Colic is not a disease - it is a temporary physical disorder. However it can be confused with genuine medical conditions such as a milk-protein allergy, a lactose intolerance or gastro-oesophageal reflux.

Colicky babies do not fail to thrive. Despite the tears, babies with colic are otherwise healthy and happy. Professionals still don't have a conclusive answer, or solution, to colic.

Causes of Colic

  • The baby swallows air causing heartburn and gas pains, coupled with inadequate burping, causing gas to be trapped.

  • Immaturity of the baby's digestive system with intestinal muscle spasms causing abdominal cramps.

  • Physiological problems such as insufficient friendly gut flora.

  • Overfeeding or an overactive breastmilk let-down reflex providing too much milk too quickly.

  • Anxious or tense infant from stress in the home or a stressed mother.

  • Mother's diet is too rich in simple carbohydrates and too low in quality protein, or needs nutritional supplements.

  • Food Intolerances including: Wheat, yeast, sugar, chocolate, coffee, tea, eggs, peanuts, dairy products. Some fruits particularly citris. Many vegetables including onion, cabbage and garlic.

 Symptoms of Colic in babies

  • Starts between 1 and 4 weeks of age.

  • Prolonged crying, irritability, restlessness and writhing movements.

  • Baby wails when laid down but fine when upright.

  • Loud, intense, continuous, shrill, high pitched shrieks for prolonged periods of the day or night.

  • Attacks usually occur around the same time each day.

  • Baby draws its knees well up to the stomach, taut tummy - hard and swollen, flailing arms and/or clenched fists.

 Possible remedies for colic in babies

  • Effective burping techniques are most important. Learning how to bring up wind is the key to a calm baby. 

  • Feed your baby in a calm, relaxed atmosphere away from stimulation environments and bright lights.

  • Warmth is very soothing - feed your baby in the bath together. It is both relaxing and a wonderful skin to skin bonding experience.

  • Use a couple of drops of Lavender Essential Oil to calm the senses. Massage is soothing, rub the tummy clockwise, rub the back anti-clockwise, do bicycling motions with baby's legs, give a foot massage.

  • Herbs such as aniseed, chamomile and fennel are beneficial for easing the symptoms of colic and can be made into a tea from the dried herb and given directly to the baby.

  • Use a high quality Acidophilus probiotic supplement to replace the good bacteria in the gut.

  • Breastfeeding mothers to take EFA Essentials, or give a formula fed baby a teaspoon of EFA's daily.

  • Breastfeeding mums to use a Lactation Drops which contains herbs such as Fennel and Licorice which help to reduce symptoms of wind in babies.

    • Consider having baby's wellbeing checked by our naturopath.

    • Consider having baby checked by a neonatal cranial osteopath.