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Newborn baby girl crying.

Calming a Colicky Baby

Author: CHKD Medical Group, Charles Stith, CPNP-PC
Published Date: Monday, November 1, 2021

By Charles Stith, CPNP-PC, Hampton Roads Pediatrics

Colic in infants can be more harmful to parents and caretakers than to the baby. When a colicky baby starts crying, parents can feel tired, guilty, and depressed, and should know how to cope with crying in a healthy way.

If you are living with a colicky baby, it’s important to know that colic is a common condition in young babies that will go away on its own between the ages of 3 to 6 months.

Help soothe your colicky baby with these tips.

  • If your baby is bottle-fed, try using a curved bottle so you can hold your baby in an upright position. Switching to a bottle with a collapsible bag or liner may also help.
  • Reduce the amount of air your baby swallows during feeding by burping your baby often.
  • Check to see if they are hungry, but don’t force-feed them if they’re uninterested in eating.
  • Change your baby’s position to give them a different view. If they’re lying down, sit them up. If you’re holding your baby towards you, face them away from you.
  • Make sure they has interesting things to look at, such as different shapes, colors, textures, and sizes.
  • Talk and sing to your baby.
  • Walk with your baby.
  • Rock your baby or place them in an infant swing on a low setting.
  • Give them a warm bath.
  • Let your baby lie on their belly on your lap and softly rub their back.
  • Take them for a ride in the car.
  • Soothing sounds like a fan, white-noise machine, or a heartbeat CD can be calming. Some babies can even be soothed by the sound of a vacuum or washing machine.
  • Hold and cuddle your baby.
  • Use a pacifier.
  • Keep any stimulation to a minimum.

If you bottle-feed your baby and the above methods don’t work, your child’s pediatrician may recommend a 1-week trial of a non-milk-based formula.

For breastfeeding mothers, your provider may suggest you avoid foods such as milk, eggs, nuts, wheat, or other foods likely to cause an allergic reaction for a while.

To learn more about colic and what you can do to calm your baby, speak with your child’s pediatrician.

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About CHKD Medical Group

About CHKD Medical  Group Children’s Hospital of The King’s Daughters has been the region’s most trusted name in pediatric care for more than 50 years. As members of CHKD Health System, our pediatricians work closely with CHKD’s full range of pediatric specialists and surgeons. They also share a commitment to quality, excellence and child-centered care. With 18 practices in 29 locations throughout the region, a CHKD pediatrician is never far.