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How To Keep Your Baby Colic-Free: Expert Advice For New Moms And Moms-to-Be

Welcoming a newborn into the world is an incredibly joyful and rewarding experience for mothers. But it’s not all rainbows and butterflies for new mothers.

Many babies experience bouts of excessive crying and fussiness during their early months. This phenomenon, known as colic, can be a challenging hurdle for both new mothers and their little ones.

Colic usually starts around two weeks from birth and peaks at six weeks. It could eventually decrease by 12 weeks. However, this doesn’t change the fact that mothers are left feeling distressed and overwhelmed, seeing their little one suffering.

This article tackles more in-depth information about colic, including helpful advice and practical tips on how mothers can effectively prevent and treat colic within their homes or the comforting care of a reputable maternity hospital.

How To Keep Your Baby Colic-Free

What Moms And Moms-to-Be Can Do To Prevent Colic

While the cause of colic remains unknown, factors such as an immature digestive system, sensitivity to certain foods, and overstimulation are believed to contribute to its onset.

That said, here are a few helpful tips you can consider to prevent colic in your baby:

  1. Steer Clear Of Stress Triggers During Pregnancy

During pregnancy, moms need to minimise stress as much as possible. Studies have shown a potential link between maternal stress and colic in infants.

Engage in relaxation techniques, practice self-care, and seek support from loved ones or professionals to alleviate your stress levels during pregnancy. These activities can also promote a calm and soothing environment for both you and your developing baby.

  1. Invest In A Feeding Bottle Designed To Reduce Gas

Your choice of bottle-feeding products can significantly reduce gas and discomfort in your little one.

Look for bottles specifically designed with anti-colic features, such as venting systems or air-free designs, which help prevent excessive air intake during feeding. These bottles can minimise the amount of swallowed air and subsequently reduce the likelihood of colic episodes.

  1. Adjust Your Baby’s Position During Feeding Time

The positioning of your baby during feeding can impact their comfort and digestion. Consider holding your baby in a slightly upright position, with their head elevated, to facilitate better swallowing and digestion. This can help minimise the occurrence of reflux and the associated discomfort that can contribute to colic symptoms.

It also helps to keep your baby from feeding too much or too quickly. One feeding should last around 20 minutes. If your baby tends to feed faster, you can use a bottle with a smaller nipple hole.

Feeding baby

  1. Avoid Overstimulating Your Baby After 4 pm

Babies, especially newborns, can become easily overstimulated, which may contribute to colic episodes. As the day progresses, try to create a calmer and more soothing environment for your baby.

Reduce noise, dim the lights, and engage in gentle activities to promote relaxation. Avoid loud noises, excessive handling, and bright lights, particularly during the late afternoon and evening hours when babies are more susceptible to overstimulation.

  1. Adjust Your Diet While Breastfeeding

If you’re breastfeeding, certain foods in your diet may be contributing to colic symptoms in your baby.

Pay attention to your baby’s reaction after you consume common culprits such as caffeine, dairy products, spicy foods, or gas-inducing foods like onions and beans. Experiment with eliminating or reducing these foods to see if it alleviates your baby’s colic symptoms.

Remember to talk to a healthcare professional or a lactation specialist for guidance on maintaining a healthy and balanced diet while breastfeeding.

How To Soothe Your Baby: 8 Tips To Alleviate Colic

In case your baby still experiences colic, below are eight ways you can alleviate their discomfort:

  1. Provide Extra Skin-to-skin Contact

Skin-to-skin contact has a calming effect on babies. Holding your baby against your bare chest can help soothe them and promote a sense of security.

  1. Swaddle Your Baby

Swaddling involves wrapping your baby in a blanket snugly, mimicking the feeling of being in the womb. This gentle pressure can help your baby feel secure and ease colic symptoms.

  1. Sing To Your Baby

Singing lullabies or softly humming can have a soothing effect on babies. The rhythmic sounds and melodies can help distract them from colic-related discomfort.

  1. Give Your Baby A Warm Bath Or Put A Warm Towel On Their Stomach

A warm bath or towel on your baby’s stomach can provide relief. The gentle heat can help relax your baby’s muscles and alleviate colic symptoms.

Massage baby

  1. Massage Your Baby

Supporting your baby across your arm and applying gentle, circular motions on your baby’s tummy and back can help reduce gassiness and promote relaxation. Consult your doctor for guidelines on baby massage techniques.

  1. Generate White Noise

Background noise, such as a fan, vacuum cleaner, washing machine, hair dryer, or dishwasher, can create a soothing environment for your baby. The rhythmic sound can help mask crying and provide a calming effect.

  1. Offer A Pacifier

Pacifiers can provide comfort and distraction for babies experiencing colic. The sucking motion can help soothe them and reduce fussiness.

  1. Rock Your Baby Gently

Holding your baby in your arms and gently rocking them can provide a soothing rhythm that’ll help calm them. You can also consider using an infant swing, which can mimic the motion and provide comfort.

Get Support

Colic can be a challenging phase for both mothers and babies, but with the right knowledge and strategies, it’s possible to prevent and manage colic effectively.

Remember, you’re not alone in this journey. Seek support from loved ones, join support groups, or consult with healthcare professionals.

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  1. Duduzile Vilakazi

    my last baby was suffering from colic, it was too bad, one night we had to call an ambulance I knew less about it’s so scary if untreated…I wish I knew all this earlier, but I’m glad I know now… thank you.

    • Looking back I think my daughter had colic, she cried so much as a baby and I was so exhausted. It really is an awful thing to go through with your child.

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