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Our baby is suffering from colic. The doctor prescribed some medicines which contained alcohol along with the active volatile ingrediants like dill oil, cardamon oil, etc. Is there a proven and effective way (preferably a home remedy) to treat colic in a one month old infant?

There are many websites on the internet which give ayurvedic home remedies. I am interested to know how well a particular remedy worked. What is the best way to treat colic?

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Since no one else has said it, I will. Before you do any home remedies to be administered orally please check with a doctor, since some things in so called "colic remedies" aren't necessarily known to be safe. They aren't known to be unsafe either, just not known in general. –  justkt Aug 27 '13 at 12:10

3 Answers 3

For our case, the only treatment that really worked was wait until she was 3mo. As magic, the colic lowered a lot.

What helped us relieving it until there (and believe me, it'll pass after few months):

  • a warmed-up towel, etc, over her stomach
  • doing some massage by stretching her legs, then pulling it back over her stomach (slowly, of course)
  • giving her a little bit more breastmilk (more times each day, smaller quantities each time)
  • giving her a warm hug and walking, slowly, across the house
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+1towel not tried ,but "giving her a warm hug and walking, slowly, across the house" was the only thing that worked –  parenting101 Aug 21 '13 at 19:44
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Believe me, I know how you feel when your baby is crying and nothing seems to help him... :) But it's more a matter of time than anything else. Of course, always be alert if it's nothing something else, but you'll know how the crying is different. –  woliveirajr Aug 22 '13 at 11:37
    
Did you try the colic hold or Harvey Karp's soothing techniques? –  justkt Aug 22 '13 at 18:15
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Yep. Time. Which sucks. And making sure you're burping her thoroughly. No need to give her any more reason to cry by also giving her gas issues. Trust me, if our daughter had been our first child, there would have been no second. But we had colic combined with acid reflux. Basically, our first year with her was hell. –  Meg Coates Aug 23 '13 at 23:47
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I agree completely. It is that simple. Also avoid noise, bright lights or anything that overstimulates your baby. 2 months now and we are starting to see great progress. –  Bizniztime Oct 9 at 11:49

Look into Dr Karp's five S's to stop the crying, which will then cure most known painful effects of colic (namely swallowing air, which expands the stomach and causes reflux and gas) which will reduce the colic itself:

  • Swaddling: At one month this should still be effective, though at first it may not seem so. Look up how to do a "DUDU" (down-up-down-up) swaddle using a receiving blanket, or you can invest in a few HALO Sleep Sack swaddles or SwaddleMe wraps. Wrap your child very firmly, bordering on tight; many parents don't do it tight enough, and the child simply breaks free of the swaddle. Your child will probably not like this, so you may think it's not working, but it's only step one...

  • Side-holding: This is magical. I saw Dr Karp's video in a prenatal class, and thought it was video trickery; they were just showing the extreme minority on whom it worked. Then I tried it on our daughter when she was going through her first crying phase, and lo and behold it's a near instant crying stopper. It's exactly what it sounds like; instead of holding your baby on his or her back, or straight up and down (bad for a baby who can't lift their head), hold them on their side, along your forearm(s), with one shoulder facing down and the other up, and their head in your hand. They can face in or out; your choice, I usually opted for outward. You may call this the "football hold". When swaddled and side-held, your baby will almost immediately calm themselves. It's instinctive.

  • Shushing: The first two were usually enough about 75% of the time for our daughter (when she wasn't hungry; obviously that's the first thing you check, and if baby isn't interested, move on). Sometimes, though, she wanted to see what we were made of. The third step is basically white noise, and rather loud. Up till about six months, instincts learned in the womb are still very fresh, and that includes being used to the rather noisy environment in Mom's belly. Everything from the heartbeat to digesting noises to her voice to sound waves entering the womb from around the house and elsewhere makes it a cacophony inside a liquid environment. To replicate that, you simply lean in to her ear, and make a loud, constant "SHHHHHHHH". Don't get too close, but really unless you're forming a seal and blowing directly in baby's ear (or in baby's face; there's a reflex that stops them breathing) you're not doing any damage. If you're around the house, a hair dryer (heat off, and not pointed at baby) or a vacuum cleaner provide similar white noises.

  • Swinging: Less a calming technique, more a keep-calm technique. Get yourself a mechanical swing; it is the single best investment you will make as a new parent. Once your baby has calmed down through some other combination of actions, and you need some time with both hands free, put them in the swing and set it on high. The motion, and the fact that most swings keep baby's head inclined, will keep her calm; the rhythmic motion is soothing. It probably won't work to calm them down in the first place, however.

    There is also a motion kind of like "jiggling"; you cup baby's head in both hands and rhythmically move it in a circle very gently. You have to see it done to know how to do it, so don't do it on my description alone, and never shake a baby, for any reason, ever.

  • Sucking: Once your baby's breastfeeding like a champ, or if you're bottle-feeding, a pacifier is baby's mute button. Put it in baby's mouth, touching the roof of the mouth, and it triggers an instinct to suck. You can do the same with a finger (just don't gag baby; one knuckle deep is usually fine). Again, because it's the pressure on the roof of the mouth that triggers the reflex, the proper response if baby wants to spit the passy isn't to hold it in; gently pulling outward or downward will re-trigger baby's interest. You'll have to wean them sooner or later (for us our daughter simply became disinterested in passies and more interested in trying to talk to us not long after her first birthday) but use it while they'll take it.

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Read this sound critique also before trying out five S's. –  Bizniztime Oct 9 at 11:59
    
A fair critique. I think the primary point missed in this criticism is that a baby is not a tiny adult. The fundamental premise of Dr Karp's work is the thesis that, compared to most other mammals, babies are born too early in terms of mental and neurological development, but if they cooked any longer they'd grow too big physically to fit through the birth canal (it's already a tight fit that usually, not sometimes but usually, requires assistance, and a huge risk to the life of both baby and mother). –  KeithS Oct 9 at 20:20
    
Therefore, young children are only minimally self-aware and dominated by instinct, until about three or four months when they start to gain conscious control over their body and also start to learn cause-and-effect, leading to behaviors like smiling. They don't "want" to be able to move freely, and they don't "believe" that being shushed when they cry is a let-down, no matter what Ms Sunbury thinks. They "want" what they need; eat, sleep, poop, and be comforted. For the first six months or so, your entire life as a parent more or less revolves around enabling these four things. –  KeithS Oct 9 at 20:28
    
IMHO mental development can't start without proper inputs from outside and womb is low input (or rather high noise) environment so no matter how long baby stayed in there it wouldn't come out mentally developed. Babies aren't tiny adults but also aren't fetuses without uterus. First 3 month of life are distinct period in babies development so calling it 4th trimester is plain wrong. Don't expect for baby to laugh at your (fart) jokes or enjoy jazz music but event slightest interaction through skin to skin contact or gentle speaking (sounds) is good. –  Bizniztime Oct 10 at 11:45

If you are bottle feeding try a different formula, and a different type of bottles. Children's digestive systems respond to different formulas in different ways, and some bottles are better engineered to reduce the amount of air the baby ingests.

By the way, dill oil and cardamom oil are natural remedies which are pretty safe, no reason to avoid them.

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If the doctor said so I wouldn't question it, but "natural" does not equal safe. Lots of natural herbs are really dangerous for 1 month old infants. –  justkt Aug 22 '13 at 18:59

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