How to Stop Colic in Children

Many young babies suffer from colic which is thought to be caused by muscle spasms in the intestines or swallowed air, although no-one’s sure why. Some doctors believe colic doesn’t occur before one month, but there are many parents who would disagree. Symptoms include constant crying, with the legs being drawn up to the stomach, as if in pain, going red in the face and passing wind. It usually clears up at around twelve weeks. It is most common in the early evening but can go on for hours and can be distressing for parents to watch as well as being extremely exhausting to cope with.

What you can do

If normal soothing, such as walking around, rocking, feeding or burping don’t seem to work, try bathing your baby around the worst time. This may distract them for a while as well as the warm water being comforting. Follow this by a gentle massage around the abdomen. Or placing a partially filled hand-warm hot-water botde wrapped in a towel underneath their stomach may also be soothing. Keep reassuring your baby that you are close. If you are breastfeeding, watch your own diet – anything that irritates your stomach may irritate your baby’s – so cut out foods such as cows’ milk, strawber­ries, oranges, chocolate, spicy foods and coffee.


Traditional Chinese medicine

The Chinese see colic as a food blockage, stomach deficiency or cold. Acupuncture can sometimes bring immediate relief or a practitioner may advise an infusion of dill leaves or fennel seeds made up into a gripe water. TCM would also advise parents to leave two hours between feeds to prevent a food block, which may not be agreeable to mothers who feed on demand. For children under three with colic symptoms, the diet may be looked at as the Chinese believe too much wholefood can be too rough on the stomach.

Osteopathy Osteopaths believe that colic often arises as a result of a traumatic birth which has upset the cranial system. This in turn can affect the system which controls involuntary action such as gut and diaphragm movement, causing pain to the baby. By working on the cranial system, colic may be alleviated.


Chiropractic treatment of babies with colic has proved to be very helpful in many cases. Gentle manipulation of the midback and sometimes the upper neck will stimulate all of the nerves to the gut and can reduce colicky symptoms. Homoeopathy A practitioner may advise giving Chamomilla if the baby is twisting in pain and is very irritable. Or, if the cramps seem severe and are accompanied by diarrhoea and flatulence, Nux Vomica. If the abdomen is very tight and the abdomen distended, Mag. Carb.

Filed Under: Family & Relationships


About the Author: Alan Kennon lives a very happy life with two kids and a lovely wife. He likes to share his life time experiences with others about how they can improve their lifestyle and personality.

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