All babies cry sometimes. It’s their only way to communicate with us when they’re uncomfortable, hungry or otherwise distressed. A baby with colic cries even more than most infants. Colic is defined as crying episodes that may total three hours per day, three days per week and for three weeks at a time. No one is sure what causes colic, but experts do recommend using these 5 techniques for soothing a colicky baby.
In the womb, babies are warm, cozy and curled up in a tight space. Compared with that security, the world can seem big and cold. Infants are reminded of the safety of the womb when they’re worn close to their parent’s chest.
You can start to sway, bounce or pat your little one as soon as he shows signs of fussiness if you’re wearing him close to you. This can prevent the crying from getting worse. According to Dr. Sears, anthropologists report that in cultures where baby-wearing is practiced routinely, the infants cry less.
2. Hold Baby On His/Her Side
You might cradle your baby in your arms or hold her upright against your chest, but did you ever consider that holding her on her side can calm her down? According to Happiest Baby, when your little one is positioned on her side, her internal sensors tell her that she is secure. She’s more likely to stay calm this way than if she is lying on her back.
If you’re breastfeeding, holding your baby facing your chest might make him fussy because he thinks that he’s getting milk. You can hold him in a reverse-breastfeeding position, which faces him outward instead.
It’s still safest to place your baby on his side while he is sleeping. Only hold him on his side in your arms.
3. Use A Swing
Rocking motions stimulate your baby’s vestibular system. This mechanism is responsible for detecting speed and motion. It also helps your baby feel balanced. Activating the vestibular system calms your baby. That’s why so many infants fall asleep while they’re in a moving car.
A swing facilitates a calming effect. If you don’t have a swing, try to mimic the motion by rocking in a chair. You can also hold your baby while you sit on an exercise ball and bounce up and down. The more intensely your infant is crying, the bigger the swinging motion should be.
4. Baby Massage
It’s normal for infants to spit up and pass gas. However, their digestive system takes some time to fully develop. Gas bubbles and other digestive troubles can make your baby fussy.
Massaging the abdomen can calm your baby down. One technique is to use a feather-light touch and quick motion as you draw a spiral with your finger on your child’s belly. Start at the belly button, and circle your finger outward in a clockwise direction.
Follow that up with the “I Love You” massage. Lie your baby on his back. Using two fingers and gentle pressure, draw a straight line (to represent the letter “I”) down the left side of your child’s abdomen. When you’re facing your baby, this is on your right side.
Start just under the ribcage, and end near the hipbone. Then, trace the letter “L” by moving your finger across the abdomen from left to right, then continuing to trace down the “I.” Finally, place your fingers above your infant’s right hipbone, and make a “U” by traveling up, across and down the abdomen.
You will be following the motion of digestion. You might even feel trapped gas moving under your fingertips. Following the massage with a warm bath can help your baby relax and pass any mobilized stool or gas.
5. White Noise
White noise, such as the sound made by a running faucet, fan, vacuum or static, is similar to the muffled sounds that babies hear in the womb. Playing it softly near the baby can be soothing. Some companies sell CDs or MP3s of different types of white noise, including hair dryers and ocean waves. If you don’t have access to that technology, you can simply whisper “shhhh” in your child’s ear.