How to Calm Colicky Babies
Colicky babies may cry for hours, days, weeks or months. Gas causes extreme pain for newborn babies and it seems like there’s no way to console them.
They arch their backs, turn red, make fists, and bring their knees up to their bellies because the pain they can feel at any given moment is very intense.
Although not all babies suffer from gas, it’s a common issue for small babies. Parents also suffer, since they feel helpless and unable to do anything to calm their little one’s inconsolable crying.
Full-term babies can start to be colicky as soon as 2 weeks after they’re born; premature babies may take longer, until they’re 3 or 4 months old.
Many parents feel desperate when they see their babies suffering and can’t do anything about it.
They believe the colicky symptoms will eventually go away, but they need to provide their baby with love and comfort until they do.
Letting your baby cry just because “nothing can be done” is not an option. Babies need their parents’ warmth and tenderness when they’re going through difficult times.
Tips for calming colicky babies
There is no trick that works for every baby in the world because gas pain is different for every baby. However, there a number of tips you can try in order to calm your baby’s symptoms.
- Most colicky babies tend to calm down after spending some time rocking in a swing, cradle, or on a parent’s lap.
- Babywearing is also known to bring relief to some colicky babies. The baby feels more relaxed thanks to your own calming movements.
- Your baby may feel more comfortable if you hold him tightly, or wrap him in a warm blanket.
- Some parents find that their babies calm down with a car ride thanks to the vibration this produces in their tummies.
- Gently massaging your little one’s belly can also be helpful. Massage the area of the large intestine in a clockwise direction. This can help alleviate your baby’s pain.
- Monotonous sounds or music can sometimes help calm down colicky babies. You can also sing a peaceful song or lullaby to your baby.
- It’s important for your baby to drink slowly and burp after every feeding.
- If your baby is colicky and drinks formula, you may want to try a different brand.
- It’s important to keep your baby in a seated or semi-inclined position when feeding.
When is it time to seek medical help?
It’s common for babies who are older than 2 weeks to suffer from gas. You might feel uneasy and not know how to react when your baby cries continuously and inconsolably.
If that’s the case, then it might be a good idea to call your child’s pediatrician or take your baby in for a consult.
If your child is experiencing any of the following symptoms, then you should definitely seek medical attention:
- If your baby is losing weight, or has increased weight gain
- If your baby resists being touched or held
- Your baby doesn’t want to nurse or take a bottle
- Your baby doesn’t calm down for even a few minutes
- Their crying is unusual and seems to be caused by real pain
- Your little one is having trouble breathing
- Your baby has diarrhea or bloody stool
- They’re sleeping more than usual, or more alert than usual
- Your baby is eating less than usual