New babies bring so much indescribable joy to the lives of their moms, dads, and other family members. New parents often just sit in awe of the new life, counting fingers and toes, kissing fresh cheeks, and smelling the top of the baby’s head (isn’t it the best?!). But parenting a new baby can also come with new challenges that can become discouraging, frustrating, and disheartening. Obstacles like healing from a c-section, mastitis for mom, ear infections, teething, sleep training, breastfeeding roadblocks, and colic can really take a toll on baby and parents. Our very first baby had a bout with colic, and I can attest to the hopeless feelings that can overwhelm parents in the throws of new parenthood and no sleep. It’s hard. But these natural remedies for colic can help. There is light at the end of the tunnel!
“Newsflash: Babies cry. This is normal. This is real. This is uncomfortable. But, as a new mama, don’t be alarmed if your baby likes to cry (and count yourself lucky if your baby doesn’t cry much.) If you think about it, crying is really one of baby’s only modes of communication, and as my mom likes to say, it exercises their lungs 🙂
But when does the normal crying baby turn into something more? What if the crying goes on and on? What if my baby is, gasp, colic? Well, let’s ground ourselves in the definition of baby colic. Think of the rule of 3. If your baby cries for 3 hours a day, for at least 3 days a week, for 3 consecutive weeks, this would qualify as baby colic.
Baby Colic symptoms
- Intense crying episodes (sometimes with predictable daily patterns)
- Inconsolable crying episodes with no apparent trigger
- Arching of back, clenching of fists, recoiling to touch, and other physical/posture changesNo doubt about it, mamas and papas can really struggle with feelings of helplessness and frustration around these symptoms. That’s why I wanted to create this baby colic post!
What causes baby colic?
The medical community doesn’t really know inconclusively what causes baby colic. Some chock it up to a rite of passage that usually begins at a few weeks old to 3-4 months, sometimes longer. Others blame it on an immature digestive tract, allergies, a developing brain/neurological system, or high-strung parents. Some theorize that colic children are “introverts” and are easily overstimulated. But for many mamas, we want to get to the bottom of it because watching our child cry for hours on end each day is nearly unbearable. Of course, it’s always recommended to check in with your pediatrician to rule out any other potential issues. If it does end up being baby colic, thankfully, there are some simple and natural remedies that may help reduce or eliminate your baby’s symptoms. Before implementing any of these remedies, check with your pediatrician first.
Natural Remedies for Baby Colic
1. Rule out Baby Reflux
The first thing mamas will want to rule out is baby reflux. This condition will often mimic some of the same symptoms as baby colic and can be alleviated with natural remedies. A Homeopathic Remedy called Nat Phos 6X changed my daughter from a red, colicky child to a calm, happy baby. Be sure to look for the signs and symptoms of baby reflux and, if appropriate, treat this root cause of your baby’s crying.
2. Check in with a lactation consultant
If you are a breastfeeding mom, this is so essential. There are so many anatomical issues that could be causing your baby grief! Unfortunately, most pediatricians aren’t trained to spot these conditions so be sure you find an IBCLC-certified lactation consultant. Your baby could have a bad latch. She could be tongue-tied. He could be lip-tied. All of these issues could cause some major colic symptoms!”