Thursday, June 04, 2009

Colic Baby Remedies

One of the things a parent fears and dreads is having a baby that cries and cries inconsolably. We know that crying is the only way baby can communicate their needs to us. But when you are faced with a colicky baby, it's difficult to figure out what that need is.

Baby colicImage via Wikipedia
I remember one night, when my eldest daughter was still a baby, she just screamed her little lungs out. We carried her, rocked her and did all we could think of to soothe her but she just kept on screaming. In the end, we bundled her into the car and went for a ride hoping that would help. Thank goodness, it did.

Now, let me be clear that she was not a colicky baby. That screaming incident was just a one time thing. But it was enough to give me a glimpse of how a mother with a colic infant feels: worried, helpless, sad and frustrated. If that girl of mine didn't stop crying, I think I would have joined her. I cannot imagine having a baby scream like that for several hours, several times a week for several months. It will definitely drive any parent crazy.

Well, to all parents that are currently trying to survive infant colic, I hope you find that magic colic baby remedy that will stop your baby's colic days fast.

Here are a few ideas that might help:
  1. Baby Massage.
    If you believe your baby's pain is caused by gas trapped in your baby's stomach, then there are several baby massage techniques that can help to release the gas. Here are some suggestions:
    - holding the baby's knees, fold it up to the stomach and hold for 15-30 seconds.
    - holding the baby's feet, move the legs in a bicycle motion.
    - bending baby's legs at the knees, cross it and then rock from side to side.

    Below is a video on how to do a circular massage on baby's tummy. You'll probably understand better watching a video than me trying to explain how to do it.

    Here in Malaysia, the old folks (and some new folks) highly recommend using YuYi oil. It's a blend of oils traditionally used to rid baby’s stomach of wind. What you do is put a few drops in the palms of your hands and rub your palms together to warm up the oil. Then go ahead and administer the circular massage as demonstrated in the video above.

    Did I use YuYi oil for my children? Yes indeed. I'm not sure if it helped to prevent colic. All I can say is that my kids were not colicky (crossing fingers coz' another baby is on the way). Of course, YuYi oil is not available to everyone in the world. But there are plenty of baby massage oils available in the market.

  2. Gripe Water
    This is what our parents and grandparents probably used. But, you have to be careful on the kind of gripe water you buy. There are some gripe water that include artificial ingredients, preservatives, sodium bicarbonate and alcohol. It's important you inspect the ingredients when you buy gripe water. Search out gripe water that use natural ingredients such as chamomile, fennel, peppermint and ginger.
  3. Baby Wearing
    "Don't carry baby too much or you'll spoil him/her". That's what a lot of well meaning folks tell you. I, on the other hand, will tell you otherwise. If you carry your baby when they need you, they'll grow up to be happy, independent individuals. Of course, your arms will get tired. That's why it's good to invest in a good baby sling. Baby is comforted by your closeness and also the motions of being in a sling. I don't know how those Indonesian maids do it. They just use a piece of sarong and with one hand, tie it into a sling. I had an Indonesian girl I met at the hospital teach me but I wasn't much good at it. Don't know if I was doing it wrong or what but it kept coming loose or it hurt my shoulders. So, unless you are an expert like them, get a good sling that will keep baby snug and your shoulders and back pain-free.

  4. Change Your Baby's Formula
    Some baby's colic may be due to the formula milk they are taking. Some mother's have mentioned how changing their baby's milk to a hypoallergenic formula was the trick to getting rid of their baby's colic.

  5. Rhythmic rocking
    Put a baby in your arms and you automatically start to rock or sway right? Well, here is another way to rock baby: Put baby face down on your lap and gently sway your knees. This may help baby get rid of wind or gas in the tummy.

Ok, if anybody wants to add to the list of colic baby remedies, please go ahead. I'm sure there are lots of desperate mothers out there who will appreciate your input.
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  1. Hi Lian, I had that problem with my first kid when he was around 5 months.
    And we tried everything to calm him, didn't work.
    Anyway...we left it as that, and suffered sleepless nights for awhile till he improved.
    Some parents are lucky, some not.
    You keep well and best regards, Lee.

  2. Yes! I used YuYi oil till now 2 yrs old. Twice a day right after bath. Sometimes at night too before he sleeps if i see he did not pangsai that day. hahaha. I also use one Parrot brand oil and the moment i use it, he can release gas in 5 mins!

    Abt carrying baby .. sigh. I carried him. Now he is 2 yrs old. He still wants to be carried. He sure is happy alright! But mommie suffering from back ache.

  3. i can testify benefits of baby wearing. both my boys were worn from birth till today (@ 1yr)!

  4. Great tips, thanks! If your baby is bottlefed, you might want to change to a bottle that is curved or has disposable liners that actually collapse as they are emptied.

  5. Good article. You can also try the white noise player located at

  6. can colic calm gripe water be found in malaysia, i've been searching around in my local pharmacies but find none.

  7. Sorry Peter, I don't think you'll find Colic Calm in Malaysian pharmacies. You'll have to get it online.

  8. ok Thanks for the info, guess i just have to get one online..:)

  9. I used soothing sounds when by baby had colics and it worked just great.

  10. My son cries constantly. We are using Dr. Brown bottles and have switched to Sensitive formula. They both help a little. However when he's screaming the only thing that will get him to stop is the sound of our vacuum. I actually just bought a cd that includes that sound and many others off of pediasleep.

  11. Thank you so much for the useful tips. My 6 week old baby had severe colic yesterday and cried for over 4 hrs, leaving me, my husband and mother feeling totally helpless and literally in tears. I started searching for colic remedies and found your blog, and immediately applied the circular massage (in India we use warm mustard oil with asafetida) on the belly as well as the leg exercises. We saw an almost immediate effect on her and she calmed down and slept, completely exhausted from the crying. This blog post was really helpful.

  12. Hi smashingidol,
    I'm glad it worked for you. Here's wishing you more non-colic days.

  13. Not sure if it is colic as yet, dreading it and just googled to find your site.... Will watch the video, tried the legs exercise but she screamed even louder, ouch! That hurt my ears & my heart:(

    1. All 3 of my children had colic, I tried everything then tried a little chamomile tea. Natural herbal tea, make sure it is not to hot. My son loved it and it seemed to help him a little. He is 14 now and still loves Chamomile tea when he has stomach pain. Hope this helps.

    2. Is this tea possible for babies? Mine is about 2 months old. Thanks!

  14. How do I find Colic Calm in Malaysia? Thks!

    1. Hi Renee,
      I don't think Colic Calm is available in Malaysia. How unfortunate. If you really want to get it, maybe you can go to the Colic Calm facebook page and ask them. Here is the link:


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