Baby colic or infant gas is a condition in which an otherwise healthy baby cries or screams frequently and, for extended periods, without any discernible reason. The condition typically appears within the first month of life and often disappears, often very suddenly, before the baby is three to four months old, but can last up to 12 months of life.
The chances of having colic is lower in breastfed babies. The crying often increases during a specific period of the day, particularly the early evening. Symptoms may worsen soon after feeding, especially in babies that don't burp easily.
Common symptoms of colic are crying, moody and fussy behavior, uncomfortable pain, loss of energy, unwillingness to eat and at times vomiting.
If your child does have colic, here are some alternative health ideas you can try to support your baby naturally. Home remedies often work for babies suffering from colic, although you might have to work to find what will work for your baby.
If you are breast feeding:
. Watch your intake of caffeinated drinks such as coffee, tea and soda.
. Stop eating milk products for one week to see if the infant is reacting to milk protein you have consumed.
. Reducing or eliminate gas producing foods such as orange juice, cabbage (and other foods from the cabbage family), beans, broccoli and onions.
. Drink soothing herb teas such as chamomile tea to calm yourself as well as the infant.
If your baby is formula fed:
. Change the type of formula or type of water being used. You can also try changing to a low-allergy formula or switch to a soy based one.
. Make sure your baby is getting enough to eat. Check the hole size of the nipples you purchased. If the holes are too small, enlarge it.
. Burp your baby before, during and after feeding him. This will reduce the gas and ease discomfort.
. To reduce the possibility of your child swallowing air, have him or her sit up rather than lie down when eating.
. Gentle, repetitive movements will soothe some babies. Try taking them for a ride in the car or a walk in the park. Rock them in a rocking chair or rocking swing, or try leaning their infant seat against a running clothes dryer or dishwasher.
. Sounds can also help calm a colicky infant. Many parents have found relief by playing soothing music, running their vacuum cleaner or even their clothes dryer.
. Applied heat can also help. Lay your baby over a warm hot water bottle that is covered with a towel or trying giving him or her a hot bath. Add a few drops of chamomile or marjoram essential oil to the water to help them to relax further.
Herbal chamomile has a long history of calming an infant and easing intestinal cramping.
. Sometimes, warm water will help relax the intestines calming cramping and allowing gas to pass if needed. It seems a little too easy, but many parents are shocked at just how well it does work.
. Gripe Water is a homeopathic colic remedy which has proven beneficial for calming symptoms associated with baby colic and baby gas pains.
. Massage your baby with mustard oil in which a few garlic cloves has been boiled.
. Give 3 to 4 ounces of herbal teas prepared from chamomile. It is safe and can be given to supplement the meals but provide your baby with adequate nutrition.
. Take 1 teaspoons of dried basil leaves in a cup and pour boiling water over them. Now cover the cup and keep it aside for a few minutes. Strain the water, once it has cooled to room temperature, into a bottle. This can be given to the baby a few spoons at a time.
. Warm bath is a good remedy for treating colic. Try a warm bath – your baby will love it and it will also ease the problem of excess gas.