When you thought about having a baby, you probably thought about names. You wondered what your baby would look like, what their personality would be, how much they would weigh, and how fast they would grow. You envisioned the songs you would sing to them and the books you would read, pointing out all the pictures one by one.
You probably didn’t envision colic.
Colic is an umbrella term for the painful crying of an otherwise healthy infant. While it can have many causes, it’s usually rooted in some kind of digestive distress. Just think about the last time you were painfully gassy. Now imagine that, on top of not being able to understand why you’re in pain, or being able to communicate your discomfort or solve it on your own. Added on to the standard sleep deprivation and physical recovery new parents go through, the stress of a child in pain can be a terrible experience. Luckily, there are some steps that parents and caregivers can take to ease the pain of colic, bringing that dream of a happy family a little closer to home.
1. Check for food allergies and intolerances.
Food allergies and intolerances are often a cause of colic. If you are breastfeeding your infant, consuming foods that your child is allergic to can cause gas and upset stomach, even though they aren’t eating those foods directly. Dairy, eggs, nuts, and wheat are common allergens in infants, although many other allergies are possible. For formula-fed babies, lactose intolerance or dairy allergies can also lead to colic, since most formulas are made using cows’ milk.
To find out whether your baby has a food intolerance or allergy, it’s best to check with your pediatrician for guidelines, but you can also experiment with removing potential allergens from your diet for a period of several weeks to see whether the colic symptoms lessen or disappear. Keeping a food diary and a record of your child’s symptoms can be helpful when consulting with a physician about dietary changes. If you are formula feeding, there are soy-based formulas available for children who cannot tolerate cows’ milk products, but it is better to consult with your pediatrician before making a switch.
2. Adapt your feeding practices to minimize gas.
If you ever tried to burp on command as a kid, you already know that swallowing air is a quick way to create some internal gas. When the child in question is an infant with a delicate digestive system, though, that gas can be painful and problematic rather than fun.
Giving infants enough time to burp is essential, and some babies take a long time. Instead of burping at the end of a feeding, consider burping regularly throughout, so that the burps are smaller and more milk stays down. Adjusting to a more upright posture while feeding can be helpful, too.
For children who are bottle fed (whether formula, breastmilk, or a combination), there are some bottles designed to minimize gas. Some use air vents to help air stay at the top of the bottle instead of creating bubbles in the milk itself. Others use flexible disposable liners so that the air can be squeezed out of the bottle before feeding. Kiinde brand bottles also take this to the next step. Since breastmilk pumped directly into the same bag in which it can be frozen, warmed, and then fed to the baby, it avoids pouring and mixing that can cause air bubbles to form.
3. Keep moving.
If dietary and feeding changes don’t help, staying in motion may do the trick. Walking and bouncing with your baby is an excellent option, either in arms or in an age-appropriate carrier. A good rocking chair or glider is a classic option for colicky babies whose parents dread the idea of spending more time on their feet. Bouncing seats are also soothing to some babies (although they offer hands-free motion, they should only be used with supervision). And if all else fails, pulling out the car seat and going for a drive may do the trick.
The movement of a gentle massage can also be beneficial. When you massage your baby’s belly in a clockwise motion, you follow the natural path of the digestive tract, encouraging trapped gas to find its way out. And of course, there is always the near-instinctive rhythmic patting on the back that helps so many infants fall asleep.
4. Introduce probiotics.
Studies have shown that probiotics have a positive effect on treating colic in babies. While further investigation is being done on exactly how this happens, doctors agree that it is a safe treatment for infants and can be helpful when dealing with colic. Biopron DROPS is a probiotic designed specifically with babies and children in mind. Gentle, yet effective, it encourages the development of healthy intestinal flora for the youngest members of our families.
Colic can be frustrating for new parents, but it’s not forever!
Work with your healthcare and childcare team, you’ll find the combination of treatments and practices that help alleviate your baby’s discomfort, leaving them free to settle into their body and their world.
Biopron DROPS were developed especially for newborn and nursing infants. These drops contain Lactobacillus rhamnosus LRH08. This dietary supplement has a wide range of benefits. Probiotic drops are suitable for infants from birth, the special form of probiotic oil is for comfortable use intended for children from birth, with a daily dose of 1 billion CFU, for a healthy immune system, and normal development of a healthy intestinal microflora.