There are tons of colic remedies (and old wives’ tales) out there from natural treatments to colic drops.
If you are reading this post, I’m going to assume you are desperately searching for a way to treat the colicky pain your tiny baby is experiencing.
It can be an awful feeling to watch your baby cry endlessly and not be able to comfort or soothe them. Whether you want to try some old-fashioned remedies for colic or are looking desperately for something to help, this list is what you need.
Truly, the only way to know which solution will work for you is to systematically go through the list of colic remedies below until you find the one that works for your baby.
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What is Colic In Babies?
Infant colic is a catch-all term for “I have no idea why my baby is crying but it won’t stop!”. It really is the worse feeling ever to have an angry little red face screaming up at you, especially when you have no idea why they are upset.
A baby is considered colicky if they are otherwise healthy and cry for more than 3 hours a day for more than 3 days in a row for more than 3 weeks.
What Causes Colic?
Most people agree that colic seems to be the result of trapped gas and pain in the abdomen.
Some think it may be the result of lactose intolerance or other stomach problems.
Colic is not to be confused with the typical witching hour that most newborns experience every evening.
The witching hour is totally normal and will pass. Most babies outgrow the witching hour by 6 months at the latest but often before.
When Does Colic Start?
Babies typically develop colic around 3-4 weeks old. It may begin a little earlier or later, however.
My baby started showing colic symptoms right at the 3-week mark which seems pretty typical.
How Long Does Colic Last?
Most babies seem to outgrow colic by 12 weeks of age.
If you currently have a 3-week old baby and are worried that they have colic, then I know 9 more weeks of this seems absolutely insurmountable and unbearable.
I promise you that the colic remedies below should help you find relief for your baby much sooner than 12 weeks.
A Typical Colicky baby
My first daughter basically cried non-stop from 3 weeks on.
I couldn’t really leave the house other than walking around deserted neighbourhoods for fear of well-intention comments about how my baby “must be hungry”. I spent every night desperately searching for cures for colic in newborns.
I tried to go to baby and me yoga class but her crying was such a distraction that I had to leave midway through the session.
When she was around 4 weeks old, she cried one night from 11 pm until 1 pm the following day without sleeping.
At my wit’s end, I drove to the hospital convinced she was desperately sick. Why else would she be crying for that long without sleeping or eating? After many checks and blood tests, the doctor told me that was “just colic”.
If you are in the throes of the relentless screaming right now or are a colic-survivor, you know that “just colic” is a massive understatement to the life-sucking phenomenon of a newborn screaming 24/7.
The next day, I put a call into our postpartum health line and the nurse went through a list of ideas to try to a) stop my baby from crying and, b) keep me sane.
I’ve compiled the list below as well as other tips from friends who also experienced colicky babies.
You can even download a printable list of the remedies at the bottom of the page.
Walking miles a day, vacuuming non-stop, and doing squats worked for me, here’s hoping one of these tips gives you some relief too!
If you have success make sure to let me know and to check out some of my other Newborn Baby Tips and Tricks (From Real Moms!)
31 Colic Remedies For Desperate Moms
1. Take baby outside for a change of scenery, sometimes that helps them calm down
2. Try adding Gas Relief Drops directly in their bottle
3. The 5s from Happiest Baby On The Block is a great resource. Although not marketed as colic remedies, many people swear by them for soothing crying babies.
There is a book version but the DVD is better as you can actually see the different positions he recommends.
5. Limit your caffeine intake as excessive use can make babies fussy.
6. Pound the pavements in the stroller (wear headphones if you need a break)
7. Put baby in the carrier and do squats and lunges (Youtube Barre videos worked for me!)
8. Get baby naked, it might calm him down
9. Give him a nice warm bath and keep the water running for white noise.
10. Newborns can get overstimulated, a quiet dark room can sometimes act as a reset button.
11. A ceiling fan for the baby to stare at while he lays on the floor.
12. Put the car seat on the dryer and turn it on, the movement can calm babies
13. Eliminating gassy foods such as broccoli, beans, and dairy if you are breastfeeding may ease gas issues. This is an awesome list of foods to avoid when breastfeeding.
14. Probiotic Drops can help uncomfortable tummies. I think they helped my baby.
15. Try gently swinging the baby with your forearm on his stomach and her head on your hand. (football hold)
You can also consider getting. a Babocush. It is a cushion for your swing where baby lays on its stomach. It is really useful for colicky babies who like pressure on their little tummies.
16. Bounce with the baby on a yoga ball and try holding her in different positions while you bounce.
17. Put her in the carrier and walk outside. If your carrier has a hood (eg. ergo), put that on to create a calm environment with less stimulation.
18. Try blasting a hairdryer on cool close to baby (not towards her), the noise and air can be relaxing.
19. If you suspect tummy issues, some people swear by Organic Gripe Water
20. Eliminating soy in your diet can help if the issue is gas-related.
21. Although controversial, some people recommend a visit to a chiropractor specializing in newborns. Sometimes things can be out of alignment after birth and a gentle readjustment does the trick.
22. If you are worried that your baby is an ineffective nurser, pump a feed and see if it makes a difference. This completely “cured” the crying in my second child, she was simply hungry.
23. Try a bouncy seat like this one if the yoga ball is working – that way you can get a break!
24. If he won’t take a pacifier, make sure you have tried different kinds. MAM brand seems to work for a lot of fussy babies.
25. Make sure your baby isn’t overtired. Looking back at my first daughter, I think some of the time, she was exhausted and I was not letting her fall asleep.
Some babies will calmly drift off but my first child seemed to need to cry for a few minutes before she would sleep. I finally realized that was how she fell asleep and things were much better after that.
26. If your baby will not sleep laying flat, ask your pediatrician if you are ok to raise baby at a very slight angle. This can help your baby fall and stay asleep.
27. Sometimes a very thin, breathable muslin blanket like these swaddles close to baby’s cheek (not covering the face) and in their hands can be comforting to them.
29. Check toes and fingers and make sure there are no little hairs twisted around and cutting off circulation. This is actually more common than you think and is one of the first things they check for at the hospital.
30. Try massaging the baby’s tummy to work any gas out. Bicycling their legs can also help.
31. Reader recommendation – A bonus tip came in from Bethel who swears by Baby Colic Babies’ Magic Tea as a colic remedy. It’s organic and gets great reviews, the fennel and cumin in the tea bags are also good for mom’s milk supply!
While trying out the colic remedies above, don’t forget to look after yourself.
Colic Remedies: Mom Edition
1. A constantly crying newborn can be draining. Make sure you take a break and pass your baby off to someone when you get a chance.
2. If you are feeling stressed and need a moment, place baby in a safe place (crib, swing, stroller etc) and take 5 minutes to calm down.
3. Sometimes putting your baby in a bouncy chair or pack n play in the bathroom while you shower will give you a much-needed change of scenery.
4. Don’t be afraid to ask for help or admit that it’s too much. Colic is hard for the best of moms to cope with.
5. Just remember that your baby isn’t crying because of something you did or did not do. It’s worth remembering that sometimes babies just cry.
6. Even though every minute seems like an hour, this too shall pass. Remember, colic is normally gone by 12 weeks.