Colic isn’t necessarily a diagnosis. It essentially means that your baby is crying excessively when they are healthy, and all their needs are met.
This typically begins at around three weeks of age. They can be inconsolable with walking, rocking, and all other methods for comforting. Even after a baby with colic stops crying, they may be fussy.
When your baby has colic, you can feel helpless. You may not know what your baby needs and how to help them.
While colic can be difficult to figure out, there are things you can try at home to help with the excessive crying.
First, it’s essential to talk to your baby’s pediatrician. You want to ensure that there are no health issues that could be causing the excessive crying.
Sometimes, colicky babies aren’t colicky but have a health problem that needs to be resolved.
Once you have ruled out health issues and met all of the baby’s basic needs, you can consider other options for treating colic.
There are specific soothing and feeding techniques to try to comfort your baby. It’s important to check with your baby’s pediatrician to ensure no major health issues are going untreated.
Constant crying might have to do with the baby’s digestive system or another problem. Your baby could be crying nonstop for a perfectly good reason.
Signs of Colic
As a parent, you might suspect that your baby has colic. As mentioned, it’s not a diagnosis, but you should be able to tell whether your baby has colic.
Typically, pediatricians will use the “rules of three.” These rules apply to your baby’s crying.
If your baby cries for at least three hours per day, three days per week, and this lasts for three weeks in a row, your baby likely has colic.
These are the most common signs of colic:
- Your baby cries around the same time each day. This can be late afternoon or early evening in most babies, but your baby may cry at another time.
2. Your baby is crying for seemingly no reason. As mentioned, you should check to ensure that your baby has a clean diaper, is fed, and has slept.
3. Your baby might pull their legs up, make fists, or move their arms and legs around.
4. Your baby may close their eyes, open their eyes widely, or hold their breath.
5. Your baby may spit up, pass gas, or have bowel movements more frequently.
6. Your baby’s sleep and eating routines may be disrupted by colic. They might be hungry but not eat due to crying. They might fall asleep for a short time and wake up crying.
Best Formula for Colic
There are formulas created to help with colic. Keep in mind that no two babies are identical, so each baby may need something different.
You might try a few different formula brands for colic to see if any of them will work to relieve the excessive crying.
Keep in mind that there isn’t any evidence that specific formulas will help with colic entirely. Still, several formulas are designed to help and could make a difference.
There are formulas out there that can help reduce the symptoms that give your baby colic. Below are some of the top formulas that are designed to help with colic.
1. Gerber Good Start Soothe.
This formula is supposed to offer the “gentleness of breast milk.” For this reason, it may be useful in helping with crying, fussiness, gas, and more.
It contains probiotics and prebiotics, which can benefit your baby’s digestive system. Because it contains 30 percent lactose, it may be easier to digest.
2. Similac Alimentum.
This formula is suggested to help with colic because it is a hypoallergenic formula. This means it has fewer allergens than other formulas.
If an ingredient is contributing to your baby’s colic, hypoallergenic infant formula can be beneficial.
This is also a good option if your baby is allergic to cow’s milk formula. Similac Alimentum also contains DHA and ARA to support brain and eye development.
3. Earth’s Best Organic Sensitivity Formula
If you’re looking for an organic baby formula that should help with colic, this is a good option. It contains DHA and ARA fatty acids too.
It’s designed to help with gas and fussiness, which are often a part of colic. Some parents have found that this formula provides quick relief for colic.
4. Enfamil NeuroPro Gentlease
This formula is a good option because it’s full of easy-to-digest proteins. This can help to ease some of the baby’s discomfort.
Additionally, it contains DHA and MFGM fat protein. In most cases, breastfed babies can get used to this formula easily. Be aware that it can cause gas in some babies.
5. Enfamil Nutramigen Infant Formula
This is a hypoallergenic formula, which can help relax colicky babies. It’s also a good option for babies with allergies, as the name suggests.
Because of how the cow’s milk formula is broken down, it’s easy for the baby’s digestive system to process this milk.
6. PurAmino Hypoallergenic Infant and Toddler Formula
The great thing about this formula is that it can be used if your baby deals with several different allergies.
It can be used until 24 months of age. Some babies and toddlers have been effectively helped with their allergies, which can also help with colic symptoms.
You might consider soy-based formula if your baby has colic. In reality, this isn’t very helpful. Research has shown that soy-based formula may not benefit colicky babies. Of course, all babies are different, and you can see what works for your little one.
Breastmilk and Colic
When breastfeeding, you may notice that your baby is colicky. This is possible for a few reasons.
First, your baby might be getting too much breast milk too quickly. In this case, they can become fussy and irritable.
Another possibility is that something you’re eating is making your baby uncomfortable. If this happens, it’s a good idea to cut out possible triggers from your diet.
Your baby may be suffering from digestive issues due to these foods.
These are some of the foods that can cause a baby to be colicky while breastfeeding
- Cow’s milk
- Other fresh fruit
It’s essential to keep track of what you’re eating and whether your baby’s colic is made worse by those foods.
Keeping track allows you to avoid certain foods or add them back into your diet, depending on your baby’s response.
There are many different ways you can attempt to treat colic at home. Try these remedies to see what might provide your baby with some comfort.
- Allow your baby to rest in a dark, quiet space.
- Try swaddling your baby to help them relax.
- Give your baby a massage using infant massage techniques.
- Offer your baby a pacifier.
- Place a warm water bottle on your baby’s stomach.
- Give your baby a warm bath.
- Rub your baby’s back while they are lying on your lap.
- Try babywearing or holding your baby.
- Visit a chiropractor.
- Make sure you’re burping your baby.
- Try to keep your baby upright.
When Does Colic Improve?
In most cases, colicky babies’ crying usually lets up around four to six months of age. As with all things, this depends on the baby.
If it lasts beyond that stage, it can help talk to your child’s pediatrician again. Although, colic typically goes away on its own by six months of age.
Always Talk to Your Pediatrician
If your baby is colicky, it’s essential to make sure you talk to their pediatrician. The pediatrician can ensure that baby is healthy.
The pediatrician might also offer colic relief options. The next step is to try different formulas and other colic methods.
When a baby cries excessively, it can be frustrating for parents. Fortunately, colic typically improves when babies are between four to six months old.