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Comforting the Colicky Baby

Updated: May 5

Comforting the Colicky Baby

Chances are you've tried comforting a colicky baby and are at a complete loss. Perhaps you're pregnant and want to be prepared just in case. Well, I don't know how else to say this so I will just say it. There is really isn't much that can prepare you for the crazy that is colic, but we've put together a list to help you learn some tips for comforting the colicky baby.

Colicky is a term used to describe very fussy babies.

Colic is one of the mystery ailments. To date here's what we know. The term is used when any healthy, well-fed infant that cries for more than 3 hours a day, more than 3 days a week, for more than 3 weeks. It's most likely to start around 2 weeks of age for full-term babies. There is nothing parents do to cause it, it goes away on its own by about 3 to 4 months of age, and has no lasting effects on children. Colic most often happens in the evening hours so it's helpful to prepare for evenings dedicated to comforting your baby. Freezer meals, extra hands, and no other dedicated tasks during the evening time may be best.

Comforting the colicky baby is tricky.

If your baby is colicky it can wreak havoc on your life. It impacts you and everyone close to you, your relationships with others, sleep, and it can be extremely difficult to establish and continue breastfeeding. It can leave parents with feelings of doubt, guilt, and resentment at times. If your baby has colic it's not a reflection on you as a parent. To comfort someone doesn't mean you'll fix the problem. Like most things in life, comfort often means something different than fixing what is "broken". Comforting the colicky baby is difficult!

7 Ways to Comfort a Baby With Colic:


Babywearing allows you to keep your baby close to you and is the most comforting place for a newborn. During the fourth trimester, especially the first 6 weeks following birth, wearing your baby skin to skin is like home to your newborn. Skin to skin is the closest you can get them to being back in the womb. Your heartbeat, scent, motion, and warmth are all safe and familiar to your newborn. In addition, your baby won't startle (the Moro Reflex) while being worn. If your baby doesn't take to being worn right away give it some time it's a new experience for baby and quite possibly for you too!

Go Out

Being outside is just good for the soul. The sounds are different, the air is different, and it's just comforting for babies! Newborns usually take to the outdoors right away. Whether it's a gentle sway under the night stars or a walk up and down the driveway in the morning breeze each is a change of pace from the indoor norm. If you're worried about the neighbors hearing the baby cry, don't fret. Many people hear those cries and their heart's aches because they've been right where you are. For those who don't "get it" I have two words, screw 'em!

H2O + 1 or +2

A nice warm bath can be comforting to anyone, your baby is no exception. If you find that a warm bath is just what your little one needed next time try a warm soak with your little one! Warm water is relaxing, why not enjoy this time with your baby!


The gentle back and forth motion from an infant swing can help with comforting the colicky baby or a baby with reflux. Be sure baby isn't lying flat and set it on low. Many babies love to swing! Bonus if you can set your swing up outside and relax with the baby for a few minutes.

Hire a "Best Friend"

This is more than just fussiness at dusk. I make no jokes about it, it's hard. If you can hire help for the hours that are the worst of the worst. Walk away, shower, nap, and know that your baby is safe and in excellent hands. Not only does it help you directly, but your baby senses your frustration, sadness, and exhaustion through these hours too! Hiring a postpartum and infant care specialist, an expert in babies, is a sweet gift to your baby- and is like a best friend to you!

All the Baby Farts

Gas is uncomfortable and babies don't know how to actively engage the muscles needed to pass gas on demand! Some babies are efficient farters, others not so much. I keep saying I need to make a video on how to remove gas effectively in infants... I should probably get on that! You can massage and do bicycles with your babies knees to tummy to help them. If you need additional help with getting your baby to pass all the gas they make a product called the Windi. While we're already on this topic, a baby who is experiencing painful gas will hurt more with a tight diaper fit.

Invest in a Good Probiotic

Good gut bacteria is important for all of us! Healthy amounts of good bacteria in our guts help to keep bad bacteria in check! When babies are born, they need to develop their own gut bacteria for good digestion. This is done in a number of ways, one is by breastfeeding, the other is supplementation. There are specially made probiotics for infants, but be sure to check with your pediatrician before giving your baby anything! Give it some time to work, at minimum two weeks time.

A Few Final Thoughts

Give Baby a Once Over

If this is new behavior, or even if it isn't, sometimes just giving the baby a once over will help you identify something new that's going on. Undress your baby give them a good once over to be sure nothing is physically wrong. Check their temperature, adjust clothing first if they are too warm or too cold, re-check in 20 minutes. Check their diaper and look for any signs of sensitivity or redness in the diaper area, apply cream if needed, check their mouths, check their toes and rolls (yes neck, elbow, and leg rolls) for loose hair or strings wrapped around them that could be cutting off circulation.

See an I.B.C.L.C.

If you're breastfeeding and think your baby has colic, reflux, or both I urge you to see a skilled International Board Certified Lactation Consultant. The nurse at the hospital is great, your best friend who nursed three babies is amazing, and that lactation counselor is sweet, but there is absolutely no replacement for an amazing IBCLC. You would be amazed at what they can spot sometimes! Having insight from a person whose knowledge on breastfeeding far exceeds that of your pediatrician is worth so much more than the fee they charge to evaluate you and your baby. In Jax, FL contact Chrissy or Lori by calling 707-MILK and let them know The Jax Baby Company sent you!

Comforting the colicky baby is no easy task! Hang in there moms and dads, ask for help, accept help, and extend grace to yourself. You're doing the best you can! We can't always take our babies pains away, and that hurts, but we can be there to comfort them!

~Happy Birth and Parenting


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