A colic remedy is a medicine, diet, or other therapeutic technique used to alleviate the symptoms of stomach pain and/or crying in an infant. A baby experiencing colic will cry inconsolably for hours or even days at a time, with no obvious cause. In some cases ( breastfed babies), colic is the only way that a mother or father can signal to their child that they are hungry. Here are some of the colic remedies for breastfed babies.
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Most people avoid bathing a baby in water that is hot enough to burn, but warm instead. Baths for colicky babies should be about ninety degrees Fahrenheit, not hotter than the infant’s skin can comfortably tolerate. A hot bath is an excellent way to soothe an upset stomach and may help break a fever or loosen congestion. Unplug the bathtub tap before you allow your baby into it, and do not allow him to soak for more than about five minutes at a time.
An infant can become uncomfortable as the gas begins to build up in his intestines. Sitting on your lap and burping is a good way to get it out of him. Babies who have colic sometimes need to burp more than you would expect, especially when they are feeding on the breast, where they consume both milk and air. Burping does not always solve the problem and may cause more crying.
Some parents and doctors recommend infant stool softeners of the type sold over-the-counter for adults to try before using medications in an attempt to treat colic. These medicines work by stimulating the intestines to produce mucus, which can slow down gas production. They are not absorbed into the baby’s system and do not affect the risks of colic.
Other colic remedies for breastfed babies include herbal teas that you can buy at the grocery or health-food stores. Chamomile, fennel, and peppermint are soothing to both adults and children but do not get your baby too hot as they may cause him to sweat and be uncomfortable. Chamomile is known to be effective for colic, but if your child has a history of allergy, it would be better not to use it.
Your baby’s diet may affect the symptoms of colic. Many babies with colic are lactose intolerant, although breast milk is the best food for them to consume. Introducing solid foods too early can cause problems, including flatulence and constipation, neither of which will help with colic. Babies who have a history of soy allergies may be sensitive to soy products in infant formula or other foods added to their diet as well.
A colicky baby may need more magnesium than other infants. Magnesium is an essential component of the body’s natural anti-inflammatory response, so it can help with abdominal pain and diarrhea, as well as improve your child’s overall quality of life. Parents have found that adding a little canned pumpkin to baby food can boost the amount of magnesium in his diet.
Massaging your baby can help reduce the symptoms of colic and improve his quality of life. A massage is a great form of exercise for babies who are feeling frustrated and tense. It can soothe an upset stomach, loosen muscles and may trigger the natural release of endorphins in the body to help relieve pain or discomfort. You can teach your baby to enjoy the feeling of massage that will work best for him or her.
Infant massage may reverse the buildup of stress chemicals (the same ones released during crying) in your baby’s system and help him relax. Massage may also improve nutrient absorption and circulation when applied regularly.
Homeopathic remedies are not regulated by the FDA and are therefore not required to be labeled by them, so you may choose to buy some over-the-counter without doctor approval if that is what you want to do. Some parents report excellent results with homeopathy, while others find that it is more of a placebo effect than anything else.
A colicky baby may have other underlying conditions that could be causing his symptoms. If there is an underlying medical problem, such as a cold or stomach virus, your doctor can help you determine whether the colic is being caused by the same thing or something else entirely. Colic usually improves over time and most babies can go a few days to a week without crying and experience relief of their symptoms. If you are nervous about your baby’s symptoms or continue to feel that his problems are not improving even after trying remedies, it is important to talk to your pediatrician or family doctor.
Some colic remedies for breastfed babies may be effective, others not. If you are breastfeeding your baby and have some time, by all means, explore what might help. If your baby is formula-fed and you have little time for things like a homeopathic treatment, try a different brand of formula.