Moms and dads find it really hard and frustrating when their young baby is constantly fussing and crying.
They wonder if they are doing something wrong when all the time it could be something as simple (or as complicated) as colic.
Acupuncture for babies
Although met with scepticism, research from Sweden has claimed that babies with colic may cry less if they are treated with acupuncture. The recent study has been published in the British Medical Journal Acupuncture in Medicine
. The study was carried out at Sweden's Lund University when researchers divided 147 colicky babies into three groups:
- One group received no acupuncture.
- The two other groups received two different types of minimal acupuncture.
Their conclusion was that those babies given acupuncture appeared to reduce their crying at a slightly faster rate.
One sceptic pointed out that it was well known that colicky babies responded to even minimal attention so it could have just been the additional TLC the babies received.
Acupuncture is a well known natural remedy for adults
but would you be happy about subjecting your very young baby to such a procedure?
Colic’s Rule of three
- If your baby cries for three hours a day
- And for at least three days a week
- And for three consecutive weeks
If these three conditions are met then your baby is more than likely to be suffering from baby colic.
And the symptoms to look for?
- Intense crying episodes - sometimes with a predictable daily pattern.
- Inconsolable crying episodes with no apparent trigger.
- Arching of the back, clenching of the fists, recoiling to touch with and other physical or posture changes.
Our top ten natural remedies for colic
For your baby's wellbeing and the peace of the parents, it becomes vital to do everything possible - and naturally - to resolve the concerns of colic.
Problems with breastfeeding such as poor latching on or feeding positions, being tongue-tied or lip-tied and more. A lactation consultant can help resolve such problems which may be causing colic. Allow your baby to feed at one breast until it's nearly empty before switching sides. This provides your baby with rich, fatty hindmilk, which can be more satisfying and helpful with colic.
Hold your baby as upright as possible during feedings - Pause often during feedings to burp your baby while smaller, more-frequent feedings can be helpful.
The need to suck - Babies have a very powerful sucking reflux that needs to be satisfied and not just through the nipple. Babies have a hand-to-mouth reflex too leading them to stuff their hands, fingers or fists into their mouth as a way to comfort and soothe themselves. A natural pacifier might help or feeding-on-demand (if breastfed).
Watching what you eat - Avoid foods that can trigger baby colic symptoms such as dairy, wheat/gluten, eggs, shellfish, citrus, caffeine and spicy foods. Your baby's digestive system is still immature and can react to various foods’ proteins in breast milk. It can take two to four weeks for them to be completely eliminated from your body and your milk.
Babies are used to noise - When you think about it, your baby came from a noisy womb. Perhaps they don't thrive with all that sudden peace and quiet. White noise might be another remedy. Play a CD with the sound of a vacuum cleaner or a hair dryer to help your baby to sleep. The parent himself can make shushing noises or even hum loudly. All these different noises help the baby to refocus their attention so they are comforted with a reduction in crying.
Fresh air - A change is always as good as a rest so head out into the outdoors suitably dressed - whatever the weather - to enjoy the sun, the wind, the sounds and more, helping to improve the mood and add comfort.
Soothing warm baths - To comfort sore tummies and lift spirits with warm water and peaceful surroundings. As an alternative, and in between baths, place a warm wash cloth on your baby's tummy.
Baby's workout - Help to release any trapped gas in the tummy by doing bicycle legs or putting your baby's tummy on your thighs for gentle pressure. You can also do gentle belly massages using a clockwise motion.
Gut health - There is quite a lot to read and learn about making sure your new baby's gut health is as healthy as it can be and it even starts during pregnancy. As natural a birth as possible is a good place to start.
Seeing a chiropractor - Often during the birth process, a baby’s body can get out of alignment which can affect sleep, bowel movements, digestion and more. Look for a chiropractor who specializes in infant care.