A study conducted by the Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario Research Institute found that out of 547 babies, roughly 25% had signs of colic at six weeks of age. However, by three months of age, 85% of those cases had cleared up entirely.
There is no real cure for colicky babies, but there are some things you can do to make your life and the baby’s growing pains more bearable. Babies cry for all different reasons. Unfortunately, colic is a condition, rather than a disorder so there is no cause or definitive cure.
You can try different variables to see if anything offers the colicky infant a reprieve from his or her symptoms. For instance, try feeding in a more upright position, burping face-down often, or offering a pacifier.
A breast feeding mother can try avoiding milk, broccoli, cabbage and caffeine in her own diet, and a formula feeding parent can offer the infant a different kind of formula (for instance, a hypoallergenic type).
Next, try soothing your baby. Cuddling, holding, singing to and rocking babies often helps the inconsolable crier. Be sure that the baby is not wrapped up too tightly, as excessive warmth can cause a baby to cry even more. Background noise like a vaporizer, a vacuum cleaner, classical music, heartbeat or ocean waves CDs or a washing machine can lull a colicky baby to sleep.
A gentle tummy massage or a warm bath might soothe the distressed infant. Some colicky babies need an extra boost relieving gas, so the tummy massage could help there too, as will rocking your baby face down on your lap.
Alternative remedies for colic include everything from herbal teas (peppermint and chamomile, but not star anise tea) and massage therapy to infant swings and vibrating cribs.
It is important that you do not take this adjustment phase personally. Many parents fear that their child “does not want to bond” or that their child will grow up to have an unpleasant disposition. This is simply not true. By four months, at least 85% of colicky children will have grown out of their senseless, exasperated crying fits. While patience is the only real cure, there are baby steps that you can take along the way for colic ease.