You don’t need to rush out and buy expensive books or medication at the first sign of colic in your baby. There are some simple measures you can take first. However, if colic pains persist in the baby, seek advice from a baby clinic or physician.
Colic is a broad term that is used to describe unhappy babies. It is not a specific medical condition – the symptoms of colic may be due to trapped intestinal wind and gas, muscle spasms or neurological pain.
If a baby has more than 3 of the symptoms below (in the same hour) it probably means the baby has so-called colic:
cramping, refluxing, moaning, restless sleep, clenched fists, grunting, pushing, fretfulness, crying spells, wailing, bloating, groaning, arching, evening, fussiness, greenish stools.
If your baby is under two years old you should avoid feeding with any kind of milk except human breast milk or infant formula milk. In particular, do not give the baby goat’s milk or cow’s milk. Also, do not give the baby soy milk, rice milk, or any other kind of non-dairy milk, unless it is specifically formulated as infant formula.
Soy milk is fine in moderation for children and adults, but not for babies under two. Regarding soy infant formula, some reports say that it may affect children’s sexual development and fertility as adults if they are given soy formula during their first few months of life. Therefore do your utmost to give your baby breast milk only in the first few months of life. From six months onwards, if breast milk can no longer be given, soy milk in moderation is not known to be harmful.
You basically have a choice between soy formula or dairy milk formula. There is no evidence that soy infant formula is more likely or less likely to cause colic compared to formulas that contain whey or casein. Note that some infant formulas may contain a mix of soy and whey protein.
To relieve your baby of colic learn how to use special baby-holding positions and stretching techniques designed to give the baby relief. Such information is widely available from maternity wards, baby clinics, and other sources such as the Citizens Advice Bureau, a public library, or by searching on internet.
The main objective of giving the baby stretching and holding exercises is to alleviate gas and reposition intestines. This also relieves pressure on the diaphragm and lumbar spine. Be gentle with the baby whatever you do, and hold the baby safely with plenty of pillow support.