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colicky babies
low birth weight
use of antibiotics
passing wind
colicky baby
breast milk
cuddles
Stop My Baby Crying
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Stop my baby crying

How to soothe a colicky baby

Different reasons why babies cry and remedies to soothe them:

Afternoons and evenings spent trying to console a baby who cries for hours and is evidently in pain is very distressing. It is a common problem in babies between 2 weeks and 6 months. Colicky babies normally cry for over an hour at a time, often draw their legs up or arch their backs, hold their hands in fists and grimace in pain. Passing wind or moving their bowels might get them relief, but they may be inconsolable.

The causes of colic are not really understood, which makes it sometimes difficult to diagnose it with certainty. It is important to consider other possible explanations for fractiousness, such as birth trauma or reflux. The pain of colic is caused by spasms in the gut, which slows the transit of the milk allowing it to ferment in the bowel which produces gas which distends the bowel causing pain. It may be worse in the evening because the baby is tired.

It is important to figure out what made the gut go into spasm. Usually several factors combine to cause the problem. Possible contenders include: - stress or illness in pregnancy - use of antibiotics for mum or baby - low birth weight - delivery by caesarean, forceps or ventouse - maternal smoking - family history of allergy - birth trauma - intolerance of cow’s milk (either in formula or via breast milk), as babies have an immature gut and tend to be sensitive and easily upset.

Once the contributing factors of the colic are narrowed down or even identified, there is a much better chance of treating it successfully.

You can space feeds out to at least 3 hours, wind the baby more often during and after feeding and give lots of cuddles to soothe him. The diet of a breastfeeding mum can be the key: - too much spicy food - a lot of broccoli, cabbage and cauliflower - bananas, cow’s milk cheese or yoghurt all these foods can upset a baby’s stomach. Anti-gas medicine can help some babies and are worth a try. Especially some, which break down the lactose in milk can help with such intolerance. A clue to intolerance is a dry rash on the face and chest. Should the medicine help settle the baby and the rash clears up, it may be worth switching to a lactose free formula or staying dairy-free if breastfeeding.

Osteopathy and especially the Bowen Technique may help to ease the symptoms of colicky babies. These treatments look at the whole body to see if there are any strains left over from the birth. The baby’s head is subject to enormous forces during labour and this may leave the baby feeling irritable. The nerve to the gut may be compressed by distortion of the cranial bones during a difficult delivery. An osteopath can help to settle the diaphragm, which may get twisted as it passes through the birth canal (especially if the baby is back to back) allowing the baby to wind more easily. However it is also possible for a parent to administer such treatments at home, learning the Baby Bowen Technique, which is very gentle and safe. This technique is helping to rebalance the nervous system and by doing so calming and comforting the baby. It is a non-invasive treatment with a few easily learned, very effective moves. You do not have difficult baby but a baby, who is in difficulty and needs some help.

As a mother of two, I have tried ever trick in the book to soothe my colicky babies. With the Baby Bowen technique I have struck gold and now I always have the answer to their crying, which makes the experience of motherhood so much more rewarding and far less exhausting.


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