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What are the Best Home Remedies for Colic?

By Jacob Queen
Updated May 17, 2024
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Home remedies for colic are often the only possible way to deal with the disorder, because there usually isn’t any way to cure it, and it can be hard to know what is causing any particular case. Some of the best home remedies for colic include removal of cow milk from a baby’s diet, holding a baby more frequently, repetitively moving an infant through rocking or bouncing, and playing white noise in the background when the infant is present. Other helpful home remedies for colic include using heated bottles to warm an infant for comfort, arranging a more consistent schedule for sleeping so that the infant can get into a predictable cycle, and massaging an infant to help soothe her.

Many babies have a basic intolerance for the proteins in cow’s milk, and this may cause stomach upset. This isn’t always the cause of colic, but in cases where it is, parents can often deal with the issue by removing cow milk from the diet of the baby or the mother if she is breastfeeding. Some parents choose to use goat's milk or soy-based formulas as a substitute. Just because a baby has this kind of intolerance to cow’s milk doesn’t mean that she will ultimately carry it into adulthood.

Babies can often be distracted by repetitive movements, which is why this is often used as one of the home remedies for colic. Some babies are also helped by being held closely, and they seem to benefit from more parental contact. It is possible to combine these things by carrying the baby in a sling while walking. This doesn’t work all the time, but some studies have shown that constant contact might shorten the length of time a baby suffers from colic.

Some experts think that white noise works because it mimics the sound babies hear in the womb. When trying this remedy, people use everything from vacuum cleaners to running water, and some people even buy compact discs with long loops of white noise. Some babies are very quickly distracted by these sounds, and it can be an effective short-term remedy during a colic episode.

Most doctors now believe that colic is caused by a wide range of different issues, including an immaturity of the digestive system, mental stress that infants feel from experiencing too much activity, and even tiredness or the baby’s basic temperament. Colic usually doesn’t last past the first three months of life, so in some cases, it is simply a waiting game that parents have to go through. In cases where it is caused by an intolerance to cow’s milk, it can actually be cured, but those only account for about 10% of colic cases.

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