By Cara Barilla
It can be so hard to deal with colic; you are witnessing your poor crying baby, not understanding what he or she is trying to communicate with you due to the discomfort it’s causing them. Understanding your baby’s intolerances, their portion limits and their comfortable positioning may be a sound stepping stone to deal with. However, there are a lot more alternatives and studies being brought forward to the treatment of colic and the pain associated with it. Once you have established what your baby’s needs are, it will be more manageable inside their personal routine when dealing with colic.
Baby massage: Latest studies and techniques reveal that specialised baby massage techniques aid in the pain and prevention of colic. As a baby’s bodily functions are still underdeveloped, a baby massage can assist in circulating congestion. Speak to your local Pharmacist, GP, midwife or nurse for professional advice related to baby massages. There are also “mother baby” massage workshops available for you and your bub.
Regular feeds: If you are feeding your bub too much or too fast, this can also be a factor of intestinal air from the interruption of excessive lactose (either from breast milk or formula feed). Ideally, feeding babies twice as often and half in quantity can prevent colic and discomfort. Overfeeding is a common issue babies face, which can cause colic. Overfeeding leaves very little space in your baby’s tummy, leaving little breathing space and discomfort. Your child will naturally guide you to understand when they have had enough. After each feed, it’s best to allow your baby to be positioned upright to allow more gas to be brought up. Additional burping “over the shoulder” and “over the lap” is very effective for gas release.
Changing Positions: Moving your baby around (tummy time, the footballer position, bouncing the baby), and other gentle frequent movement options can often help release gas and provide them with more comfort. This also raises bonding time for you and your bub, as there’s a lot of handling time involved. When your little one is at ease and feeling safe in familiar arms, their little bodies will release tension, resulting in more gas being released.
Elevation: When your baby is upset due to discomfort, try to elevate your baby’s legs in an upward motion, and practise the “bicycle motion”, which can help release tension and push out additional gas. Placing your little one on his or her tummy and elevating their head in the “tummy time position” can also aid in gas retention.
Warm baths: A relaxing bath for two often relaxes both you and your baby. Skin to skin time is not only rejuvenating and calming for both mum and bub, it can also aid in bodily movement. At lukewarm temperature, rest your little one on your chest in water as its flow will help circulate unwanted gas. Simple massage techniques in water has been proven to stimulate the movement of prolonged intestinal gas.
Over-the-counter products: If you are concerned your baby formula is the prime suspect of your little one’s colic, it’s beneficial to speak to your local GP and pharmacist to assist in the best anti-colic formula and medicine. The best way to determine if your little one is experiencing pain from colic due to formula is to purchase a specialised baby formula for colic sufferers. If you notice a dramatic difference within two days, it’s ideal to change formula as your little one may have an intolerance to its ingredients and formulation.
Whether or not you are experiencing a suffering baby from colic or not, it’s best to have your baby checked by your local GP. Sometimes your babies are silent sufferers and may show their pain in a more discrete way. As long as your little one experiences regular tummy time support, movement, natural flow and not being overfed, these are general ways to aid in the prevention of colic. Chat to your local support nurse, hospital hotlines and mother’s group support systems for additional home remedies and like-minded advice. Most importantly, read your baby’s body language and monitor any changes and red flags accordingly.