Colic: Home Treatment
Colicky babies have excessive crying once or twice per day. They're usually consolable when held and comforted. They act happy and contented between bouts of crying. The crying is not due to hunger or sickness. The colic begins before 2 weeks of age and usually resolves by 3 months of age. If you're certain your baby has colic, here's the current treatment.
When babies cry without an obvious reason, they need to be held and soothed. The type of holding that best reduces the crying is holding them quietly or with gentle motion. Soothing words and touch are also helpful. Vigorous bouncing or rock-and-roll will make them worse. Your goal is to help them relax, settle down, and go to sleep.
During the day, the easiest way to provide holding is by placing your baby in a front sling or pouch. This will permit her to move against your body. The pouch also leaves your hands free for performing household tasks. This approach to crying babies has at least a 3,000 year history.
Also, cradles, wind-up swings, vibrating chairs, and rocking chairs can be helpful. A stroller ride (either indoors or outdoors) can work wonders for some babies.
Some of the worse crying stops if you take a warm bath with your baby and simulate a return to the womb. Swaddling in a light blanket is highly effective for many colicky babies. By all means, don't let your baby cry it out. The crying will only get worse. You cannot spoil a baby during the first 4 months of life by too much holding. Remember, you're trying to help him relax and go to sleep.
If you have other questions about colic, consult your healthcare provider.
Disclaimer: This information is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice. It is provided for educational purposes only. You assume full responsibility for how you choose to use this information.
Author and Senior Reviewer: Barton D. Schmitt, M.D. FAAP
Last Review: 6/1/2008
Last Revised: 11/1/2003
Copyright 1994-2008 Barton Schmitt, M.D. Parent Advice Messages.