Baby colics are common but uncomfortable and may cause severe pain, which you can identify by the baby's constant crying. Colics can be a sign of various situations, such as air intake at the time of suckling or drinking milk in the bottle, consuming foods that produce gases or due to an intolerance to some food or component, for example.
So, to relieve colics, you can make a warm water compress and put it on the baby's belly, massage the tummy with circular movements and put the baby to burp after each feeding. If colics do not go away, it is important to see your pediatrician so that some medication can be indicated to relieve the pain.
How to alleviate baby colics
To relieve baby colics, which are very common from the second week of life due to the baby's intestinal immaturity, you can follow some tips, such as:
- Massage the baby's tummy with circular movements with the help of a baby oil or moisturizing cream;
- Warm the abdomen with a hot water bottle, being careful not to leave it too hot and it can cause burns;
- With the baby lying on its belly, push the legs towards the abdomen, in order to compress the belly;
- Make bicycle movements with the baby's legs;
- Put the baby to burp after each feed;
- Give the baby a warm bath;
- Put the baby in contact with the skin of a parent;
- Breastfeed the baby;
- Use medication that stimulate the release of the gases, however the medicine should be indicated by a pediatrician when no other technique is able to relieve colic.
These techniques can be used in combination or separately, until you find the best technique that works to relieve your baby's colics. When the baby feels a colic it is normal for him to cry a lot. So if he is very irritated it is important to advise him first, giving him laps, and only then, to do the techniques indicated to release the gases naturally.
Home remedies for baby colics
A great home remedy to take care of colics in baby's who are not breastfed is to give small doses of chamomile and fennel tea, as these medicinal plants have an antispasmodic effect that may relieve colics and reduce the production of gases.
In babies who are exclusively breastfed, the best solution may be for the mother to drink these teas, as they pass through the milk and can relieve colics in the baby.
To make the tea: Put 1 teaspoon of chamomile and another of fennel in a cup with boiling water, leave to cool and then strain and give to the baby to drink.
Main causes dor baby colics
The main cause of colics in babies is the fact that their digestive tract is still immature, which happens until 6 months of age, however, colics can also arise due to:
1. Air intake
Usually while breastfeeding, especially when the baby doesn't grasp to the breast properly, the bottle or even when they cry a lot, it increases the intake of air, aggravating the chances of having colics and this is because the baby does not know how to coordinate breathing with the ability to Swallow.
In addition, if your baby has a stuffy nose due to poor grasping of the breast or constipation, it is normal for there to be more air ingested, increasing the risk of colics.
2. Lactose intolerance
Lactose intolerance is a problem that causes symptoms like diarrhea, pain and bloating in the belly and gas, and usually appears between 30 minutes to 2 hours after ingesting milk.
Normally, lactose intolerance occurs in older children, adolescents and especially adults, and if a woman breastfeeds she should also avoid foods that have milk.
3. Cow's milk protein allergy
Cow's milk protein allergy can cause colics, skin lesions, itching, vomiting and diarrhea, for example, and usually the diagnosis of cases of cow's milk allergy occurs in the first year of a child's life.
Therefore, it is important to give the child hypoallergenic or non-allergic formulas to avoid allergies, and the only treatment for allergy to cow's milk protein is to exclude the intake of cow's milk and its derivatives.
4. Hectic environments
Babies, when exposed to noisy, hectic environments, may become uncomfortable and afraid, which can cause colics.
5. Mother's diet
A mother's diet can cause colics in the baby, so it is important to be careful and to try to identify the foods that cause gas in the baby. Some of the foods most known to cause such effects are:
- Broccoli, cabbages, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts and some other types of vegetables from the cruciferous family;
- Peppers, cucumber and turnip;
- Beans, grains, fava beans, lentils and peas.
Generally, the same foods that cause gas in the mother are also the ones that cause gas in the baby and therefore, to know how the baby is reacting you should be aware of some signs after the feeding, such as swollen belly, crying, irritation or difficulty in sleeping. If these signs are evident, you should reduce the amount and fractionate between meals the consumption of these foods, to relieve the baby's colics.
However, if the baby continues to develop colics, it may be necessary to stop consuming these foods for at least the first 3 months while breastfeeding, then re-introduce them later in small amounts, testing the baby's reaction.