What Are The Best Alternative Treatments For Colic In Infants?

Kathi J. Kemper, M.D., Wake Forest

Question: What are the best alternative treatments for colic in infants?

Answer:The best treatments for colic are really a healthy lifestyle approach to the child's overall good health. So that means when the mom is breastfeeding that she pays attention to what she eats. If she's eating cabbage or garlic or spicy foods that irritate the baby, to watch what she eats and be aware of that; to pay attention to the baby and respond quickly and effectively to the baby's cries; to be aware that the baby may be full may be tired, may be in need of stimulation and respond to those.

There are other things that are safe to do, like white noise, a ride in the car, being in the swing or a bouncy seat. In addition, many families find that massage is helpful, a little tummy rub for the baby. Playing music when the baby is quiet and not crying can be used as a sort of a behavioral reinforcement, so using music as a reinforcement.

There are some herbal remedies that have also been helpful for some babies. They tend to include things like dill, fennel, chamomile, ginger; those sorts of tummy soothing herbs can be very helpful. There's a folk remedy that's used in some cultures called gripe water, and that is an essence really of the dill plant that is used to help with colic.

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