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This chart of baby foot reflexology provides guidance for baby foot massage; this really helps some babies!

If mom is at all constipated, then it may be that she (and thus baby) have inadequate magnesium.  Often, moms are taking calcium supplements that are either without magnesium or are at a 2:1 ratio.  The calcium dominance can cause the mom's intestines to be a little tight, causing her constipation.  It can also cause the baby's gut to be a little tight, which hurts a lot more in a tinier system.  Magnesium citrate is well absorbed by the mom and will be passed through to the baby.

Best Diaper Changing Technique for Newborns to Reduce Colic - I don't know any parents who've tried this, but it makes sense and seems worth a try!

Prevent and Treat Colic - intestinal gas in babies - a YouTube video with Susun Weed, author of Wise Woman Herbals [Ed: Do NOT give honey to infants (under one year of age) because of the risk of botulism.]

The recent pediatric study every pregnant and new mom should know about [5/10/14] - By 3 months of age, spitting up episodes occurred 4.6 times per day for the placebo group and 2.9 times for the probiotic group.

Stress in babies: How to keep babies calm, happy, and emotionally healthy - Why stress in babies matters by Gwen Dewar, Ph.D.

But there is good news for parents feeling the strain: We can do a lot to protect babies from the effects of toxic stress.

Why Newborn Babies Are Fussy In The Evening (Besides Colic)

Pam Caldwell / HerbLore's web page about Colic provides an excellent perspective about the importance of the baby's emotional environment.

Colic Support, Remedies and Information for Stressed Parents! from ColicHelp.com

Note that the techniques of Elimination Communication may facilitate easier bowel movement.  In particular, if it is painful for a baby to poop, you can help them by applying GENTLE pressure to their belly to gently increase internal abdominal pressure.

Research Says Massage May Help Infants Sleep More, Cry Less And Be Less Stressed

Excluding Allergenic Foods From Maternal Diet May Reduce Colic in Neonates  CME

For babies who need to be held tightly, they might benefit from the Cozy Cocoon - The Cozy Cocoon builds on the wisdom of ancient and indigenous cultures that understood the importance of swaddling newborns, and it infuses this wisdom with the knowledge of our own times to create the perfect answer for holding newborns close, with love and in freedom.  [Remember - their arms should be bent at the elbow.]

Temple Grandin talks about swaddling to comfort autistic children.  She says that it's very calming for about 20 minutes, and then it can become uncomfortable after that.  It's not clear whether this applies to newborns and young babies.

Fussy Baby - Help for infants who cry, scream or don't sleep

Our local holistic pediatrician recommends Klaire Labs products.

Natren produces a probiotic product designed specifically for infants. Life Start is made with Bifidobacterium infantis - the beneficial bacteria which is most prominent in infants.  This can be beneficial for newborn thrush, newborn diarhea or diaper rash.

According to Wikipedia: "In 2002, three previously distinct species of Bifidobacterium, B. infantis, B. longum, and B. suis, were unified into a single species named B. longum with the biotypes infantis, longum, and suis, respectively." [Reference]

However, Natren's web pages still list Bifidobacterium infantis as the ingredient in their Life Start probiotic for newborns.  So if you're specifically looking for a probiotic to relieve baby's intestinal discomforts, I would still look for Bifidobacterium infantis.

BioFlora makes a product called Infantiflora, containing B. infantis, which can help with colic by improving newborn digestion.

Our culture tends to be very undereducated about the importance of sensible postpartum recovery.  Women bounce back much more quickly and easily when they are pampered for the first few weeks.  And new babies are less likely to have colic.

Here's a good book to read BEFORE baby comes, because you'll be too busy afterwards:

The Keys to Postnatal Rejuvenation

How to Avoid Colic, Avoid Postpartum Depression, Experience Deep & Profound Rejuvenation
"Many cultural traditions use the same principles after childbirth, the ones which statistically don't have problems. The language is the same - mothering the mothers with TLC, warmth, oiliness (internal and external), massage, simplicity, moisture, favoring sweet, sour and salty tastes, specific foods, freshly cooked (not raw) soupy foods, herbs, and of course rest - these are keywords to favor. The details even of these considerations are significantly more under guidance (and communication with/advice of your primary care provider is essential with pre-existing medical conditions)."

