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How to Comfort a Baby With Colic

Updated on April 29, 2009

Although about one-third of babies have it, colic in babies remains a mystery to parents and doctors. The main symptom is baby crying at about the same time very day, sometimes for hours. It begins at a few weeks and typically ends at around 3 months of age. But for some parents, those 3 months can seem much longer.

What Causes Colic

There’s no known cause, but the two predominant theories blame colic on either air being ingested, causing gas pains, or stress due to baby’s immature nervous system. No one truly knows for sure, so the best parents can due is try to alleviate both intake of air at feedings and any environmental stress.

Tips For Soothing Colic

  • Needless to say, every baby is different, but to help alleviate any stress that might be causing baby to cry, try some of these tricks until you find one that works for you:
  • Relax yourself, most importantly. Your anxiety will only worsen your baby’s.
  • Try a baby sling. Keeping baby close to mother is sometimes the best remedy.
  • Swaddle. This is a method of creating a likeness to being in the womb that’s worked for centuries. It is essentially wrapping the baby tightly in a blanket. One of my kids loved this and the other couldn’t get out of it quick enough.
  • Rock baby to soothing music. Try classical or other instrumental music. It might sound silly, but baby might recognize and be comforted by a song that you played a lot while he was in the womb
  • Take baby on a car or stroller ride. Sometimes motion, even bumpy, jarring motion seems to be more calming than smooth rocking.
  • Try the butt-pat. With an upward motion, firmly pat baby on her diapered bottom. You might be amazed at the results.
  • Create white noise with a vacuum or fan. Or use one of the best iPhone apps for parents!


For suspected air intake causing gas, try these:


  • First, determine whether a food or milk might be causing baby’s discomfort. It’s sometime suspected that something the mother is ingesting (in breastfed babies), or the type of formula (in bottle-fed babies) could be the culprit.
  • Try gripe water or other colic remedies on the market. There are natural concoctions like Gripe Water to medicinal ones like Mylicon drops.
  • Give baby 2 tsp. of lemon-lime soda through a medicine dropper or spoon. Some parents won’t like the sugar involved with this one, but it’s only 2 teaspoons.
  • Rub baby’s back in a circular motion. If this results in a burp, you may have found your culprit.


Colic in babies doesn’t mean you’re a bad parent. It’s very common, and thankfully usually disappears after a month or so. In the meantime, it just takes some patience and perseverance to determine what will stop your baby’s crying. And remember, even if holding baby in your arms or a sling doesn’t work right away, a baby can never be held too much!


Image Credit: clairity, Flickr


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  • Melody Lagrimas profile image

    Melody Lagrimas 8 years ago from Philippines

    Very informative, thanks for posting this hub.