In the world of parenting, the word ‘colic’ can give any parent sleepless nights. Colic is a condition in which the infant experiences stomach cramps owing to the buildup of gas and a relatively immature digestive system. These make the infant cry and scream uncontrollably for hours. There is no hard and fast cure for colic. Most infants outgrow colic by the time they are four months of age.
Their tummies settle and are able to handle a more varied diet. Until then it is up to the parents to provide quiet comfort and solace to their little babies. Colic can be alleviated and temporarily soothed with the help of some simple and effective home remedies. Here are some of them.
Home Remedies For Colic
Warm towel or Heating Pads
A simple home remedy is to gently wipe the baby’s stomach and abdominal region with a warm and wet towel. Hot compresses can also work.
Just ensure that the towel is not too hot otherwise it will scald the baby’s skin. A warm compress can give temporary relief to the baby from colic. You can rub the towel on the baby’s stomach in gentle circular motions. This also helps to relieve gas.
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An effective grandma’s remedy has been the use of canola oil. Just heat some canola oil and give a small teaspoon of this oil to the baby just before his/her feeds. It works by preventing the buildup of gas in the stomach.
While chamomile tea is vastly recommended for adults, your babies ailing stomach can receive some respite from a dose of chamomile tea.
Make sure the tea leaves however are absolutely fresh. Boil and brew them and keep giving the baby small teaspoons of this tea throughout the day. This will help to ease and soothe the baby’s colic.
Another homemade tea is made up of crushed onions, peppermint and honey. Boil some chopped onion along with pepper mint in water and add just a pinch of honey to the concoction. Give the baby this concoction throughout the day. It helps to give immediate relief from colic and also prevents its onset.
At three months babies can easily ingest a small amount of dairy. You can introduce your baby to the healthy world of probiotics. Pick up some probiotic curd from your local dairy and feed this to your child. Give the child very small helpings initially to check for lactose intolerance if any.
If the baby responds well, you can introduce probiotics in the baby’s diet. Probiotics strengthen the gut of the baby and enhance the good intestinal flora. This in turn helps to reduce very severe bouts of colic and gives the baby the much needed relief from colic.
Mint leaves have undoubtedly proved to be an excellent cure for colic. Get some fresh mint leaves from the market, wash them thoroughly and boil these leaves in water. Now leave the water to strain and cool. Use this water to mix the baby’s infant formula. Your baby will never again suffer from colic.
Asafetida is another very effective home remedy for colic. Take a pinch of asafetida and heat it in a tablespoon of water. While it is moderately hot, dip a piece of cotton wool into the asafetida and rub this solution on your child’s belly.The baby will get immediate symptomatic relief from colic and will start to feel well. You can repeat this treatment 2-3 times a day for best results.
Burping and Sitting up your Baby
One of the simplest at home steps which all mums can follow are to burp the baby well after every feed. This helps to release gas and prevents the formation of air pockets in the stomach. On the whole your baby will suffer from fewer bouts of colic if you follow this step religiously. Make sure you make the baby sit up with the support of a cushion after every feed as this too helps.
Olive Oil massage
A total body hot oil massage with olive oil works miracles in keeping the baby warm, preventing gas and ensuring that he/she sleeps peacefully after every feed. Rub some warm olive oil on your hands and gently massage the baby’s tummy and feet.
Cover the baby’s feet with socks and swaddle him/her nicely with a warm baby blanket. The massage will ensure smooth digestion and relax the baby thus helping him/her to sleep peacefully without suffering from bouts of colic.
Take a teaspoon of cumin seeds and put them in a glass of hot water. Let the seeds stand in the water overnight. Strain the water in the morning and feed the baby a few teaspoons of this water spaced at regular intervals during the day. This is said to aid in digestion and reduce the incidence of colic in young babies.
Carom seeds or ‘ajwain’ is also a great home remedy for colic. Soak some of these overnight in a glass of water and give your baby a teaspoon of this water every time he/she suffers from colic. The carom seeds give relief from tummy ache and cramps felt during colic.
Coke or Pepsi
While babies should not be given too much of this, a few teaspoons of coke or Pepsi or any other bubbly/aerated drink can work wonders in releasing gas from the baby’s tummy. Give it to your little one and watch him/her burp. This will make the baby feel instantaneously better.
Boil some bay leaves and peppermint in water and give this concoction to your baby for relief from colic. Speak to your doctor first as bay leaves may not suit some babies.
A warm bath during the evening hours when colic strikes may help to soothe the infant. Feed the baby, massage his/her tummy and follow this up with a bath. This will ensure that the baby falls asleep immediately. With the help of these home remedies, parents can offer comfort and respite to their colicky infants.