Is there relief for a colicky baby and exhausted new parents?
My baby was colicky. He would cry for hours every night and often during the day, too. The doctors kept telling me there was no known cause or cure for colic and that he would grow out of it by three or four months. He was very gassy and had trouble getting his painful gas out. I could tell my baby was in pain and knew instinctively that there had to be some way to help him.
Some natural remedies for colic or gassy babies:
The few ways that I found to help him, which always took time and tons of patience as I listened to his screams, was for me to:
- massage his tummy in a clockwise motion
- hold him over my arm so his stomach pressed against it and bounce him gently
- lay him on his back and press his legs up and down
- bounce him
- rock him
eventually he would pass gas and settle down… for a while.
Months passed and he was not outgrowing the problem.
Once I realized the doctors would be of no help, I did some research on my own and found some simple solutions for colic that helped so much!
First, as I was exclusively breastfeeding, I learned that my diet could affect him.
I ate healthy, but there were things that could cause him to be more prone to gassiness. I changed my diet. I put myself on an extremely bland diet and watched for signs of reactions whenever I added a new food.
Foods to avoid when breastfeeding that can make a breastfed baby gassy:
- anything acidic; such as tomatoes, tomato sauce, (no more spaghetti or pizza) and oranges
- spicy foods
- beans (goodbye burritos)
- broccoli (the second worst culprit)
- chocolate (the very worst)
Excluding these things made a huge difference!
It was very worth it to me to just eat bland food as long as I was breastfeeding, which really is such a short time. But, still, there were days and very long nights where he would cry,
Finally someone told me about Gripe Water.
I had never heard of it. I bought some at a local natural foods store and gave the recommended dose to my son that evening when he started to fuss.
IT WORKED MIRACLES!
Within minutes, his crying stopped and he slept soundly!
I cried. I truly did.
I continued to give it to his as needed and it always helped him relax and eventually pass gas in his sleep. I cried of happiness that such a simple remedy was available! But I was also angry that no one had told me about this before, including the changes in my own diet! How do modern doctors not know there are still natural ways to help people?!
I hadn’t slept in six months, but more importantly, my son could have avoided so much pain!
After going through a few bottles of the store bought Gripe Water, Wellements Organic Gripe Water,
which you can purchase in most drug stores now, I decided it would be easy enough, and much cheaper, to make my own. It’s mostly water and chamomile, after all. I tried a few recipes and found what worked best for my child.
Homemade Gripe Water Recipes
In a pinch I brew some Chamomile tea
and add a pinch of ground ginger, and honey to sweeten.
The best natural remedy, at least for us, is natural herbal supplement drops for kids that aid in digestion,
Add a few drops to warm water, with a bit of honey to taste. We call it tummy tea. My son, now 8, still asks for it and drinks it almost nightly. He loves the taste and it calms his tummy and helps him sleep.
We liked Source Naturals Wellness Herbal Kids Digestive Drops best, but we can no longer find it, so switched to Gaiakids-Tummy Tonic
I recently tried the brand Benedictine Healing Products Tummy Ease for Kids, but my son doesn’t like the taste and it’s much thinner, not as potent, so takes a lot more drops to be effective.
You can make a truly homemade Gripe Water from fresh or dried herbs if you wish, but the drops have worked well for us and have more herbal extracts in them than I would want to buy or make myself, so it saves me time and effort.