Calming Strategies for an Infant With ColicBecause you probably know more or less what to expect when the crying starts, your new task is figuring out what you can do to comfort your baby.
Some comforting ideas to try are:
- Bring your baby into a calm, quiet room to be held.
- Limit outside noises and movement.
- If your baby is hypersensitive to noise, place him or her in a car seat near a clothes drier, dishwasher, or white noise machine.
- Make sure the physical needs are all taken care of (i.e., not too warm or cold, well fed, clean diaper, etc.).
- Use other forms of sensory stimulation, such as:
- Infant swing
- Ride in the car
- Belly massage
- Warm bath
- Warm (not hot) water bottle on the belly.
- Carry your infant in your arms, a sling, or a front carrier. This may not help with the crying, but it might help with the anxiety both you and your child are experiencing.
- Swaddle or wrap your baby in a soft blanket.
Using Changes in Diet to Treat Colic
Your healthcare provider may also recommend changes in diet when treating a colicky baby. Studies have shown that certain dietary changes may help improve symptoms in some babies.
Some suggestions include:
- If bottle-feeding, change from cow's milk to a soy-based or low-allergy (hypoallergenic) formula, such as whey hydrolysate (Nestle® GoodStart®) or casein hydrolysate formula (Nutramigen®, Pregestimil®, and Alimentum®).
If colic symptoms do not improve within a week of switching, you can return back to the normal formula. Talk to your healthcare provider about the specific formula he or she recommends.
- If breastfeeding, eliminate potential aggravating foods from your diet, including milk-based products, eggs, wheat, and nuts. This is known as a hypoallergenic diet. Remove a single type of food each week to see if there is an improvement. If there is no improvement, you can restart that food.
Switching from breastfeeding to bottle-feeding has no impact.
- Feed your infant in an upright position with frequent burping. Also use a curved bottle, collapsible bag, or another type of nipple or bottle designed to decrease the amount of air swallowed during feeding.