Baby colic is heart rending for both baby and parents. Seeing our newborn infant in so much pain – and feeling powerless to do anything about it – is devastating.
We really suffered from about a month in with baby colic symptoms and tried all sorts of natural and traditional colic remedies and products.
I literally made huge lists of every baby colic product and baby colic remedy and baby colic tip I could find and worked our way through them in search of a solution.
And we did find effective remedies that really eased my baby’s colic symptoms but you know what? Most of the remedies – with a few must know exceptions – weren’t actually on that huge list of products and tips.
Because the thing was, we were also struggling with feeding and sleep and it turned out the colic and the feeding and the sleep were all connected. Easing those problems was actually the best remedy for easing colic.
So I’ve put together this list of natural baby colic remedies I wish I’d actually had as a struggling new mother. And I’ve also included six things I totally fretted about that didn’t help so you can save your time and money and ignore them!!
12 Natural Baby Colic Remedies
- Learn to gently burp baby – don’t spend hours looking at YouTube or googling for precise diagrams. Find a friendly local mum whose been there and got the spit-up on her t-shirt who will pop round a good few times and over a relaxing chat and a cup of of tea, show you how.
- Burp baby lots – before feeding, after feeding, before sleep but not as something to tick off on your schedule. Just as a natural, relaxed, sensory way to connect with your little one.
- Burp baby in different positions – get that friendly mum to show you a good few different burping positions from sitting on knee, to over your shoulder and your lap and the wonderful “tiger in the tree” position which is basically over your forearm. You can try some very simple baby massage movements whilst burping but I wouldn’t – I did!! – go on a fancy baby massage course.
- Try baby wearing a bit – keeping baby upright by carrying them in a sling can really help. You don’t have to go all in and obsessively “wear” your baby but carrying them around a little both morning and afternoon can really help.
- Keep upright after feeding – this does mean not feeding baby to sleep which I know – believe me – is hard but keeping baby upright after feeding really did help with colic. You can also very, very slightly raise one end of the cot mattress with a towel which will also help everything move in the right direction.
- Look after your milk supply – it is very easy to over worry about our milk supply but some of us do struggle with it and it can be a big factor in colic. Sorting out my low milk supply – with more rest and a basic healthy diet – made a big difference to my baby’s colic.
- Watch out for over tiredness – often when they’re screaming our babies are just exhausted but over tiredness can contribute to colic which can prevent sleep. I do not believe – from bitter experience – in a one size fits all baby sleep routine but do try and find your own gentle rhythm that lets both of you rest lots.
- Sleep when they sleep – you might not think your sleep could impact your baby’s colic, especially if you’re not breastfeeding, but it does I promise you. Lack of sleep sends our stress hormones sky rocketing and this makes it harder and harder for us too soothe and calm our baby which makes it much more likely they will get colic.
- Get real help – it’s very easy for both us and our baby to get locked in an exhaustion-stress-colic cycle that we can’t break. I honestly believe the first step to break it, is to get more rest ourselves. Ask a relative or friend to come for an hour or so during the day so you can lie down – without your phone! – and at least shut your eyes if not sleep.
- Slow down – we all try to live our lives at break neck speed these days juggling work and home and baby but you know what? It’s a sure fire recipe for a stressed mum and a stressed baby. And a stressed baby is far more likely to have colic. If you can possibly, possibly can: slow right down.
- If a pacifier works use a pacifier – I got all high and mighty pre-baby about pacifiers but some babies are just happier sucking and will sleep better from having one. Mine did. And sleep really, truly is the best medicine for colic.
- Remember it will pass – we get told this so often and when my baby was in the throws of horrible colic symptoms I thought it meant “toughen up and grit it out” which felt anything but helpful! But if I could travel back in time and get a message to myself as a struggling new mum it would be to cherish those five months because they don’t come again and to spend every moment I could resting and relaxing and connecting with my baby and not running around googling and shopping for crazy colic products. Real rest and relaxation allows us to savour those precious, precious first months AND they are the most effective way of easing colic.
And that leads me onto the crazy colic tips and products that I would recommend you totally ignore. Some of them might actually help a tiny, tiny, tiny amount but fretting about them won’t.
So just say NO and …
- Do NOT – if you’re breastfeeding – obsess about your diet. Yes focus on a good, healthy diet for you that will produce a strong milk supply but do not obsess about sugar and caffeine and chocolate and dairy and every last gassy food (cabbage and beans) or acidic food (citrus and tomato) that supposedly might possibly contribute to baby’s gas and colic. Life is too short!
- Do NOT – if you’re bottle feeding – obsess about a million and one different “colic free” baby bottles or hypoallergenic milk formulas.
- Do NOT waste your time comparing a zillion and one different baby colic products e.g. gas relief drops, gripe water, teething powders, colocynth crystals, rectal thermometers!!!
- Do NOT believe anyone who says breastfed babies don’t get colic.
- Do NOT believe anyone who says if you follow their exact schedule and do not veer off it by even one minute ever, baby won’t have colic.
- Do NOT spend a small fortune on “miracle” essential oils. Some essential oils can work very well for some things – they worked for us for verrucas – but lots are snake oil. And there’s a pretty nasty business model behind some essential oil companies that exploits us gullible mums.
And there you go: 12 simple natural remedies for baby colic that really can help PLUS 6 common tips for baby colic that really aren’t worth, in my experience, fretting about.
I truly hope they help. Please do share if they did and for more simple, straightforward, natural baby tips do follow me on Pinterest and have a read of these:
- 25 Natural Remedies For Baby Reflux
- 12 Simple Baby Sleep Tips
- 5 Must Know Breastfeeding Tips
- 17 Natural Remedies For Mastitis
- How To Save Money On Baby Stuff