Colic is a condition of which your baby has extreme gas pains and cries a lot. Almost every baby suffers from colic but it can vary from mild to extreme between each child. Colic is usually caused by a lactose intolerance which is different from a lactose allergy. An allergy is typically shown in the form of red & itchy skin. Colic can also be caused by too many swallowed air bubbles, too much crying (stress) and other ingredient allergens (such as soy or corn). Lets talk about ways to help tame colic & make your baby more comfortable:
If you are using a formula, this is often the #1 reason for colic. Your baby is not digesting well and will feel extreme pain thru the digestive process. Our first son had extreme colic, we found that when we switched him Holle Organic Cows Milk, pretty much most of his colic symptoms disappeared along with his reflux. Using just about any European formula will be a better option then American as they are made with less ingredients, usually no chemicals or synthetic ingredients and they are closer to breastmilk consistency.
Even babies that are breastfed suffer from colic. Its not just a formula fed thing. There are some amazing natural remedies out there that DO work for gas relief. We have used quite a few of them but found Little Remedies Gas Drops had the most effective relief.
Babies are spending the first year of their lives creating good gut flora. If a baby isn't breastfed, they are not receiving the same good gut bacteria building blocks as a baby that is fed formula. However, a good probiotic can do the job. We recommended BioGaia Probiotic Drops. These drops also contain Vitamin D. The drops not only help with colic, but also constipation, diarrhea and spit up. It takes only 5 drops a day!
When a baby lays flat on her back, its hard for gravity to do its job of pulling excess gas away from the stomach and out the other end. It also increases spit up and reflux. A baby who's head is slightly elevated will sleep better and digest better. We recommend using a wedge for crib sleep or a lounger. The lounger is a excellent option as you can keep baby near you anywhere in the house and its excellent traveling too.
There are so many bottles on the market today and most all say Anti-Colic. So how does a new parent decide which is best? We personally went thru dozens of brands and found that Comotomo was the best brand. It is also the leading bottle for parents who switch between breastfeeding and formula feeding as it more closely resembles breast then any bottle out there. This bottle has TWO anti-colic vents and you can actually see the air bubbles go out as the baby drinks. It's also extremely easy to clean, no bottle brushes needed.
One of the most effective ways I was able to relieve gas pains in my babies was massage. Gentle rubs in a circular motion on the belly and same on the lower back. There are some excellent oils on the market as well to aid in a better massage for your baby. We recommend Wild Thera Herbal Baby Oil. It's also great for moisturizing the skin and has zero dangerous chemicals.
7. Heat Packs
If you have ever had a belly ache, you will find that heat is a life saver. There are now heat packs on the market for babies more specially designed to not burn the skin. We like Happi Tummi Belly Wrap. These are super easy to use, just pop in the microwave and is reusable over and over again. Once needed, you can buy more inserts.
This isn't a product for the faint of heart (lol) but it works. It quite literally relieves gas pressure fast. It is as it appears, you put very lightly into your babies bottom and out comes the gas. Its pretty relieving for parents too when your baby is clearly unconformable from gas.
9. The Shusher
I love The Shusher. I honestly could jump over the moon for this product. I bought it for my daughter who couldn't sleep without a quiet yet rhythmic noise in the background. If the air pressure in the room changed in the dead silence, she'd be awake. For babies with colic, getting to sleep is a big problem. You will see that once your baby is calm, relaxed and sleeping, she's able to finally relieve a big portion of gas too.
This rocker was the best investment ever. Yes it's expensive but worth it. What I like about it is it creates a rhythmic movement rather then swinging. There are lots of setting for motions so you can pick which one your baby has preference for. Our daughter loved the "car ride" motion along with the ocean sound. Its also really easy to move around and quite compact. You can move it up and down so its almost completely flat to upright for feeding. For babies with reflux and excessive spit up its a great option. This swing saved us so many times from our colicky kids restless nights; kids just love the smooth motion.