Does your baby cry for hours at a time every night for what seems like an eternity? Do their tears worsen into a full-fledged meltdown, complete with clenched fists, flailing legs, and an unhappy red face, despite your best efforts to soothe them? Welcome to the (very unpleasant) world of colic!
Colic likely has more than one cause, but studies have found a link between gut microbiota and colic in babies. High levels of Escherichia coli, Clostridium difficile, and Klebsiella have been found in babies with colic, while Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium levels have been found to be low. This dysbiosis could be a possible cause of abnormal gut motility and increased gas production.1
Supplementing beneficial bacteria, in addition to other methods, may help reduce pain and provide your baby with relief until colic passes.
Here are seven ways to help your baby’s gut:
Give Them A Burp
A crying baby can consume a lot of air. This can make them gassy and bloated, exacerbating their crying. Burp them on the back with firm but gentle pats. The traditional position, with your baby’s head over your shoulder, works but can leave a spit-up trail down your back. Change things up: Place your baby on your lap, face down, or sit them up, while your arms support their chest and neck.2
Switch Up Feeding Practices
Changes in feeding practices may also provide some relief. Bottle-feed your baby upright and frequently burp during and after a feeding. A curved bottle will help with vertical feeding, while anti-colic valves may reduce air intake.3
Do Baby Bicycles
This simple exercise can aid in the manual release of gas. Lay your baby on their back and use a bicycle motion to gently cycle their legs towards their tummies.4 You can also gently push your baby’s knees towards his or her tummy and hold the position for 10 seconds. Release and straighten their legs several times, then repeat.
Watch Your Diet If Breastfeeding
Research suggests there is some correlation between maternal diet in breastfeeding mothers and infantile colic. According to some studies, removing allergenic foods from the maternal diet may reduce colic while consuming a protein-rich diet may protect infants from colic.5
Restore and maintain your baby’s gut health with Reuterina® drops6, shown to reduce colic crying time 7, and daily regurgitation8.
Reuterina® drops can be used as a preventative measure 9 to reduce the onset of constipation in healthy newborns, increase the daily evacuations and improve gut motility and the number of bowel movements.
Speak To Your Healthcare Provider
Make an appointment with your child’s paediatrician if your baby is crying excessively or you are concerned they may have colic. Remember that while it may appear that your baby will have colic indefinitely, colic is only temporary. You won’t remember your baby having colic in a few months because you’ll be too busy making memories with your bundle of joy.
The Reuterina® family of probiotics are available from Dis-Chem and Clicks stores and independent pharmacies nationwide. For more information, visit: https://reuterina.co.za/ and join the conversations on Instagram and Facebook.
References and product legals available on request. | 006 ZA Reut 012023