Joking aside, colic sucks. If you are dealing with it, I’m deeply sorry. It can be SO frustrating and make you feel so helpless. Please listen – IT WILL GET BETER. Your baby will get over it.
In the meantime, we try everything we can to keep comforting that little fuss-bucket.
f you’re a 30-something nerd like me, and watched star trek growing up (The next generation … obvi). Then you’ll get my husband’s joke that:
‘calming this baby is like fighting the borg’.
You’ve got to keep trying new things because what worked yesterday may not work today, and what he hated 2 days ago may work like magic today! Stupid borg.
The trick is to remain calm (easier said than done I know) and have a bunch of tools in your colic toolbox to have ready to fire at the problem!
We’ve all heard about the “colic hold” and all those S’s. My first son was colicky and I swear, if one more well-intentioned soul asked “have you tried swaddling?”, I may have assaulted them. I’m not gonna review all those well-known techniques. But here are a few NEW techniques that just might work for your baby. It’s all about having options for your colic cures! I list them all here.
I made a video showing you all the tips here:
And you can download a free pdf cheat sheet to remind you of all the moves here!
1) Try a Probiotic
The probiotic strain Lactobacillus Reuteri has actually been proven in the medical research to improve symptoms of colic! It’s also very safe, so you can’t go wrong. You’ve got to give it regularly every day and allow at least 7 days to see any changes, so be consistent.
This is obviously not a quick fix, but definitely worth a shot in my book! Gerber sells drops of the exact probiotic. Just follow the dosing on the bottle. If you are feeding Gerber Soothe formula, this probiotic is already in the formula.
2) The Stairmaster
We’ve all heard that babies love the stairs. My calves actually never looked so good as in my first postpartum weeks. I highly recommend getting a little portable stair stepper that you can put right in your living room. My baby is 9 months old now, and we JUST finally put the stair stepper away!
Hold your baby in your arms (cradled) and get stepping. Let your upper body really swing back and forth – embrace the motion! The rhythmic rocking can be very soothing and can help gas move. Having the portable stepper allows you to put it in front of the TV, or anywhere pleasant so you can calm down too. You can snag this great helpful tool for colic cures on Amazon and have it in 2 days. Truly the best $45 I ever spent!
3) The Choo-Choo Train
You’ve probably heard that “Shhhh-ing” (one of those S’s) is supposed to be calming. But mix it up! Babies are unique and may like different patterns. Try a “Ch – Ch” noise, or a different pattern, like “Ssshhhhh ch ch ch Sssshhhhhh ch ch ch “ or whatever.
The point is, try something a little different than a single long “Sssshhhhhhh”. I think lots of babies prefer a more patterned punctuated noise as that‘s closer to how Mommy’s heart would have sounded in the womb.
4) The Elevator
Sitting down, hold your baby’s head in your hands (feet facing your belly) and support the rest of his body on your forearms. Then keep you elbow steady and lift and lower your forearms so your baby is gently elevated up and down at an angle. I have no idea why, but some infants love it!
5) The Wrist Jiggle
Hold your baby in the cradle position with his tummy facing yours and his head resting on your forearm (watch the video – you hold your baby like this all the time). Now, relax, bend your knees gently and relax your wrists so much that your hands hang like dead weights.
Gently bounce up and down (hour hands should flap around like dead limbs). I don’t know why this works. I think the technique forces you to relax so much, it allows your natural jiggle to move the baby in just the right way to help gas bubbles move. Just try it!
6) The Blanket Jiggle
Watch the video for this one. It’s similar to the idea of the wrist jiggle. Basically you wrap your baby in a blanket, but leave one corner untucked. Then holding your baby cradled (or in your lap), you tug upwards on the loose corner rhythmically to gently rock/jiggle the baby.
This is almost like they’re being rocked in a hammock. I think the loose support of the blanket (compared to the firm support of your arms) helps some babies relax more. I often got toots out of my youngest doing this! Getting those toots out is like so fulfilling!
Hum to your baby! Incorporate humming along with all these other tricks. It serves several purposes. It will sound like your voice did in the womb (muffled and vibrating). It will help you calm down. It’s hard to be panicked if you are humming a happy tune. When you’re humming, you hear outside sounds less since your head is filled with your humming. This helps drowned out the sound of baby screams, which will also help you remain calm and cool.
8) BONUS! (not on the video): The Beloved Butt Pat
Holding your baby cradled with his head well-supported, pat his butt rhythmically. Firmly. Now don’t wail on your kid, but pat him like you’re burping him – with purpose! If you use bulky cloth diapers (we do), then you’ve got a lot of extra cushion here. The resulting gentle jostling often helps. Sometimes, this works well enough that you can transition to lying down with the baby and continue to pat away while you both lounge on the couch. It’s my husband’s trademark move.
Remember, try these colic cures more than once. The borg adapt! To win the battle, you’ve got to keep changing the routine! So add these to your arsenal, along with the carrier, the swaddling, pacifier, and all the other more common techniques.
Click here to download a mini summary of these steps that you can print out and put on your fridge (or in your nursery) for quick reference
You are doing a great job! Your baby WILL outgrow this and this will not be your life forever!
Any other tips for colic cures that worked like a charm for you? Please share!
All my best,