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    Home ›› How do you know if your baby has colic? 7 baby colic relief tips

    Home ›› How do you know if your baby has colic? 7 baby colic relief tips

    How do you know if your baby has colic? 7 baby colic relief tips


    Reading time:: 6 mins


    Crying is a very normal part of your newborn’s routine. However, if an otherwise-healthy baby cries for more than three hours a day and for more than three days a week, this could be a sign that your baby has got colic.


    Consistent crying can be concerning for parents, which is why it’s important to know how to deal with colic in infants and how to calm a colic baby. Here we’ll discuss all the essential information and tips for what to do for a colic baby including:


    • How to know if a baby has colic.
    • The causes of colic.
    • How to help a colic baby feel better.


    So, read on for our simple guide to colic and baby colic relief. Don’t forget, for any additional questions or concerns, never hesitate to speak to your GP or seek a professional opinion.

    How do I know if my baby has colic?


    It’s common for babies to get, but how do you know if your baby has colic? It affects up to 40% of infants worldwide1 and is most common at around six weeks of age. Here’s how to know if a baby has colic:2,3


    • Your baby is otherwise healthy.
    • They cry at least three hours a day and more than three days per week.
    • You notice their face turning red.
    • The baby kicks or draws their legs up to alleviate gas pain.
    • Their tummy rumbles and they are extremely windy.
    • Their belly seems swollen or firm while crying.

    What are the causes of a baby who’s got colic?


    While the exact cause of colic is unknown, some doctors claim that there are certain triggers that may increase the risk of colic. Read on to discover some of the key causes before we share our tips for how to help a colic baby:2,3


    • A digestive tract that’s not fully developed.
    • Sensitivity to certain foods that mother eats if baby is breastfeeding.
    • Sensitivity to milk protein in formula.
    • Acid reflux or gas.
    • Improper burping.
    • Smoking during pregnancy.

    What to do for a colic baby


    While there is no one proven treatment, there are many ways to comfort a baby if they have it. Here are some of the ways to provide a baby with colic relief:2,3

    1. Maintain close contact with your little one.


    It’s been proven that walking or rocking a baby can help soothe them. You can hold your baby close to you or use a baby carrier to keep your newborn close while on the go.


    It’s also been proven that holding a baby when they aren’t crying can reduce the amount of crying later, particularly in the evening when symptoms are at their peak.

    2. Burp during feedings in addition to after.


    One of the possible causes of colic is gas. You can try to alleviate gas pain by burping your baby during feedings. If you are breastfeeding, aim to burp your baby in between alternating breasts. For bottle-fed babies, burp your baby every 50ml to 90ml.

    3. Make sure you choose the right bottle.


    Whether you’re bottle feeding your baby, or combination feeding, using a bottle that naturally mimics the mother’s breast, can help babies swallow less air when feeding.

    The Philips Avent Natural Response Baby Bottle’s unique teat releases milk just like breastfeeding – only when compressed by your baby’s tongue. By reducing the amount of air that your baby ingests, the AirFree Vent can help with common feeding issues that include colic, reflux and gas.

    Your baby can experience a calm and comfortable feed each time as these bottles allow your little one to have a moment to swallow and breathe without drips before active drinking to trigger the milk flow again.

    4. Place the baby belly-side down.


    Another baby colic relief idea is to can try laying their baby on their belly across your lap. They can then rub your newborn’s back to soothe them and help gas pass through easier.


    Safety tip: Babies should only be belly down while awake and under supervision.

    5. Vibration and movement.


    Sometimes the key to managing colic is constant motion and vibration. Take your baby on a drive or put them in a vibrating chair to help soothe colic symptoms. “Baby-wearing” is also popular, as both baby and parent can find the close contact soothing.

    6. Make some noise or remove stimuli.


    Some parents find that a little white noise or music can soothe a colicky baby. You could try playing some soothing music or place your baby in the same room as a running clothes dryer, a vacuum, or even a white noise machine. These soothing sounds may help distract from and provide your baby colic relief.


    In contrast, there are some babies who need less stimulation, especially colic babies under two months of age. In this case, you can wrap your baby in a blanket and place them in a dark room.

    7. Use warm water to offer baby some colic relief.


    If you’re looking for a natural opt ion in answer to how to deal with colic in infants, a warm bath or compress is a great choice. Warm water can offer pain relief and respite from gas and colic.

    When to contact your doctor if your baby’s got colic


    You should always speak to your baby’s doctor when you first notice colic symptoms. Your doctor can establish that it is in fact colic and offer further advice on how to calm your colic baby.


    Additionally, you should contact a doctor or other health professional if your baby experiences any of the following signs that a baby’s got colic:


    • A temperature of 38 degrees Celsius or higher.
    • Crying for more than two hours at a time.
    • Difficulty feeding.
    • Diarrhoea or vomiting.
    • Your baby is less alert than usual.


    If your baby’s got colic, patience is key. While a constantly crying baby can feel concerning, it’s important to remember that both breastfeeding troubles and bottle-feeding issues are commonplace, and that there are plenty of ways to help a colicky baby.


    With this guide you now know the signs to look out for and a few simple tips and tricks to help soothe your little one and offer your baby colic relief. For more information, read our guide to colic in babies.

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