What Foods Cause Colic In Breastfed Babies?

Posted by Kerry Nevins on

Colic in babies is something of a mystery. No-one is quite sure of what it is, yet we all know that it’s unpleasant. If you’ve got an otherwise healthy baby that suddenly and routinely seems to suffer from intense pain or discomfort without any obvious cause, it could be colic. While it’s not fully understood, we do know that it affects the baby’s stomach. As such, connections have been made between the foods that the mother eats (if breastfeeding) and the presence of colic.

In this blog, we’ll take a look at some foods that could cause colic, and suggest a few tips on how to resolve this. 

Foods With Caffeine

There are lots of foods and drinks that contain caffeine aside from just coffee... tea, soft drinks, chocolate and even some medicines. It’s important to note that a small amount of caffeine usually isn’t enough to cause colic however.

Spicy Ingredients

It can take some time for the average person to get used to eating spicy foods but these dishes can wreak havoc on a breastfed baby’s young gastric system as well as changing the taste of your milk!

Dairy Products

Dairy products, and especially cow’s milk, have been linked with colic in babies. Signs of lactose intolerance in babies usually begin within a few days of birth and can include symptoms of diarrhea, bloating, gas and nausea, abdominal pain and cramping, malnutrition / failure to thrive.

Some of the signs of CMPA (cow’s milk protein allergy) include eczema, constipation, lethargy, gas pains and reflux.

If you suspect your baby is suffering from an intolerance or allergy, consult your doctor and insist that they help, trust your instincts and don’t take no for an answer.

Foods That Produce Gas

There are many ingredients that can cause gas in both babies and adults and it only takes a small amount to cause problems. If you’re eating foods such as cabbage, broccoli, Brussel sprouts and onions, then you could find that your baby is suffering from gas. If you can’t do without these foods, then make sure they’re well cooked, since this seems to lessen the effects. 

How To Help Your Baby

If you suspect that your baby has colic, it’s important to try and figure out why. Starting with eliminating obvious drinks and food items from your diet is a good first step. Since colic is so hard to pin down, this can be a little challenging and will involve some trial and error.

Begin with tracking your intake of and eliminating the most common colic-inducing foods and drinks in your diet and observe if this makes a difference to your baby’s symptoms. You can then begin introducing items again, one at a time. If the colic makes a come-back, you’ll know which food was the guilty party.

Be aware, however, that one link might not be definitive proof, so continue to play around until you’re sure that you’ve gotten to the bottom of the problem. You’ll get it eventually, or perhaps your baby will grow out of it. In the meantime, your baby will enjoy the many benefits of the babocush, described by many as their ‘miracle product’. It’s soothing vibrations against the belly will help eliminate gas and bloating and get things moving ‘down below’!

For more information on how to deal with infant colic, read our blog post on six tips to prevent colic.


Lots of love,

Kerry xx

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