KNOW THE SIGNS If your otherwise healthy infant cries for long periods of time, even hours, many experts would consider it a case of colic. It generally begins around 2 weeks of age and goes away by 3 months, though Baby may still be fussy.
RE-CREATE THE WOMB Swaddle your sweetie in a blanket, place him on his side in your arms, and make a strong shushing noise close to his ear. Rock him gently and offer him something to suck on, such as a pacifier (or your breast, if it's mealtime).
GET OUT THE GAS It's one theory for what causes colic. Hold his legs up to his chest for a few minutes. Burping frequently during feedings may help too. You can also switch to a bottle that limits the air Baby takes in. Nursing? Ensure your cutie has a good latch.
CONSIDER PROBIOTICS Some research suggests these beneficial bacteria can ease colic's symptoms. Look for probiotics made for babies, or get infant formula that contains Lactobacillus reuteri. Follow your doctor's instructions for using probiotics.
ADJUST YOUR DIET If you're nursing or pumping, try eliminating dairy for a few weeks. Your baby may be sensitive to milk protein. Consider making an appointment with a lactation consultant, too, so she can verify that your milk supply isn't a problem.
- Don't give your baby any medication to reduce colic. No medicine is considered safe or effective for treating the condition.
- Call your doctor if your baby starts forcefully vomiting, has blood in his stool, refuses to eat, produces fewer wet diapers, or spikes a fever.
- Colic is distressing enough to make Mommy teary too. Ask for and accept help, especially when you feel exhausted or overwhelmed.
Originally published in the March 2014 issue of American Baby magazine.
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