“My 6-month-old baby is crying for no apparent reason.”
“No amount of consoling seems to help.”
“I feel like I’m doing something wrong.”
Can you relate?
A lot of new mamas have felt this way at one point or another. Babies cry a lot, after all. And there’s no “roadmap” to motherhood that tells us what’s normal and what’s not.
But a colicky baby is different. Crying is intense and almost never stops. You probably went in for the 2-month check-up and your pediatrician told you your baby is totally healthy. Which is a HUGE relief – but why then does it feel like something’s wrong?
It could be colic.
Let’s dive into what colic is, how to know if your baby has it, and how to soothe your infant and ease colic pain naturally.
What is Colic?
All babies cry. But some cry excessively. Colic is defined as crying or fussing for more than 3 hours a day, more than 3 days a week. (1)
Usually, new parents learn fairly quickly what their baby needs when they cry.
Are they hungry?
Have they napped yet today?
Do they need a diaper change?
A strong sign of colic is when you try all the things, all the time and they continue to cry.
Other signs and symptoms may include…
- burping often
- passing a lot of gas
- intense crying, frequently
- having a tight tummy
- having a flushed face (2)
I recommend speaking with your trusted pediatrician to rule out any other possible medical conditions.
If you explain your child’s symptoms and your doctor writes it off as “she’s healthy, there’s nothing wrong with her” and you feel unheard – reach out to me. I have an entire network of pediatricians who will make you feel seen.
What Causes Colic?
No one is totally clear about what actually causes colic in babies – so it’s all one big theory.
Here are a few guesses from experts as to why colic might occur:
- Trouble adjusting to the world
- Inability to comfort themselves
- Extreme sensitivity to gas
I suspect it’s probably an accumulation of these. But right now, there’s no way to know exactly why your baby has colic. No one child is more at risk than another, and it’s certainly not your fault!
The good news is babies do outgrow it – usually around 3-4 months old. Those first few months can feel like years… but they will end, I promise!
Natural Treatments to Ease Colic Pain
How do you soothe your infant?
You can try methods like gently rocking them back and forth, holding them close to your chest, and singing softly – but these often don’t work for a baby with colic. It can be extremely frustrating – like nothing will soothe your baby.
But before you lose hope, give these methods a try –
Natural remedies to help ease colic pain:
Castor oil tummy massage
Castor oil, even used topically, works as an effective digestive remedy and laxative. It’s soothing to babies suffering from colic due to constipation or gas.
- Put your little in a onesie that you don’t mind staining – there will be seepage.
- Place a drop or two of castor oil on your hands and rub them together to warm them up.
- Gently rub their tummy in a circular motion until it soaks into their skin, or as needed.
Consult with your trusted naturopathic pediatrician before using castor oil with your baby. You can learn more about castor oil and what brand I recommend here.
Warm bath and compress:
Warm water and a compress work well to soothe your infant and relieve gas.
- Soak your baby in a warm bath – *If they’re too fussy, you can skip this step and go straight to the compress.
- Once they’re out, soak a small bath towel in the warm water or warm chamomile tea.
- Wring out excess water in the tub and place it over your child’s tummy. Afterward, you can rub the towel gently on your baby’s tummy, too. *Use a drop of lavender or chamomile essential oil or for additional benefits.
Place them on their tummy:
Changing positions can sometimes help a colicky baby relieve gas. With supervision, place your baby on their tummy – on your lap or on a blanket on the floor. Gently rub your baby’s back to help them release gas, and also provide comfort.
How to Get Through Colic Yourself
The first few months as a new mama are no cake-walk – and colic makes it that much harder. Not only is it next to impossible to sleep and feel calm, but you can also drive yourself crazy with worry and guilt.
I want you to know that your baby’s distress is not your fault. Try and cut yourself some slack – you’re trying your best, and that’s all you can do.
Be sure to visit your trusted pediatrician to rule out any other possible medical conditions and receive additional guidance. I recommend seeking support from a therapist, support group, or your trusted doctor to help you through this difficult time.
You Can Do This, Mama
It’s hard to cope with a colicky baby. Seeing your little angel in distress is the last thing you want in the world. But know this, mama: it’s a harmless condition.
While it may seem like you’re doing something wrong, or even harming your child, you’re not. You’re doing all the right things. It won’t be like this forever.
Want more guidance on all things motherhood and raising healthy children from a trusted naturopathic pediatrician? The Organic Cure is now offering memberships!
I’m thrilled to connect with my patients on a deeper level through frequent communication and coaching. Pop over to my memberships page to learn more about what’s included and how to get started. I’m here to support you!