Parenting organizations like MamaNatal pride themselves on helping new moms and dads through the most trying aspects of raising children. Among the different issues they help with, however, few are as frustrating as Colicky baby breastfeeding.
When it comes to breastfed infants, there are plenty of problems you might have to troubleshoot along the way. From a poor latch to a low milk supply, many of these dilemmas have simple solutions.
Finding relief from Colic, however, isn’t always easy to do.
Suppose you’re trying to figure out how to identify Colic in babies, or you want to soothe a Colicky baby. In that case, there’s plenty of excellent information available to guide you on your journey.
What Is Colic In Babies?
Let’s start simple – what is Colic?
Colic is an infant condition that describes longer periods of crying than normal. For example, while most little ones are bound to get fussy during their first few months of life if they’re crying for more than 3 hours a day, 3 or more days a week, this is a tell-tale sign your baby is Colicky.
Usually, Colic will start around 2 – 5 weeks and end between 3-4 months.
Other signs your baby is struggling with Colic instead of normal crying include:
- It seems nearly impossible to soothe your baby.
- Your baby is expressing high-pitched cries or screams.
- Babies may pull up their legs, stiffen their arms, arch their backs, or clench their fists.
- Their faces may get red, or they might have pale skin around their mouths.
Now comes the bigger question: what causes Colic in babies?
This is where things get complicated.
Doctors aren’t entirely sure why babies become Colicky. While they believe it could be due to digestive problems or babies trying to acclimate to the sights and sounds of their new worlds, these aren’t guaranteed.
One sure thing, however, is that because of the extra air babies gulp in while crying, Colic babies tend to have more gas. This is why professionals might also call a Colicky little one a windy baby.
Colicky Baby: Breastfeeding Or Formula – Which Is The Bigger Culprit?
Now that you understand the basic idea of Colic, you’re probably wondering, which is worse – colic with breastfeeding vs. formula?
The answer is both.
While Colic can undoubtedly be present in formula-fed babies, for moms who are breastfeeding, baby Colic symptoms can still be a problem.
For formula-fed babies, however, getting relief from Colic often seems more straightforward. It’s usually just a matter of switching your little one to a different type of formula, typically one without cow milk protein.
Treating a colicky baby while breastfeeding can seem slightly more challenging, but it’s not impossible. If you’re wondering how to get rid of Colic in breastfed babies, there are several great tips and tricks you can try.
4 Tips and Tricks For Handling The Relationship Between Breast Milk And Colic
While there’s no cure for Colic, there are ways you can help comfort and soothe breastfeeding baby Colic symptoms.
1. Try An Elimination Diet
If you have a gassy breastfed baby at night / during the day or your baby is fussy at the breast, these could indicate an adverse reaction to something in your breast milk. The most common allergens in breast milk include:
When you’re trying to figure out the best way to soothe a Colic baby, you might want to speak with your doctor or lactation consultant about trying an elimination diet.
This involves removing all allergens from your diet for a couple of weeks and then slowly adding them back in one at a time. This will help you determine whether a particular allergen is bothering your baby.
It’s worth noting, though, that – more often than not – dairy is the culprit. In fact, 1-out-of-10 babies struggle with dairy intolerance.
2. Try A New Laying Position For Your Baby
While the best sleeping position for a Colic baby will still be on their back (because it’s the safest option per the American Academy of Pediatrics,) you can try different laying positions while they’re awake during the day.
Many researchers have found that laying your baby on their side can help reduce discomfort and provide relief from Colic for your windy baby.
3. Old Home Remedies For Colic
Research any ailment or illness, and you’re bound to find a versatile collection of old wives’ tale treatments to solve the problem.
Why should dealing with a Colicky baby who’s breastfeeding be any different?
While you shouldn’t rely on all old home remedies for Colic (exorcism, opium, and alcohol aren’t recommended!), others have proven beneficial.
For example, many parents relied on fennel seed to help treat their windy babies. They would drink fennel tea or even give small (very small!) amounts to their baby. Studies show this to be a successful treatment option.
Another home remedy for Colic is to lightly massage a baby’s stomach with olive oil to provide comfort.
As with anything, be sure to speak to your doctor or lactation consultant before giving these a try!
4. Consider Calming Activities
Whether it’s riding in a car, sitting in a swing, or swaying in your arms, movement is a great solution for colicky baby breastfeeding symptoms. It helps distract, comfort, and calm them when they’re upset.
Another calming option, surprisingly enough, is noise. Try running the vacuum near your baby, or let them listen to a white noise machine.
Colicky Baby Breastfeeding Isn’t Impossible
When you believe that breast milk and Colic are causing problems for your little one, it might seem like the easiest solution is throwing in the towel on your nursing journey.
Thankfully, however, there are plenty of ways that you can survive Colicky baby breastfeeding!
From olive oil massages to elimination diets, try a few different methods before you give up on breastfeeding your baby. And remember, if things seem like too much of a challenge, give your doctor or a lactation consultant from MamaNatal a call for their advice.
If breastfeeding is an integral part of your parenting journey, you can make it work – even when you’re dealing with a windy baby!