What is the Best Way to Calm Down a Fussy or Colicky Baby? | by Robert Gin, MD

Calm Down a Fussy or Colicky Baby

Posted on Fri, Nov 9, 2012

Robert Gin, MD Littleton Pediatric Medical Center Highlands Ranch, Colorado

Robert Gin, MD Littleton Pediatric Medical Center Highlands Ranch

Robert Gin, MD

Around 20% of all babies develop a degree of colic or fussiness at 3 weeks of age. Symptoms include long term screaming, crying inconsolably, pulling up or extending the legs and passing gas. This is obviously hard on the baby and parents, but there are a few things that can help.

If a baby has pure colic, provide white noise to simulate time back in the womb. It sounds similar to the mother’s rushing blood flow and is calming.

Some breast fed babies can become irritated by foods in the mother’s diet, so eliminate caffeine, spicy foods, dairy or gassy foods such as beans, onions or cabbage. Also thoroughly burp a baby after feeding because some colic is caused by gas or non acid gastroesophageal reflux. If gas is left over after burping, hold the baby at a 30 degree angle for up to 20-30 minutes to help it release. Also be careful of over feeding – wait at least two to three hours in between.

Swaddling a baby in a large thin blanket, walking with or gently rocking them and talking in a soothing voice also helps. Use a pacifier only if the baby is a non-aggressive sucker.




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