Natural Help for Infant Colic

December 14, 2010

There is no doubt that coping with infant colic causes tremendous distress for parents who have to cope with a suffering baby in obvious pain and hours of daily screaming. There are many suggested ways of dealing with it, but a study in the September 2010 issue of Pediatrics, the journal of the American Academy of Pediatrics, provides a simple remedy for these symptoms.

We know that probiotics are hugely helpful in helping adults with digestive problems and it seems that a probiotic, Lactobacillus reuteri has been shown to significantly relieve symptoms of colic when compared to placebo in a double-blind study and this also confirms the findings of a previous study that compared the effect of L reuteri to a frequently prescribed colic medicine, simethicone in 2007.

The researcher must have used earplugs because this study was conducted on 50 breastfed infants who cried for at least three hours per day at the beginning of the study. After giving them L reuteri in a dose of ten billion colony-forming units per day they had at least a 50 percent improvement in crying time – to say nothing of the stress on the parents who must have been almost crying themselves with relief. The treatment group also showed an increase in healthy lactobacilli in the stools and a decrease in E coli, a bacterium associated with colic. Even better, no side effects occurred as a result of the treatment.

Other natural Colic treatments:
Probiotics are a simple solution to treat colic in babies and when combined with other natural solutions can substantially reduce the distressing crying and pain. One very old –fashioned but highly effective method is to swaddle the baby by wrapping them tightly in a blanket – science has got in here too as they tested this in 2006 and found it reduced crying times significantly.

Diet too is important as by eliminating certain items from the diet of breastfeeding mothers it had the knock on effect of reducing crying – but no use if you are bottle feeding. Getting rid of common potential allergenic foods such as cow’s milk, eggs, peanuts, wheat, soy, and fish also reduced crying in a trial in 2005.

As stress in the mother can be a factor in baby colic it makes sense to tackle that and maybe try out some soothing herbal teas. Ingredients to look for include chamomile, fennel, vervain, liquorice, and lemon balm.

If the colic does not respond to any of these then it may be time to consider other treatments found effective such as cranial osteopathy, which is very gentle, and both homeopathy and acupuncture have seen good results.


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