Here's some specific information about Happy Baby Tummies!

Garlic eases colic and helps to bring the milk in, too!

GERBER® SOOTHE™ – Colic Drops Probiotic Supplement - Ingredients include Lactobacillus reuteri Protectis® and silicon dioxide, similar to simethicone.

Miranda Castro has some good articles about colic.

You could try Colic-Ease

crying-babies.com - information about colic and baby-safe remedies

Probiotics Well Tolerated, Safe in Infant Formula (News CME) - Feb 2004 - In a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial, infants given probiotic-supplemented formula had a lower rate of colic and use of antibiotics. [Medscape registration is free]

The new Tummy Tub may be just the thing to help soothe your baby's colic.

Here's an excellent FAQ for the Tummy Tub.

And be warned that Consumer Reports has concerns that it tips easily and could be a drowning hazard if left unattended.

Pediatrician Shows You How To Calm Down Any Crying Baby! - Pediatrician Dr Bob shows how to calm a crying baby in seconds. 

TUMMY CALM is an EXTERNALLY applied, herbal oil that alleviates newborn colic/gas pains.

Rooibos tea is purported to relieve colic in infants.  [Search on the net for lots of sources.]

Several homeopathic remedies can be used effectively for colic. If your baby bends backwards or arches his or her back during a colic attack, give homeopathic Dioscorea as the label directs.

Infantile Colic - Chiropractic has been found to be effective for infantile colic! Randomized controlled trial shows that manipulation is more effective than drugs

Chiropractic Found Effective for Infantile Colic


Some parents swear by the modern version of Gripe Water, containing ginger and fennel to ease nausea and pain due to gas and stomach upsets.  It is also available from Cascade.

I've heard of a new tea that is supposed to be a terrific anti-spasmodic to treat colic.  It's called rooibus - it's a South African tea, and apparently it works wonders.  It seems to be available mostly on the Internet.  [NOTE - This is only hearsay, and it wasn't even clear whether the tea was for the breastfeeding mother or the baby to take!  Please check with your healthcare provider first.]


Colic Relief and Chinese Pediatric Massage

I decided not to vaccinate my daughter after I found out she had food intolerances/allergies at 2 months old because I did not want to cause more damage to her immune system. I talked to parents of other kids with food allergies/intolerances and the majority of them who had vaccinated strongly regretted it and thought it caused their children's health issues to become worse. My daughter's pediatrician also said that food intolerances/allergies were a contraindication for vaccines. I had originally planned to take the slow vax route and am really glad I researched it before my daughter had any vaccinations.

The inserts that come with the vaccines themselves or the literature that is published by the pharmaceutical companies themselves all state that the vaccine should not be administered to those with deficiencies of the immune system.  Therein lies the ambiguity of what exactly is an immune deficiency.  One can not truly know If a child is immune deficient until their immune system is a fully functional immune system as that of an adult.  Some studies suggest this does not occur until well after 7-8 years old....some studies show that the child's immune system isn't fully developed until age 14 and yet others say sometime around 4-5 years.  When this occurs is obviously a  bit ambiguous as it can depend on allergies & what type of nutrition one is surrounded by, antibiotic use, probiotic use etc.  What is obvious though is that infants can not possibly have a fully developed immune system yet we are supposed to be giving them these vaccinations that the pharmaceutical companies own literature admits should not be given to immune deficient children & there is no way to know that until they are much older. What a farce!  

Pumping Gas

[Editor: This technique is sometimes called "pumping gas".  As a midwife who has provided mother/baby care for over twenty years, this seems to be the best solution to this problem.  It's way better than invasive devices such as "The Windi" and more natural even than gripe water or simethicone.  I'm a fan!]

How To Relieve Gas In Babies and Infants Instantly by Jessi Davin [3/4/16]

In short, with baby lying on back, do bicycling motions for a few cycles, then straighten legs completely with gentle pressure, then bent the legs into the tummy.  Do this for as many cycles as produce results, or around 7 times.  But it's much better to watch the video!


