a baby laying down holding a person's finger

How to soothe a baby with colic

Colic or Infant Colic is a medical condition of the stomach that causes difficulty in the digestion of milk leading to severe pain and crying in infants. This colicky pain is diagnosed by excessive crying or persistent irritability without an obvious health issue.

This unrelieved crying can be distressing for parents and for the babies and is one of the most common reasons parents seek medical advice.

How do I know if my baby has colic?

The definition of colic is crying for more than 3 hours a day, 3 (or more) days a week, for more than 3 weeks.

Colic in babies affects around 25% of all newborns and usually occurs from 2 weeks to 3 months of age. The good news is, that it is relatively short-lived, and they will grow out of it.

Babies may also have these symptoms;

  1. Crying or irritability that is more frequent in the afternoon or evening
  2. Crying that can be accompanied by a reddened face, pain, flexing of the legs, inflated stomach
  3. Episodes that begin spontaneously with a happy baby in between

It’s always recommended to have your baby checked by a doctor to rule out any other potential causes for crying.

How is colic treated in babies?

Colic is self-limiting meaning that it goes away on its own. The biggest issue with colic is the pain and discomfort for the child, and the distress it causes the parents. Thankfully, there are no known long-term effects of colic so the treatment focus is on reducing the symptoms and relieving the pain.

Examples include:

  • Keep baby upright after feeding can help to bring up wind and reduce discomfort
  • Swinging and constant movement have been reported by parents to help soothe the child and reduce the colic pain
  • Using a dummy helps relieve wind and swaddling settles the baby
  • Probiotic treatment containing Bifidobacteria

Regular dosing of an infant probiotic is recommended to reduce symptoms. The most recent advances in gut health studies emphasise that Bifidobacterium BR03 and Bifidobacterium B632 have been shown to increase the healthy gut bacteria in the first 3 months of life and reduce the symptoms associated with colic.

How do probiotics help my baby’s colic?

Healthy gut bacteria is essential in a newborn as it assists digestion, increases the immune system response, and reduces inflammation. Development of this healthy gut bacteria begins at birth and takes up to 3 years to fully develop.

Supplementation in the form of probiotic drops is found essential in supporting this healthy gut development which also prevents and reduces colic symptoms and colicky pain in the newborn.

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