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Colic is so much more common in babies than I ever knew. It’s also one of the most exhausting ordeals any new parent and baby can experience. Colic tests your relationships and can often put a burden on bonding time. Thanks to some new and improved products on the market, we’re going to discuss how to cope with colic and be able to enjoy the precious moments a child brings into your life.
What is Colic?
Colic is usually defined as a healthy baby that cries for more than 3 hours a day, at least 3 days a week, for over 3 weeks. Sounds exhausting right?! For parents and baby. Often times crying begins in the evening, as was true for my first baby. Like clockwork she would begin crying at 6pm. This is also commonly referred to as the “witching hour”. Why, I’m not sure since it lasts way longer than an hour.
One of the possible reasons for colic is that a baby’s digestive system is SO immature they’re not able to produce the healthy bacteria leading to gas, bloating, overall discomfort and yes, CRYING.
Because I know firsthand how emotionally draining and exhausting it can be to have a baby with colic, I’m so happy to have partnered with Gerber® Soothe® products to share some tips on how to help soothe your baby. We all know that less crying for babies, means more smiling for all! And boy are those baby smiles the best!
Colic Remedies for Breastfed Babies
1. Remove Dairy from your diet. Because a baby’s gut is so immature they sometimes have a difficult time breaking down milk proteins. Eliminating dairy from your diet may help.
2. Remove other foods from your diet. Play around with the foods you’re eating. Sometimes consuming foods that can cause you gas will also cause discomfort for your baby.
3. Try probiotic drops. Gerber® Soothe Colic Drops were designed (although not limited) for breastfed babies. The drops are formulated with comforting probiotics L. reuteri and have been clinically proven to reduce crying time by 50%. Simply add 5 drops once a day to either your baby’s breastmilk or formula.
Colic Remedies for Formula Fed Babies
1. Try a different formula. Gerber® Good Start® Soothe Infant Formula is a routine formula that was designed to ease excessive crying, colic, fussiness and gas while providing your baby with the proper nutrition he or she needs.
2. Choose an anti-colic bottle. There are so many baby bottles on the market now that can aid in reducing excess air intake. A popular favorite, that we also used, are the Dr. Brown’s Anti-Colic bottles.
3. Feeding position. Feeding in a semi-upright position can help reduce the amount of air bubbles that get trapped in your baby’s gut.
General Colic Tips
1. Burp often. Burping your baby after small amounts of breastmilk or formula can help reduce the amount of trapped air and discomfort.
2. Baby massage. When my babies were infants we would rub their bellies in a clockwise motion and also move their legs in a bicycle motion. These techniques help move along air through the intestines creating relief in your baby’s gut.
3. 5 S’s. Swaddle, Shush, Swing, Suck, Side/Stomach position. We were gifted the Happiest Baby on the Block video which has amazing techniques for soothing your baby during colicky times. Your baby was curled up in a cozy, warm, and quiet environment for 9+ months. Help recreate this soothing atmosphere by swaddling your baby and offering a pacifier while swaying and shushing in their ear. (You can also use a swing and white noise machine.)
4. Walk. Going for walks can do a world of difference for both you and your baby. The excessive crying can get to you after a while, so getting some fresh air and going for a walk will help make you feel better while your baby enjoys the motion.
5. Babywear. Babywearing was a huge lifesaver for me. Wearing your baby in an upright position has been known to aid in digestion. You’re most likely going to be holding, rocking, shushing your baby for long periods of time and having your little one in a carrier will save your arms and back tremendously plus create a precious bonding experience.
Gerber has many different experts available (Registered Dietitians, Certified Lactation Consultants, and Certified Baby Sleep Consultants) to answer any questions. Visit www.gerber.com/experts or call toll-free 1.800.203.4565.
For more information please visit Gerber.com.