When your baby is uncomfortable, you know about it -- and when he displays symptoms of colic, you may hear about it at all hours of the day and night. This "condition," characterized by crying, sleeplessness, digestive upsets and persistent fussiness, can wear you and your other family members out long before your infant settles down. But you don't necessarily have to treat baby colic with substances such as simethicone, lactase drops ,or dicyclomine. Here are three drug-free approaches you can take to soothe your little one's ones and help everyone in your family enjoy a more peaceful life.
1. Chiropractic Care
It might sound odd to take your baby to a pediatric chiropractor for colic issues, but it appears that this non-pharmaceutical form of care can actually yield some impressive benefits. A study of 316 infants who had undergone chiropractic adjustment showed that 94 percent of these little patients enjoyed some degree of baby colic relief. The secret may lie in the fact that chiropractic adjustments can relieve nerve compression and joint alignment problems, allowing for more normal nerve function and less musculoskeletal discomfort. An experienced pediatric chiropractor may also be able to advise you on best practices for feeding and positioning your baby to minimize colic symptoms.
2. White Noise
Anything that agitates a baby can trigger or worsen colic, including emotional stress. Potential stressors include sharp, strange or unpredictable household noises that jolt your baby awake or prevent him from drifting off to sleep. You may be able to solve this problem by making use of a white noise machine. These machines emit a soothing, static-like sound that can mask other, more disruptive background noises, providing a more consistent aural environment that promotes restful sleep. Make a point of using the lowest effective volume level (due to the potential for hearing damage), and limit the use of white noise for those really bad nights, lest your baby become totally dependent on white noise to sleep.
3. Healthier Feeding Habits
Digestive discomfort can play a major role in baby colic, causing not only stomach pain but also gas. You can ease colic-related digestive troubles by burping your baby, not just after a meal but periodically throughout the day. Ask your pediatrician about how much you should give your baby with each feeding. You may also want to have your baby tested for food allergies so you can eliminate those substances from his diet. If you're breast-feeding your baby, pay attention to your own diet as well. Research indicates that cow's milk consumed by a mother can be passed on to a lactose-intolerant baby, leading to abdominal discomfort.
Baby colic relief could be just around the corner when you follow these simple tips for helping your baby relax, sleep more easily and enjoy a more appropriate diet. Your little ones will be much happier -- and so will you!