Have a Colicky Baby? Here’s What to Do for Some ReliefFriday Sep 23, 2022
As a parent, you definitely feel it when your baby has colic.
Sleepless nights are fueled by constant, never-ending crying from your baby. You’ve tried everything under the sun but nothing seems to help calm them down. At this point, you just want to provide your newborn with some colic relief but you’re feeling pretty worn out and helpless.
If the above sounds like you, don’t despair! Especially if you haven’t considered your baby’s gut health as a possible solution. Science points to the use of probiotics for colic as a way to help your child get better (which could mean more sleep and less stress for you).
What Is Colic?
Colic occurs when your baby or newborn goes through periods of incessant crying. A colicky baby is pretty much inconsolable. Typically, colic will develop within the first 6 weeks of birth but you may notice it in your child upwards of 3 months.
What Does Gut Health Have to Do With Colic?
It’s not 100% clear why certain babies get colic but research points to a newborn’s gut health as being a key driver. The general thought is that babies who develop colic have less of the “good” bacteria that makes for a healthy gut. When the gut lacks a diverse population of beneficial bacteria, it creates problems—like excessive gas or gut inflammation—that can lead to colic.
How to Soothe Your Baby and Get Rid of Colic
The more familiar and in tune you are with your baby, the more you learn about what they need in different situations. They may cry because they’re hungry and need to be fed or get fussy because they need their diaper changed.
So, after you’ve ruled out the more obvious needs, you can turn into the comforting superhero you were always meant to be. Think you’ve tried everything? The list below has some nifty colic relief tips for soothing your baby!
- Gently rock back and forth while holding your baby.
- Use your baby’s favorite blanket to swaddle them.
- Gently massage their back.
- Rub their belly to get gas out that’s built up.
- Take them for a car ride: The moving of the car and light noise of the road seem to have a super calming effect.
- Switch up your baby’s position: Has your baby been lying down? Try sitting them up.
- Give your baby the good old pacifier, which has helped soothe newborns since the beginning of time.
- Put on some low, white noise to soothe your baby: This could be the sound of relaxing ocean waves or a recording out in nature.
- Try burping your baby.
- Sing to your baby.
- Breastfeeding mothers: Consider taking out dairy, soy, and other potential food sensitivities from your diet.
Using Probiotics for Colic
It’s becoming more and more clear that a healthy life starts with a healthy gut. A good first step is seeing what inflammatory microbes might be causing discomfort in your baby. You can do this easily through a gut test, which comes as a part of our Floré Baby Custom Probiotics Program . As we mentioned in the previous section, the more in sync you are with your baby’s gut health, the easier providing them some colic relief will be.
Probiotics, which are live microorganisms that are considered “healthy” bacteria for your gut, promote a diverse microbiome that can help manage the underlying digestive issues resulting in your baby’s colic.
Here are some key takeaways on probiotics for colic relief:
- Probiotics help to create a healthy and diverse gut profile for your baby. Or, in other words, a healthy set of diverse gut bacteria reduces the chances of colic in your baby.
- They prevent bad microbes , like E. coli from multiplying and running amok in your baby’s gut. Baby formula can be a place where E. coli can grow so babies who are formula-fed are at a higher risk of having E. coli overgrowth in their gut. When bad microbes take over, it makes it hard for your baby’s gut to fight off conditions like colic.
- Probiotics are a natural anti-inflammatory, which means they may help reduce colic symptoms in your child.
Overall, probiotics help to establish a wide variety of healthy bacteria in the gut, which reduces the likelihood of your baby getting colic and can provide some colic relief if symptoms are already present.
What Does the Research Say on Probiotics for Colic?
Research points to probiotics for colic as being a viable solution for providing your baby some relief.
There are two strains of healthy bacteria that studies have dubbed as the best probiotics for colic. And they are bacteria strains coming from the Bifidobacterium and Lactobacilli families.
It’s believed there may be a greater number of bad bacteria like E. coli in the gut of those with colic, with the E. coli bringing about uncomfortable symptoms that cause babies to cry like gas, bloating, and abdominal discomfort.
One study found that supplementing with the beneficial bacteria strain, L. reuteri, provided babies with colic relief. It consisted of 50 colicky, breastfed infants ranging from 2 to 16 weeks old. Each was given either L. reuteri or a placebo supplement for 21 days. Over the course of the study, babies in the placebo group experienced 90 minutes, on average, of crying per day. On the other hand, the group that was given the L. reuteri supplement was observed as crying significantly less per day, at just 35 minutes.
Another study on babies with colic came back with similar findings. But this time, they took a look at Bifidobacterium bacteria—specifically—the BB-12 strain. Over the course of the study, it was found that, when compared to the placebo group, babies given BB-12 cried and fussed significantly less on a daily basis and also got more sleep.
Colic Wrap Up
If your baby has been crying nonstop lately and nothing you do seems to help calm them down, it might be colic. But there’s no need to worry. Because now you have some techniques—like swaddling, going for a car ride, or putting on some calming white noise—to soothe your baby and give them some colic relief.
It also might be worth giving probiotics a try. Here at Sun Genomics, our personalized baby probiotics were made to help you get to the root of your newborn’s gut issues and provide relief for conditions like colic.
About the Author
Chad Richardson is a freelance writer from Cincinnati, OH who also enjoys going to the gym and doing his best Arnold Schwarzenegger impersonation, scrolling through Netflix trying to find a new binge-worthy show, and catching a game to root on his hometown sports teams.