10 Natural Tips for How to Soothe a Colicky Baby

How to soothe a colicky baby

Colic. The word sends shivers down the spine of even the most strong-hearted.

According to the dictionary:

col·ic [kol-ik] noun

  1. paroxysmal pain in the abdomen or bowels
  2. colic, fussy, irritable, colicky, sleepless infant or baby

According to the pediatrician:

“Well, uhhhhh, to be honest, we don’t really know what colic is.”

According to me:

How to soothe a colicky baby How to soothe a colicky baby How to soothe a colicky baby

If your baby cries inconsolably most nights, is in obvious discomfort, and cannot be calmed, there is a strong chance that she has colic. There is also a chance that you are going just a leeeeetle bit crazy and your heart is breaking over your baby’s agony and your own helplessness. The following 10 natural tips on how to soothe a colicky baby might help.

I am not, never was, and never will be a doctor.  Get a diagnosis from a good pediatrician and ask about these treatments before administering them.

10 Natural Tips for How to Soothe a Colicky Baby

How to soothe a colicky babyGive up dairy if you are nursing.  Dairy sensitivities in infants often present as colic.  Don’t give it up for a day and say it didn’t work. It generally takes a couple weeks for it to get out of your system, and even longer for baby to heal if she had any intestinal inflammation from the dairy.


How to soothe a colicky baby

How to soothe a colicky baby

Give up sugar if you are nursing. Sugar aggravates intestinal problems in anybody. Please, please, please don’t ever give a baby sugar water.

How to soothe a colicky babyRub the baby’s stomach with a little warm olive oil.  The heat, oil, and massage work together to soothe the stomach.


How to soothe a colicky babyPut a warm towel on the baby’s tummy. Alternatively, lay the baby down with her tummy on a warm water bottle, a blanket between baby and the water bottle. Test the temperature with the most sensitive part of your inner arm, and supervise the baby the entire time. Never use a heating pad, since the risk of burning the baby is too high.


How to soothe a colicky babyLay the baby down on your stomach, chest, or lap and rub her back gently.  Optionally, carry her so her stomach is across your arm.  Sometimes pressure on the stomach helps, but other times it makes it worse, so follow the baby’s cues.


How to soothe a colicky babyDrink chamomile tea if you are nursing.  If you are not nursing, give baby an ounce or two of weakened tea. Others have tried catnip tea. Ask your doctor before administering tea to a baby.


How to soothe a colicky babyPour boiling water over anise, fennel, or cumin seeds or a couple peppermint leaves. Let it steep for 10-15 minutes. Strain, cool, and give some to baby in a bottle. Consult a pediatrician.


How to soothe a colicky babyGive up foods that often cause digestive problems, such as spicy food, caffeine, soy, and chocolate. You may need to get more extreme down the road if this does not help, giving up common allergens such as gluten, eggs, corn, citrus, and nuts.


How to soothe a colicky babyAdd dairy-free probiotics, foods high in probiotics, and foods that help with digestion to your own diet if you are nursing. The baby will reap the benefits. Some people say to give baby a small bit of powdered probiotics, but you should discuss any supplement with your baby’s pediatrician.


How to soothe a colicky babyHow to soothe a colicky baby

How to soothe a colicky babyBoil an onion in water. Cool. Give the baby about a teaspoon in a bottle if your doctor says it’s okay.


During my research on how to soothe a colicky baby, I met a beautiful lady in her 80s out in California with a great colic anecdote (and antidote). Her doctor told her to insert a thermometer into the baby’s bottom (obviously not the forehead scanning type) and move it gently to one side. The gas will shoot out like a bat out of a colicky baby’s bottom and the baby will feel relief. (Ask your doctor!) I haven’t tried it.

What I liked best about meeting this lady were these words: “My daughter’s 60 now and we both survived the colic just fine.”

Music to a mama’s heart.

(By the way, while the screaming baby in the pictures did have colic, these tears were from her favorite team losing the championship game. Heartbreaker.)

What are your natural tips for how to soothe a colicky baby?

Have I mentioned that I am not a doctor and that you should talk to someone who is?  Well, I’m not, and you should.

Just a reminder, you can get a FREE nursing cover-up here.

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13 thoughts on “10 Natural Tips for How to Soothe a Colicky Baby”

  1. I have done the rocking the baby face down on my arm, to put pressure on their bellies. I have also laid baby on her back and bent their legs at the knee pushing against their feet toward their body. That also puts pressure on their belly and cause them to release gas nicely. Other than that, one just needs to keep breastfeeding the baby and waiting for baby’s intestine to mature. 🙂 Again, consult your doctor. Don’t take my word for it! I am NO physician!!!

  2. My daughter is 18 years old, but when she was tiny and colicky, my mom told me to eat lots of onions since I was breastfeeding. Worked like a charm. I have also heard that gripewater works – found in health food stores.

  3. Just read this and found myself nodding to almost everything. Our now 2 1/2 year old daughter had TERRIBLE acid reflux. She wasn’t a screamer (thank the Lord) but she just couldn’t get comfortable to sleep – ever. She had to be held all the time. Anyway, when she was about seven months old I took her to a natural chiropractor and he had me go off gluten, dairy, sugar, beans, lentils, peas….basically everything but sticks and twigs 🙂 BUT it worked great and I found I felt a million times better myself. I’m currently 27 weeks pregnant with our second and definitely scared that this baby won’t sleep, but I’m going to be cutting all those things out (I basically still do anyway) so if the baby doesn’t sleep it’s not because of what I’m eating! 🙂

  4. I have two son’s, 5 and 2 years old. First had colic for the first 3 months of his life before we discovered Colic Calm Gripe water. Only other thing that would bring relief was warm bath with the warm water running over is belly(used baby tub that fits in kitchen sink). After four months, the colic disappeared. With our second son, we already stocked up on the Gripe water (just in case). He did great his first two weeks, and then it began! 🙁 I immediately removed dairy from my diet(breastfeeding), and gave him GW each time the colic started in which was usually twice a day(mid-am and early evening). For us, the GW worked within 15 minutes.

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