Coping With Colic

Baby Colic is a very common problem, apparently 1 out of 5 babies suffer from it during their first few months, but I’d say it might be even more common than that, because few babies never have digestive pain and wind, causing them to cry, draw up their knees or arch their backs, sometimes for long periods of time.

The NHS site tells that ‘Colic is when babies cry a lot but there’s no obvious cause.’  I’m not sure I totally go along with that as a definition (surely there are other reasons babies do this!), but I do know how distressing it is when your baby has colic and you are unable to help them.

Colic often comes around the same time of day – early evening to bed time is a common time, it happens both in breast fed and bottle fed babies and burping your baby religiously after each feed is often the best thing you can do to prevent it.  It is unknown why some baby’s get it and others don’t but some sort of digestive sensitivity is most likely the cause and breast feeding mothers have had success in improving symptoms when they have cut out some things from their diet.  Common culprits are:

  • Dairy
  • Gluten
  • Foods from the onion family
  • Chilli or spicy food

Even though homeopathy is such a gentle medicine, it can be remarkably effective at helping your baby with colic.  To gain any relief, you must choose the remedy which matches your baby’s symptoms as closely as possible.  Here are a few of the most common remedies and their symptoms for you to choose a remedy from:

Colocynthis: Excruciating abdominal pain.  Baby will spasmodically draw up their knees and scream if you try to straighten them.  It is better for warmth, so a warm water bottle across baby’s tummy can sooth them.  They are irritable and might pass wind.  Try this remedy in a low potency (30C or less), every half hour for 3 or 4 doses if necessary.

Chamomilla:  Baby is hypersensitive to pain and very angry or fretful.  They may not want to be touched and scream loudly and become worse as they get hot and red in the face.  Think of this remedy if they are worse after every feed and only carrying them round or driving them round in a car seems to calm them.  Don’t repeat this remedy too much if it doesn’t help after one or two doses which will help if it is the correct remedy.

Nux-vomica: The abdomen may appear hard rather than distended.  They often suffer with constipation and are much better after a bowel movement.  They can become irritable and are easily startled and difficult to get to sleep as they get over stimulated. (Sometimes Nux-vom 6C and Colocynthis 6C alternated every half hour works miracles if the symptoms fit).

Dioscorea:  The baby will throw his head back and arch his back and will stiffen when you cuddle them because they feel better when they straighten up.  Like Chamomilla they like to be held and walked around.  There is often rumbling in the abdomen and hiccoughs or gas with unpleasant stools.

Belladonna:   A distended belly and a hot, flushed baby are good indications for this.  Their pain is relieved when they bend backwards and they are worse for pressure.

Ignatia: This remedy is indicated for baby’s whose mothers are suffering or have suffered from some form of grief or big disappointment.  They will often wake out of sleep with pain.

Mag Phos: This can look like Colocynthisis as baby draws up knees with a sharp, cramping pain.  Passing wind often helps them and warmth definitely brings relief.

Pulsatilla: Colic is accompanied by loud rumbling and gurgling in the tummy and the baby is usually weepy and feels worse in the evening.