All babies cry and have trouble settling sometimes. They cry for many reasons because it’s the main way for them to communicate. Excessive crying is defined as crying for more than 3 hours a day for more than 3 days a week in an otherwise healthy and well-fed infant. This is often referred to as "colic".
Colic can be very demanding, stressful and exhausting for parents. You may think that something is wrong with your baby, worried that you’ll lose your cool, that your parenting skills aren’t up to the job, or that you’ll never connect with your baby. But rest assured that most babies grow out of it and in the meantime, learning the right techniques to soothe and finding out what upsets them may ease your journey in handling a colicky or unsettled baby.
What causes colic?
Doctors aren’t entirely sure what causes colic. Researchers have looked into a number of possibilities that may contribute to colic such as:
- Pain or discomfort from gas of indigestion
- A digestive system that isn’t fully developed
- Sensitive to formula or breastmilk
- Early form of childhood migraine
- Emotional reaction to fear, frustration or excitement
Things You can try To Soothe Your Baby
No single treatment has been proven to make colic go away, but there are ways that you can try to soothe your baby and reduce crying. Here are some of the things you can try:
- Walk or Rock
Motion helps soothes a crying baby because it feels like they’re back in the womb. Try walking around with your baby in a carrier or baby wrap that keeps them close to your chest.
You can also try a swing or stroller. The gentle movement may stop his tears.
Or if all else fails, try securing your baby in a car seat and go for a ride around the block. Most babies tend to fall asleep in a car ride, but if he wakes up when the car ride stops, at least there’s some rest time for you and baby.
- Calm your Baby with Sound
A lot of babies respond well to the gentle hum of a machine such as a clothes dryer, fan, vacuum, or hairdryer. You can also try a white-noise machine or search for a white-noise sound on Youtube.
Some people have tried playing classical music or a heartbeat soundtrack and found that it works for them.
- Help him swallow less air
Trying a bottle that is specifically designed to reduce the intake of gas may help your baby’s colic. Hegen’s PCTO™ Milk Feeding Bottle PPSU is one of them. The bottle and teat position is designed to reduce the intake of air while baby is drinking. But that’s not the only great thing about it, Hegen’s PCTO™ Milk Feeding Bottle PPSU is the world's first patented Press-to-Close, Twist-to-Open (PCTOTM) innovation which allows parents to prepare a bottle quickly and conveniently.
Hegen's revolutionary PPSU PCTO™ bottle also allows you to Express, Store and Feed within a single container by simply swapping the bottle's feeding head, storage lid and adapter to convert a feeding bottle into a breast milk storage container or pumping container without any transfer of milk. This minimises wastage and reduces mess, making every drop count to promote seamless and sustainable breastfeeding.
While feeding, sitting him up might also help your baby to swallow less air. Remember to burp your baby after every feed as well.
Every baby is different. You’ll likely have to try one thing at a time to see if it calms your baby. Give each method a few days of trying, and if it doesn’t work, move on to the next one. Remember that colic usually goes away by 6 months old.
My son used to have a serious colic problem which caused episodes of reflux almost immediately after each feeding. Not only did it cause discomfort to my baby, the problem almost drove me crazy. I felt so helpless when my baby cried inconsolably due to his colic. My husband bought almost all the anti-colic bottles he came across in the market but of them did not work as they claim.Only 2 brands worked well, but the other has too many micro parts to clean. I'm so glad that I came across Hegen after I've tried over 7 types of bottles. It works perfectly as we don't see tiny air bubbles building up inside the bottle when baby is drinking. There are no complicated parts to clean, and this makes washing up a breeze. Now, Hegen is my standard gift to all my expecting friends.
Petaling Jaya, Malaysia