Natural Remedies for Infant Colic

We are going to show you the best natural remedies for infant colic, one of the most frequent reasons for crying in children.
Natural Remedies for Infant Colic
Saúl Sánchez Arias

Written and verified by the nutritionist Saúl Sánchez Arias.

Last update: 26 December, 2022

Infant colic is a common condition that almost all babies suffer from. This is uncomfortable for them and causes them to cry, so many parents don’t know how to act to comfort them. Therefore, we’re going to offer you a series of natural remedies for infant colic that can be useful to reduce the pain and help them fall asleep.

First of all, keep in mind that the reasons that babies cry can be varied. Colic isn’t always the culprit. Sometimes they may be hungry after feeding and will cry as a sign that they want more food. In any case, it’s important to identify what’s wrong in order to find an effective solution.

Remedies for colic

In the following article, we’ll review the best alternatives to try to reduce the symptoms of an episode of infant colic.

Massage

You can pour some baby oil into your hands and rub them together to warm them up. Then massage the baby’s belly  in a circular motion in a clockwise direction. This will produce a soothing effect and stimulate intestinal transit, which will also reduce constipation.

A woman holding a newborn facedown over her forearm.
Placing the baby face down on your arm and with their limbs hanging down is a good position to soothe them when they have colic. You can rock them with gentle movements or walk slowly.

Change the baby’s position

There’s a position that’s especially effective in relieving infant colic. It consists of placing the baby face down on your forearm, with their head resting on your hand and their limbs dangling. If you walk with them in this position, gently, you’ll get them to calm down and the pain will be reduced.

Give them sugar water

There’s also the option of preparing a solution with a spoonful of water in 20 centiliters of water. To do this, the mixture should be heated until it boils and then you should let it cool before offering it to the baby. However, you shouldn’t use this remedy more than twice a day. Remember that the consumption of large amounts of simple sugars has been shown to damage health in the medium term.

Give the baby water with green clay

It’s also possible to dissolve a tablespoon of organic green clay in a glass of water. Then, stir it and let it stand for 12 hours. Next, the liquid is extracted and the clay is left at the bottom of the glass. A few sips should be offered to the baby before meals.

Cover the baby with blankets

When a baby suffers from infant colic, it may help to wrap them with a blanket. The warmth will have an analgesic effect and your little one will feel secure, which will be comforting. In addition, it’s important to adopt a physiological position, with their palms on their thighs or on their chest.

A newborn sleeping wrapped up on a bed.
Covering an infant with a blanket when they suffer from colic is a good option, as the heat has an analgesic effect that can calm your little one.

When to visit the doctor?

It’s normal for children to suffer from infant colic from time to time. However, if this problem recurs frequently and affects the baby’s diet, it’s important to see a doctor. The appropriate tests should be carried out to verify that there’s no intolerance or intestinal problem that could negatively affect digestion.

According to a study published in the journal Nature Reviews, microbial infection or alterations in the composition of the microbiota could be the cause of recurrent colic. In these cases, it may be necessary to consider pharmacological treatment to solve the problem. Otherwise, the discomfort could intensify, especially when the origin is intestinal dysbiosis.

Implement natural remedies for infant colic

As you’ve seen, there are certain natural remedies that can be implemented to treat infant colic when it occurs occasionally. This is a situation that generates a lot of discomfort for babies, so they may cry and not be able to fall asleep. In general, it’s always best to try less aggressive remedies.

Finally, keep in mind that a proper diet can also reduce the incidence of this type of problem. It’s best to offer exclusive breastfeeding until 6 months of age and then introduce complementary feeding progressively. This way, the nutritional requirements are completed. In the case of choosing a formula, the labeling should be carefully checked, especially the list of ingredients.

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  • Freeman, C. R., Zehra, A., Ramirez, V., Wiers, C. E., Volkow, N. D., & Wang, G. J. (2018). Impact of sugar on the body, brain, and behavior. Frontiers in bioscience (Landmark edition)23, 2255–2266. https://doi.org/10.2741/4704
  • Zeevenhooven, J., Browne, P. D., L’Hoir, M. P., de Weerth, C., & Benninga, M. A. (2018). Infant colic: mechanisms and management. Nature reviews. Gastroenterology & hepatology15(8), 479–496. https://doi.org/10.1038/s41575-018-0008-7

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