Colic is an unpleasant condition that sees a baby crying for a lot longer than most other babies. It is, in part, a natural occurrence, and one that doesn't necessarily mean that there are any underlying health issues to worry about. However, there is no doubt that colic can be deeply distressing for both mother and baby. That is why we are going to look at what steps you can take in order to help prevent it.
1. Avoid Stress While You’re Pregnant
As mothers, we pass on a lot of what is in our body when we’re pregnant. Evidence suggests that we can even pass on stress and some studies have even shown that colicky babies are more likely to be born to someone who has had a stressful pregnancy.
To help avoid stress while pregnant, some helpful tips include getting enough sleep, eating well, gentle exercise and staying relaxed. Try to talk to someone if you are feeling stressed and do not feel guilty for taking some time to yourself.
2. Consider a Bottle That is Designed to Reduce Gas
Colic is often triggered by gas build-up, and how you feed your baby will play a big role in this. For example, you might want to consider using a special bottle designed to make sure your baby is taking in less gas when feeding. You should also make sure you sit your baby more upright while they are feeding, so they don't swallow as much air. Burping after a feeding is of course necessary to get rid of that excess gas, as well.
3. Avoid Being too Active After 4pm
As babies get older and are no longer newborns, they lose the special mechanism that allows them to tune out sights and sounds around them, meaning they can no longer practically sleep through loud noises. Consequently, they become much more responsive to external stimuli. You should try to avoid being too active from around 4pm, to prevent over-stimulating your baby. That means it is wise not to have guests over or to allow your baby to play with colourful or noisy toys as the night continues.
4. Take Your Baby Out With You
Most mothers have attested that if they take the time to settle their babies down by taking them on a gentle outing, they are much less colicky. The motions provided by going for a walk in the stroller or for a trip in the car have been shown to decrease the effects of colic later in the day.
5. Ensure Your Baby is Comfortable
Holding your baby will help reduce colic, gas and reflux discomfort whilst ensuring they're comfortable and feel safe.
Cushions like the Babocush are now available for your baby and can replicate the feeling of being carried, so you don't have to spend the whole day with tired arms. The Babocush recreates the feeling of your presence, features a heartbeat sound and gentle vibrations and is designed to hold your baby just like you do.
6. Keep on Trying
If your first attempts to prevent or cope with colic are not entirely successful, don't feel upset. There can be a variety of reasons for your baby feeling unsettled but things such as warm baths, infant massage, placing a warm water bottle on your baby’s tummy or laying them in a dark, quiet room can make the world of difference.
Just keep following the tips above and, with time, you should hopefully see a change!