Natural Colic Remedies for Babies

Jun 22, 2017

Colic in babies in generally defined as periods of distress and crying in a baby, usually beginning at about 2-3 weeks, lasting at least 3 hours a day, for at least 3 days a week, for at least three weeks. It often subsides at around 3 months. Parents are often told to wait it out, but there are natural remedies that often give relief to colicy babies and the parents who are suffering along side their newborns!

Home remedies for colic in newborns include gripe water, special herbal teas, changes in feeding practices, and changes in diet for a breastfeeding mom.

Gripe Water for Babies with Colic

Gripe Water is a natural supplement commonly used for babies with colic. The active ingredients of gripe water (usually ginger, fennel, and sodium bicarbonate) are each old fashioned folk treatments for digestive problems.

Tea for Colicky Babies

There are a variety of herbs, prepared as a tea, that are used for newborn colic. Chamomile, catnip, and fennel are all gentle and soothing to the digestive system. Feeding the baby an ounce of tea of one of those three a few times a day is very helpful to some babies. Breastfeeding mothers will need to be careful not to give the babies so much tea that the baby nurses less, as that can compromise the milk supply. These teas are mild and do not need to be sweetened. (And remember to never sweeten anything with honey for a baby under a year!)

Aloe for Colic

Aloe is soothing to the digestive tract. An eyedropper (about 1/4 teaspoon) of aloe juice several times a day may be just enough to help the baby to feel better.

Feeding Changes for Babies with Colic

Formula fed babies may do better on a different formula. Sometimes even a different type of baby bottle or feeding position is helpful for colicky babies. Glass bottles are best as they are easier to keep clean and bacteria free. It is important to make sure the baby is not sucking in air during feeding time. 
For a breastfeeding baby, it is important not to overfeed the baby. Some babies are happy to nurse for comfort and end up overful. One help for this is to keep the baby on one breast for a 2 hour period and then switch. If a baby goes back and forth from breast to breast in a short period of time, he is only getting the foremilk, which is lower in fat. This can also cause diarrhea. Keeping the baby to one side for a couple of hours will ensure that he gets the fatty hind milk that he needs, and reduce the risk of tummy upset.

Breastfeeding moms may also need to modify their diets. Certain foods can cause gassiness and colic in babies. Dairy, eggs, onions, garlic and broccoli are some foods to consider eliminating temporarily to see if the colic eases up. Moms can also take a probiotic or digestive enzyme with meals and see if that helps.

Breast and bottle fed babies should always be gently burped after a feeding. Some babies do well to NOT be flat on their backs right after a meal, just like adults. Moms can rock babies, carry them in a sling or baby carrier, or put them in an infant seat that allows them to recline and not be flat on their backs. (But do be careful not to over use an infant seat. Babies that spend too much time in an infant seat, combined with back sleeping, are at risk of a flat spot on the back of the head (Deformational Plagiocephaly.))

Coping with a Fussy Baby

It can be overwhelming to deal with a fussy baby for hours on end. If a friend or family member offers to come and help rock the baby during his fussy time, by all means let them! Some babies do well with a change of scenery during fussy times, and this is good for parents, too. A drive, a walk outside, or even walking around an indoor mall all may be a good distraction for both. Parents might do well to have a cup of chamomile tea, too. A warm bath with a drop of lavender may calm a mother's nerves, if she has been rocking a fussy baby for hours.

Please read on to see what Earth Clinic readers have found helpful for colic.

If you have a remedy for fussy babies, please be sure to share it with us!



Dietary Changes  

Posted by Daffodil (Seattle, Wa) on 01/04/2017

If breastfeeding a colicky baby, DONT DRINK DIET SODA!! Apparently some babies cannot break down the amino acids that form the artificial sweeteners. Once I stopped drinking diet sodas, my baby's unexplained crying stopped.


Fennel and Cumin Tea  

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Posted by Amanda336 (Ny) on 01/23/2016
5 out of 5 stars

I am a mom of two bright kids and one of them is breastfeeding. Danial is now 18 months old and had extreme colic symptoms since his first month. He used to cry all the night and it was driving me crazy. I tried burping him, swaddling, giving him Karo syrup, gas drops etc...

The above-mentioned remedies were working just for a few hours or days and again the problem was same. Our pediatrician suggested Zantac, changed his formula from my breastfeeding but nothing.

I decided to go for different forums and put my question on different moms forums and got different suggestions and chose one common advice that I haven't tried yet.

It was a natural tea blend of fennel and cumin. I decided to give it a try and in my astonishment, my baby started soothing just after the first dosage. The tea manufacturer claims that it's an organic tea and after seeing the ingredients I was also convinced that cumin and fennel won't give any harm to my newborn.

I used this tea and got rid of colic in my baby. The tea is not only for dealing with colic but it also copes with constipation, acid reflux, and other tummy troubles in newborns that are most common in babies all over the world.

Replied by Linda
Finleyville, PA
07/26/2016

Where would I find this?

Replied by Mama To Many
Tennessee
07/26/2016

Dear Linda,

I am not finding a pre-made blend of fennel and cumin, but you could make your own.

You can use fennel and cumin from the grocery store or health food store.

  • 1/8 teaspoon fennel
  • 1/8 teaspoon cumin
  • 2 ounces boiling water

Pour the water over the fennel and cumin and allow to steep for 15 minutes.

Strain out the fennel and cumin with a coffee filter.

I would give 1-2 Tablespoons of the (warm, not hot) tea at a time (even a teaspoon would be enough for a small baby) several times a day. The tea does not need to be sweetened and most sweeteners are not recommended for babies, especially honey. Make this fresh each day.

~Mama to Many~

Replied by Sherrill
Axton, Va
06/22/2017

Hello,

How did you prepare the tea?