Unfortunately nobody has invented a miracle cure for the evil colic, which is (somewhat unhelpfully) defined as crying for more than three hours a day for more than three consecutive days. babylists has suffered badly... here is the result of our desperate research!
1. Infacol helps babies to bring up wind. It helps small bubbles of trapped air join together into bigger bubbles which are easier for babies to expel. Normally in a nice orangey smelling burp. Easy to administer through a little pipette before or during a feed.
2. Gripe water contains dill oil and sodium hydrogen carbonate, which respectively break down trapped wind and neutralise stomach acid. It worked well for Babylists but is a bit tricky to get baby to take it off a spoon!
3. Infant massage appears to help calm colicky babies. Various techniques are shown here.
4. Your baby may be suffering from silent reflux, when the valve at the end of the stomach pipe isn't fully developed so milk and acid come back up the gullet after feeding. Sometimes it is difficult to diagnose but babies with silent reflux prefer to be upright. You can roll a towel under the mattress of your moses basket / cot / pram so that your baby is slightly inclined when sleeping.
5. Babies with silent reflux may get irritated by being slapped on the back when burped, so try rubbing upwards with the base of your hand rather than patting.
6. Many mums (including this one!) swear that cranial osteopathy relieves their baby's colic. Many osteopaths believe that the vagus nerve, which runs from the base of the skull to the digestive tract, can get compressed and irritated during birth. Cranial osteopathy relives tension around the baby's skull. It is not cheap but the results can be dramatic!
7. If you are breast feeding, caffeine and spicy food are thought to irritate your baby through breast milk, so unfortunately it might be best to cut it out.
If you and your baby are suffering from colic, speak to your health visitor or GP. Even if there is not much that they can do to help, they can reassure you that there is nothing more serious and also that (sadly) many families go through the same thing. It's miserable and seriously detrimental to your mental and emotional health. It does tend to clear up around 3-4 months although that seems like forever at the time... GOOD LUCK.