So Your Baby Has Colic…

 These tips are invaluable! Please share this info with all of your first time mom friends!


by Kristina Brightbill | guest writer for The Snap Mom

We all hear about colicky babies: babies that can’t be put down, crying for many hours a day, inconsolable, and uncomfortable. Most pediatricians and doctors will misinform you that it is just their personality or that you just have a fussy baby while giving you limited guidance. Most have the mentality that you have to “tough it out.” All the while, we’re crying along with baby, counting the days until our child hits toddlerhood, and calling Grandma to come save us.

The biggest problem with colic is our perception of it. It is better to view it as a way your baby is communicating and telling you something isn’t right. Colicis typically defined as an immature gut and digestive system causing frequent crying, clinginess, reflux, pain, discomfort, and a variety of other symptoms. It fortunately is not something you need to just persevere through. There are causes, and they are real. It’s imperative to get to the root cause. Then, mom can survive, and baby can start to get some relief!

Some causes include:

1) Food Allergies and Intolerances

One of the biggest reasons for baby’s discomfort.

If you are breastfeeding: use elimination dieting. Many moms benefit from eliminating dairy, and then if there is no resolution, next try eliminating soy. The two proteins are very similar and extremely hard to digest for infants with immature digestive systems. Processed foods in your diet are often aculprit as well (they often contain soybean oil and dairy).  Their ingredients make them difficult to digest and therefore those same ingredients are passed to baby through breastmilk causing issues.

If formula feeding: try homemade formula, goat’s milk formula, Nutramigen, Alimentum RTF, Puramino. If still no resolution, try Neocate or Elecare which are highly broken down. For our own particular situation, until I found every food trigger in my diet, my son screamed day and night. Once I figured them out, the crying significantly decreased and he was a peaceful baby.

*Editor’s Note: Be aware that many of the hypo-allergenic formulas do indeed contain soy in soybean oil. It’s very individual as many do well with it as most of the traceable protein is removed. Some children still do not tolerate it though. Make sure to read labels individually and consult with your doctor on the proper fit.

2) Reflux & Gas

Reflux has two causes: anatomical or food allergies/intolerances. Anatomical causes can be lip or tongue ties (http://thesnapmom.com/lip-tongue-ties-are-real-cause-real-issues/) or esophageal issues. Ties can cause gas, reflux, vomiting, poor weight gain, and make baby want to excessively feed from poor milk transfer. If not from ties, the other cause of reflux is again food intolerances and allergies (see section above). An upright sleeper can help so that the milk doesn’t flow back up as easily. Colic calm (http://thesnapmom.com/why-colic-calm-will-save-your-life/) can also help gas/reflux significantly. If baby has severe reflux and does not resolve with basic modifications, prescription medication is also an option. I encourage you to still find the dietary triggers as these are more common.

3) Poor gut flora

Many studies show that supplementing baby with probiotics will significantly reduce colic. Often due to use of antibiotics during pregnancy and labor, complications resulting in C-Section birth, poor nutrition, or other unknown variables, babies may not get the good bacteria from the vaginal canal that they need in order to have strong, healthy guts. It can cause disrupt the way they break down food. If breastfeeding, you can take the probiotic yourself to make sure it doesn’t disagree with baby as they can cause die-off symptoms if you introduce too much too fast. If baby responds well, begin giving orally, start with the lowest possible dose and work your way up to the infant dose. Make sure the probiotic is dairy free. I recommend Klaire Infant Probiotics. This may also help with reflux.

Between these modifications and baby growing and developing, colic will significantly reduce.

Things do get better! Having a colicky baby can be a very dark time, especially when recovering from labor and delivery.

Utilize fussy baby support groups, babywear and ask for help!