Tricks to Calm Colicky Newborns
Newborn cramps and upset stomachs are some of parents’ main concerns. It’s important to recognize the symptoms and act accordingly to soothe colicky newborns.
During the first three months of life, babies are exposed to lots of stomach problems. Despite this, the scientific community still doesn’t exactly know what causes them.
To help you identify the symptoms of newborn cramps and soothe them, we’ll show you some methods below.
What does colicky mean?
Specialists in pediatric medicine refer to colic as prolonged crying in infants under three months old with no apparent cause. It’s linked to a possible immaturity in their digestive systems that cause stomach pains. On the other hand, it could be due to allergies or food intolerances.
Research on colic is still very uncertain. Researchers can find a cause in only 5% of cases. Despite this uncertainty, there are possible causes:
- Stomach gases
- Intolerance to milk proteins
- Psychological reasons, like the transfer of anxiety from parent to child. Additionally, it could just be a characteristic of the child.
Visible symptoms in colicky newborns
The gastrointestinal symptoms linked to colic are:
- Long episodes of loud crying. They usually start at the end of the day and occur at least three times per week.
- Babies usually move their body in weird ways. They close their fists firmly and their face reddens. Their abdominal area feels hard and their legs flex toward their torso.
Tricks to calm colicky newborns
The following tips are aimed at relieving possible cramps in children from gastrointestinal problems. However, the only way to know for sure is to ask your doctor.
We recommend asking your pediatrician about the real reason for their crying.
If you breastfeed your baby, it’s a good idea to avoid foods like broccoli, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts or cabbage. They’re associated with stomach inflammations that cause gas. Similarly, eat less condiments and spices.
“Colic is linked to a possible immaturity in their digestive systems that cause stomach pains.”
On the other hand, if you give your baby a bottle, keep in mind that you need to watch the portions of powder and water. Follow exactly what your pediatrician tells you.
They know how much is suitable for your child’s age and needs. They also recommend that you don’t change milk brands without checking with your doctor first.
There are some steps you can take. You can find brands that are anti-reflux that fight aerophagia. As you see, there are many resources you can use to find information to help your children.
There are other things you could do to help your baby. Some ways to relieve discomfort in colicky newborns are:
- Always burp your baby after he eats. Make sure you burp him the necessary number of times.
- Gently massage his stomach in a clockwise direction. You can use baby oil. If you rub your hands first, they’ll be warm when you massage your baby. This can make him feel calm and happy.
- Try giving him a warm water bath. This can help your baby feel more comfortable. In turn, being in water can have calming effects. Warm water helps calm down children and adults.
- Place your baby in a vertical position with the help of a special chair. You can also hold your baby in your arms. This position helps babies expel gas and reduce acidity.
Finally, we want to warn you about the dangers of using pharmacological medications. In addition to not being proven effective, they can cause serious health problems. Therefore, it’s better to always consult your doctor before starting any medication.
All cited sources were thoroughly reviewed by our team to ensure their quality, reliability, currency, and validity. The bibliography of this article was considered reliable and of academic or scientific accuracy.
- Zeevenhooven J., Brown PD., L’Hoir MP., Weerth C., et al., Infant colic: mechanisms and management. Nat Rev Gastroenterol Hepatol, 2018. 15 (8): 479-496.
- Gelfand AA., Infant colic. Semin Pediatr Neurol, 2016. 23 (1): 79-82.