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Advice From a Mom - How to Calm a Colicky Baby

Aug 22, 2008
When the parties are over, the baby shower is a distant memory and all the baby gifts unwrapped, the real experience of being a new mom begins. And along with joys and extreme happiness comes some of the difficulties of having a newborn baby. Read on to find out how to calm a colicky baby from an experienced Mom.

The cause of colic is unknown. Roughly, one out of five babies is affected. It is extremely stressful, to both infant and parent. Fortunately, there are things that can be done to help lessen the effects, of this condition.

Infants as young as two weeks old can experience the painful symptoms of colic. By the age of four months most babies are no longer bothered by it. These cycles typically last three or four hours a day. However, many infants suffer as much as 12 hours a day or longer. (Every baby is different.)

Common symptoms of colic include constant fussing or crying even when baby is picked up. Because they are experiencing gastrointestinal pain, their stomachs are often distended and are hard, to the touch.

This pain may also cause them to draw their legs and arms inward one minute and stretch out and stiffen up the next. This can be quite alarming to parents. It's important to remember to try not to panic when this happens.

There are several ways you can calm a colicky baby. In some cases, a combination of these methods will produce the best results.

Swaddle the baby. Use a light weight blanket to wrap your baby. Doing so will actually prevent his or her micro reflex and provide an added feeling of security. (Micro reflex is the automatic flailing of arms, when frightened.)

Massage the baby. Sometimes a massage with help to alleviate the symptoms of colic or at least substantially reduce them. A light massage from head to toe and back again will calm the baby.

Any rhythmic motion will also help to calm fussy babies. Rocking them, walking around the room with them, placing them in a baby swing (if they are old enough) or taking them for a drive can all be helpful.

Mothers, who are breast-feeding, should avoid eating foods such as broccoli, beans, onions, garlic and anything spicy. These foods can all play a role in exacerbating symptoms and giving baby gas.

The specific formula given to an infant can also have something to do with whether or not they become colicky. Parents should try switching formulas, to one that is soy based, to better prevent the onset of colic.

Purchase a vibrating baby seat or place the infant in a standard baby seat near a washer or other vibrating appliance. These vibrations will usually have a calming effect. Turning on a vacuum cleaner may help, as well.

Caring for an infant, who exhibits symptoms of colic, can be heart wrenching and very stressful. In the event that the methods do not help to eliminate or alleviate the child's discomfort, over-the-counter medication is available.

In severe cases, a call to the child's pediatrician is recommended.
About the Author
This author lives in Flemington, NJ with her husband and 5 month old daughter and is an expert contributing author for a luxury baby gifts boutique offering variety of baby shower favors, baby gift baskets, handprint footprint kits and more.
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