by Patricia Hughes
Parents of colicky babies often anxiously await the doctor’s visit. They are looking for a treatment or cure for the baby’s crying. Often, the day of the visit comes and the parents are left disappointed. In many cases, colic requires no special treatment or medical intervention. Colic often has no medical causes, and therefore, no medical solution. While there is no scientific evidence, parents swear by certain remedies. Before trying any of these, be sure to speak to your baby’s doctor, after all, there is nothing more important than the health of your baby.
When you bring your baby in to the office, the doctor will examine the baby. Your pediatrician will be looking for an underlying cause of the colicky behavior. You can help with this by being prepared for the visit. Keep a journal of your baby’s day. Write down when the baby cries and for how long. Write the comfort measures you used and how the baby responded. Keep track of feedings, diaper changes, sleeping patterns and your diet, if you are breastfeeding. Your doctor may be able to see a problem by reading the journal.
Your doctor will ask about the baby’s feeding patterns. How often does he eat? Is the baby eating [tag-tec]formula[/tag-tec] or [tag-ice]breast milk[/tag-ice]? If the baby is on formula, the doctor may have you try a different brand. Some babies are lactose intolerant and switching to a soy formula may help. If the baby is breastfed, you will need to eliminate milk from your diet to determine if this will help. If the baby is not lactose intolerant, there is no proof that switching formulas or changing your diet will help.
Breastfed babies may be bothered by something mommy is eating. Certain foods are thought to cause sensitivities in some babies. Cutting out the offending foods can help relieve the symptoms. Some foods thought to be irritating include broccoli, cauliflower, beans, onions or spicy foods. If you suspect your diet may be contributing to the problem, start by eliminating the foods from your diet. It may take up to two weeks to see an improvement. Introduce the foods one at a time back into your diet. Continue to record in your journal, so you will notice any patterns.
If the baby appears to be gassy, your doctor may recommend the use of gas drops. Gas may not cause [tag-cat]colic[/tag-cat], but it may contribute to the discomfort for some babies. Gas drops, such as Mylicon, may help relieve the gas pains in the baby’s belly. Other ways to help a gassy baby include frequently burping the baby and trying to reduce the air baby swallows during her feedings.
There are some homeopathic remedies that are sold for colic. There is no solid research showing that these work. Some parents swear they notice a difference in the baby after using these. Homeopathic medicines work by stimulating the body to heal itself. Some homeopathic medicines used for colic include: Chamomilla, Dioscorea and Magnesium Phosphorica. The type of remedy you should use depends on your baby’s symptoms. Speak to your doctor and a homeopath to choose the right medication for your baby.
Herbal remedies can be found for treating colic as well. Some parents find that fennel seed tea is effective for soothing colicky babies. Other common herbal remedies for colic include colic drops or gripe water. Be careful with gripe water as it may contain alcohol.
Read the ingredients on any remedy and get your doctor’s approval before giving it to your baby.
Patricia Hughes is a freelance writer and mother of four. Patricia has a Bachelor’s Degree in Elementary Education from Florida Atlantic University. She has written extensively on pregnancy, childbirth, parenting and breastfeeding. In addition, she has written about home décor and travel.
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