Simethicone Colic Drops from webmd.com

Effect of magnesium alginate plus simethicone on gastroesophageal reflux in infants.
Ummarino D1, Miele E, Martinelli M, Scarpato E, Crocetto F, Sciorio E, Staiano A.
J Pediatr Gastroenterol Nutr. 2015 Feb;60(2):230-5. doi: 10.1097/MPG.0000000000000521.

CONCLUSIONS: Mg alginate plus simethicone seems to be more efficacious on GER symptom scores than thickened formula and reassurance with lifestyle changes alone.

NIH articles on simethicone

Digestive Enzymes

When a baby has colic, mamas are sometimes advised to try various elimination diets or to restrict their food intake to avoid gas-producing foods.  It makes sense for a mom to avoid foods that cause gas in her own system.  But mamas are advised to start eliminating foods that don't seem to cause any problems for them, such as dairy, wheat and corn.  The theory is that these foods get through to the baby and cause upset there.

Instead of eliminating these foods, you could try taking digestive enzymes to break down the foods more completely before they get absorbed into your bloodstream and then passed to your baby through your breastmilk.  A lactase enzyme might be the first place to start, and then you could try a general digestive enzyme.

Transient Lactase Deficiency: A Treatable Cause of Colic from Dr. Sears.  He recommends giving the baby lactase directly.

The La Leche League forums have some interesting discussions about the development of baby's natural enzymes around three months.

Mom's Advice

I am just barely crawling out of the bad months with a colicky baby-boy.
I've tried everything, as it seems; asked around for tips, restricted what I eat, etc etc..
For a long time, I was only able to get advice on what NOT to eat, which made it impossible, as it sounded like I couldn't eat anything at all.

Finally a friend sent me Dr.Sear's elimination diet (which also has a link to most and least allergenic foods).
So I started to eat ONLY foods from the least-allergenic foods list and it seemed to help:
http://www.facebook.com/l/3bf6d2Za_RWCwWAPNozZkTfeEBg/www.askdrsears.com/topics/feeding-infants-toddlers/food-allergies/elimination-diet (turns out you
can buy a lot of things that are rice-based, including bread, milk, and even ice-cream. Just make sure you eat the fruits and vegetables from the list too).

Along with the diet, the most helpful things recommended were:
1) Dill Seed brew (buy dill seeds, 1 teaspoon to 1/4 cup of boiling water, let sit 15 minutes at least, strain well). Give about 6mL at a time (or 2 of those baby dispensers that come with Gripe Water). Give 20 min before night bath, and 1 or 2 times more during the day when it looks that baby can't seem to burp/pass gas or empty bowels.
2) Burp a lot and well during feedings (Gripe Water helps with that - I like Wellements brand).
3) Colic Tablets (such as Hyland's brand) seem to help sometimes - I tried to give them with a feeding that usually comes before the worst colic time - later in the afternoon.
4) Baby soothing music made a big difference for after bath/before going to sleep time. (I was recommended the "white noise" from "Happiest Baby on the Block" DVD, but ended up using a different music)
5) Do things to make sure baby's not overwhelmed in the afternoons - no new/strange/multiple faces (sometimes difficult on the weekends when people come over), maybe baby carrier or just baby carrying with stomach to you so it's warm and feels familiar person.
6) Happi Tummi - amazing product.
7) Swaddling worked for us when putting baby to sleep.
8) Try feeding in a stomach-to-stomach position (warms his belly, lets in less gas, helps with passing gas/poop)
9) Anything to help with emptying bowels - exercises, clockwise belly massages etc.
10) Possibly put baby to sleep on the side (if safe). Preferably left side.

There's something about baby's LEFT side (maybe those more familiar with anatomy can explain this). When colicky and crying, I found it easier to start feeding on the right side (so that baby's on his left side). When burping up on the shoulder or putting baby on the back with knees raised to the belly, I find pressing or massaging baby's left side helps get the bubbles out and/or start pooping. Putting to sleep leaning to left side seemed to help too.

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