If your little one is constantly fussy and uncomfortable, and cries for hours on end, it can be very frustrating, especially for new parents. Getting a colicky baby to calm down can be quite a challenge, but there are some things you can do to ease your baby's discomfort.
First, it is important to realize that colic is not caused by hunger or pain, which are usually the main reasons that babies cry. So, a good way to tell if your baby is suffering from this condition is to observe his or her crying patterns after being changed, fed, or bathed. If your baby continues to cry after his or her basic needs have been met, this could be a sign of colic. Doctors are still not completely sure what causes these symptoms, but it could be linked to changes in the intestinal system, or certain milk formulas. Some mothers feed their babies milk-free formulas, or choose to breast feed for this reason.
In order to sooth your colicky baby, you may want to try things like using a pacifier when your baby cries, or massaging your little one's stomach or back. Relaxing music may also help to calm your baby down, and could help to reduce your own stress as well. You can also try rocking your baby to sleep on your lap or by using a rocking chair, the back-and-forth motion is soothing and will gently lull your baby to sleep within minutes.
It is also important to make sure that you are not showing visible signs of panic or distress when you are holding the baby. This could make your baby's colic worse, since your infant can sense signs of high stress, and may react accordingly.
If you have tried these remedies at home with no luck, your colicky baby may need medical treatment. Simethicone drops for infants, such as Phazyme or Maalox, can help to reduce gas and bloating, which could help to eliminate colic. Also, you may want to avoid dairy products if you are nursing and notice that your baby is especially fussy. Cutting down on spicy foods and raw vegetables may help as well. If you're giving your little one formula, Carnation or Enfamil may be best, since they are not dairy-based.
Doctors may also recommend that you place your colicky baby in a quiet, peaceful environment when the crying or discomfort starts, so that he or she can calm down quickly. Light, classical music in your baby's room may help, along with a fan or heater to create 'white noise' that babies need in order to sleep.