic Milk Bottle

If your baby is on bottle-feeding, always remember to choose a suitable anti-colic bottle. Anti-colic design of milk bottle can make a difference to your baby’s comfort as it will keep the excess air away from baby’s tummy that cause gas and spit-up.

What’s more – babies that fed with Philips Avent Anti Colic Bottle experience less fussing time as the specially AirFreeTM vent design always ensure the teat is full of milk without air, even when horizontal for upright feeding. Try it out for a hassle-free baby!

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