Being a new parent to a colicky crying baby can be an incredibly overwhelming and stressful experience. As you try to navigate this new and often perplexing parenting roadmap, throwing colic into the equation – a condition of excessive crying for often hours on end for no apparent reason – is upsetting for everyone involved, to say the least. No wonder then that according to research undertaken by Nelson’s Baby 49%* of parents think that colic is the most distressing ailment for parents to deal with. I’d have to say I entirely agree with that.
I remember our colic witching hour(s) would last three hours every night for days on end, when I would as a new parent feel totally at a loss of what to do; whilst at the same time, trying every trick in the book to try and calm our little girl – and our twitchy nerves – in the hope that at some point that night, we would all get some sleep.
So what CAN be done to help soothe a baby suffering from colic? Here are my seven tips for soothing colic naturally.
1. Keep them close to you
One thing I found that REALLY helped to soothe colic was the power of touch. For a baby suffering from colic (and a frazzled mother!) sometimes all a colicky baby needs and wants is to be close to you. Baby-wearing is a heaven-sent when it comes to colic. The incredible comfort of being snuggled up in a carrier against the warmth and comfort of your own body is often just the remedy a colicky baby needs.
2. Experiment with different positions and movement
Every baby is different but one thing parents of colicky babies tend to agree on – is that the football hold (otherwise known as the arm drape) rules ok. If you’re not sure what this means, see the video below.
3. Explore homeopathic remedies
Unfortunately, most of us do not have the time or inclination to go and see a homeopath whilst trying to navigate the rocky waters of first time motherhood but that doesn’t mean that homeopathic remedies should be overlooked. Thank goodness then that the clever folks at Nelsons Baby have taken the puzzlement that can often come with homeopathic remedies away, and bought two wonder ingredients for colic together in an easy and accessible form by the name of Colica.
Containing natural Citrullus colocynthis 30c & Dioscorea villosa 30c, these sanity-saving sachets can be used on tots from one month old and are as easy as tipping into their mouth once every two hours for a maximum of six doses in 24 hours. Instant calm in a sachet.
4. Bundle them up
Not every baby likes to be swaddled, for those suffering with colic who do, swaddling them is another way of providing them with comfort in colicky times, because it once again helps to recreate that secure feeling they had in the womb and ease and soothe the calamity of feeling overstimulated.
5. Burp them
Although there is a lot of talk about colic and wind, people can’t seem to agree whether colic is caused by wind emanating from digestive problems, or whether gulping lots of air whilst crying simply exacerbates colic. Either way, in colicky times, getting a big burp out of your baby often seems to do wonders. You can help release any wind that might have built up by doing bicycle or rolling legs, or giving their tummy a little massage in a clockwise direction.
6. Use the sound of….
It’s a very bizarre, and probably down right odd experience for a baby to go from only hearing sounds of the womb to a myriad of different noises assaulting their little ears. When a baby is all keyed up through colic, it is quite incredible how the rhythmic soothing sounds of shh shh shh (repeated in a pattern of three times in their ear, like they were still rocking around in your womb), can help take them back to that happy place, and sooth their irritation with the world on the outside.
Some babies respond better to having white noise played to them (same theory here), whilst others – and I’m guessing particularly those who mothers sang to them in utero – seem to silence to the sound of your songs.
7. Put them in front of the mirror
As weird as this may seem, I remember feeling utterly foolish attempting this one but the fact that it has made it into this list shows it works! Perhaps it is just the shocking distraction provided by a baby seeing their own self screaming back at themselves in a mirror, but somehow, this has proven highly effective in stopping the screams of a colicky baby in their tracks everywhere.
***Nelsons Colica Colic Granules cost £5.80 and are available from Boots, Tesco, Asda and Superdrug. For more information visit Nelsons Baby here.***
*A survey conducted on 2015 UK adults, 14th-18th November 2013, by Atomik Research on behalf of Nelsons Baby.
** This post is in collaboration with Nelsons Baby