Parenting & Family

How to Handle a Colicky Baby

Written by Laura Bingham

When you have a baby that suffers with colic, nothing prepares you for how to cope with them and soothe them. The sound of their insistent cries and the inability to relieve their upset is enough to reduce you to tears, especially when you are suffering from sleep-deprivation. Although colic can feel like a never-ending nightmare, there are some ways in which you can help to relieve the symptoms.

  1. Baby massage:

Massage your baby’s tummy throughout the day. Stroke your palm, very gently, over your baby’s tummy in clock-wise motions. This helps to move the build-up of bubbles through the digestive system, and can help to prevent the pain beginning early-evening. You can do this several times throughout the day, and either with lotions or nothing at all.


  1. Bath time:

Although a bath doesn’t relieve colic, it can help provide a distraction to baby. Some mums find that when they put baby in the bath, the different atmosphere and sensations from the water, helps the baby to be distracted and quite often stops the crying. This will give your ears a break for a little while, if nothing else!


  1. Special bottles:

There are various bottles on the market that help to reduce the amount of air that babies take in whilst feeding. Dr Brown’s are very popular choices, although there are others available too. When babies feed, if they gulp down a lot of air, this makes colic worse and so some bottles are designed with special ‘anti colic’, valves which help to remove the amount of air that babies can take in.


  1. Regular winding:

Ensure that your baby is winded regularly whilst feeding–whether breast fed or bottle fed. Regular winding may interrupt their feed, but it helps to slow them down and bring up any air they take in.


  1. Infacol:

Infacol and gripe water are popular choices to give babies, to help their digestion. Some midwives recommend them, others don’t. It is a choice that you can make. Usually they are given to baby using a pipette a few minutes before they feed. Many parents say that they notice a difference after they have used them before feeds, after a few days– so if it doesn’t work immediately, give it a few days.


Colic can seem never ending and can make parents dread early evenings, as this is when the constant crying tends to begin. It doesn’t last forever though and the above ways can help to relieve the symptoms and help you to have less stressful evenings.







About the author

Laura Bingham

A background in psychology and counselling Laura has her own business. She edits and proofreads novels and loves all things book-related. A keen interest in oncology, mental health and self development Laura likes to write in health and wellbeing as well as parenting and family.