How to Cure Colic at Home Naturally
All babies cry at some point. Babies who persistently cry may be due to various discomforts and colic may be one of them. Colic is often the first challenge that a new parent may have to deal with. Constant inconsolable crying can be heartbreaking for most parents and often opt for home remedies to help manage the symptoms.
What is Colic?
A sudden increase of acute abdominal pain localized in a hollow organ and often caused by involuntary muscular contraction or obstruction is termed as colic. Colic is more common in babies and may also occur due to spasms of new intestines or gas trapped within the intestine.
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Symptoms of Colic That Can be Cured by Natural Treatments:
– Abnormally irritable.
– Intense crying with no visible reasons.
– Crying episodes occurring at the same time every day.
– Posture changes.
– Flatulence or bowel movement after a crying episode.
– Frequent episodes of sleeplessness and fussiness.
Natural Treatments Cure Colic Caused by:
– An immature digestive system.
– Certain foods consumed by lactating mothers that cause intestinal discomfort and colic in infants.
– Air swallowed by the baby during feeding aggravates digestive discomfort.
Colic may be caused in different ways for different babies thus there is no one common remedy for colic discomfort. There may be several contributing factors and therefore a pediatric consultation is first recommended before giving any antispasmodic medications, supplements, or when any dietary changes are made.
Natural Treatments That Can Cure Colic:
– Catnip helps to calm the digestive tract and relieve indigestion. Prepare catnip and fennel tea by pouring 1 cup boiling water over 2 tsp dried catnip leaves and 1 tsp fennel. Steep for 15 min, strain and drink before breastfeeding to pass on the benefits to the child or give it to the baby directly with the help of a dropper.
– Seed tea from anise or cumin can also be brewed as they offer antispasmodic and gas expelling effects that will help relieve colic symptoms. Pour one cup of boiling water over 1 tsp of equal quantities of anise and cumin seeds. Steep for 15 min, strain and either bottle feed the baby directly in small quantities or consume just before breastfeeding the child.
– Slipper elm bark helps soothe irritated intestines. Mix slippery elm powder with maple syrup thoroughly. Add hot milk or water in small quantities until a porridge consistency is achieved. Give 1 or 2 tsp to calm the intestines.
– Mint has antispasmodic properties helping to reduce intestinal spasms in colicky babies. Boil 2-3 mint leaves in half a cup of water. Add little brown sugar and feed the baby with 1-2 tsp of this at frequent intervals to help relieve symptoms.
– Probiotic lactobacillus reuteri is effective for treating colic. It occurs naturally in humans but not found in all individuals. Therefore dietary supplements are required to introduce this into the digestive system in some infants to help their newly formed digestive system function properly. Yogurt is one of the best natural probiotic food and babies as young as 6 months old can be given plain yogurt.
– Except for yogurt, milk and dairy products need to be cut down or avoided totally by lactating mothers as some babies find milk proteins hard to digest. Yogurt on the other hand contains live bacteria that break down these proteins making it easier to digest.
– Breastfeeding mothers should avoid cabbage, broccoli, kale as well as onions, garlic and acidic foods; peanuts, sugar, chocolates, and white flour as they can distress the child’s intestines.
– Burp the infant frequently by placing the baby over the mother’s shoulder and patting the infant’s back gently after feeds to reduce air accumulation in the digestive tract.
– Gently massage the baby’s stomach to calm the infant down.
Colic is common in infants in the first four months of their life. Persistent colic may lead to poor growth and development in an infant. Thus, when symptoms are recurrent beyond this period, seek professional help to avoid complications or further aggravate the condition.
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