How is colic treated?

There is no cure for colic, but there are steps you can take to help soothe your baby. Try some or all of the following tips. You will learn which ones work for your baby and which do not.

  • Rocking, either in a rocking chair or in your arms as you sway from side to side.
  • Gently stroking your baby’s head or patting his or her back or chest.
  • Swaddling (wrapping him or her snugly in a receiving blanket).
  • Singing or talking.
  • Playing soft music.
  • Walking him or her in your arms, a stroller, or a carriage.
  • Riding in the car. (Be sure to properly secure the baby in his or her car safety seat.)
  • Rhythmic noise and vibration.
  • Burping him or her to relieve any trapped gas bubbles.
  • Warm baths. (Most babies like this, but not all.)
  • Decreased stimulation (use quiet voices, turn electronics such as television, phones off).
  • White noise, vibration and motion can be soothing.
  • If you're nursing, you can try to eliminate milk products, caffeine, onions, cabbage and any other potentially irritating foods from your own diet. If you're feeding formula to your baby, talk with your pediatrician about a protein hydrolysate formula. If food sensitivity is causing the discomfort, the colic should decrease within a few days of these changes.
  • Introduce a pacifier. While some breastfed babies will actively refuse it, it can provide instant relief for others.
  • When you're feeling tense and anxious, have a family member or a friend look after the baby—and get out of the house. Even an hour or two away will help you maintain a positive attitude.

No matter how impatient or angry you become, a baby should never be shaken. Shaking an infant hard can cause blindness, brain damage or even death. Let your own doctor know if you are depressed or are having trouble dealing with your emotions, as he or she can recommend ways to help.

It also is very important that you take care of yourself. Ask family members or friends to help you so you don't become exhausted or overstressed.

Last reviewed by a Cleveland Clinic medical professional on 11/07/2019.

References

  • American Academy of Family Physicians. Colic. Accessed 12/2/2019.
  • Merck Manual. Colic. Accessed 12/2/2019.

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