When nutritional changes fail to solve the problem, there is always the old-fashioned approach, referred to in my household (in baby talk, of course) as “Wuv baby, wuv baby.” For generations, parents of colicky babies have picked them up, talked to them, carried them around, offered them pacifiers, and given them a quiet place to rest.
Clinical studies have not found that one method of calming the baby is better than another, but that any kind of reassurance helps. Being careful to change diapers, placing the baby near mother, and either putting the baby down to sleep or stimulating the baby with play was found in one study to be twice as effective as dietary changes alone. On the other hand, increasing specific parental interventions for colic helps, but not a lot. One study found that colicky babies held for 4-1/2 hours every day cried 5 minutes a day less than babies held for 2-1/2 hours a day. Parental attention without anxiety for results is best.
Need more advice on colic?
Breastfeeding mothers of colicky babies should avoid foods that may cause allergies in the child, especially cow’s milk.
Chiropractic “finger massage,” done by a professional, sometimes relieves colic in as little as one treatment, and usually in two or three treatments.
Clinical study suggests that the most commonly prescribed medication for colic, simethicone (My Baby Gas Relief Drops, Gas-X, Mylanta) does not help the condition. In one clinical trial, twice as many infants improved after taking no medication at all (placebo) than did after taking simethicone.
Drugs that act on the baby’s nervous system, such as dicyclomine (Bemote or Di-Spaz), do relieve colic but make the baby very sensitive to hot weather and can also cause constipation.
Smoking during pregnancy increases the risk the newborn will have colic.