Colic can affect any baby, but physicians will refer to the “Rule of 3” as a definition. That is, the infant cries for more than three hours a day more than three days a week for a minimum duration of three weeks. While about 20-25% of babies meet this criteria, some experts believe that all babies have some degree of colic. You don't want their tears to get in the way of their diet. As a parent, the way you feed your baby can help reduce colic or colic-like symptoms.
Breast milk is the best food for your baby, but sometimes it is what the mother eats that passes through the milk and aggravates the baby. For example, some babies are allergic to milk protein. That passes through breast milk. One way to be sure that your little one is allergic, your pediatrician can check your baby's stool.
Your baby can have the same issue regarding milk allergy with baby formula. While some parents may want to switch to soy-based formula, your baby may also have an allergy to those proteins as well. Doctors will recommend a hydrolyzed formula where the proteins are broken down even further. Hipp has a Special Comfort formula with reduced lactose for easier digestion.
Some parents sense that a baby's cries are due to hunger. This can lead to overfeeding which can make the symptoms and crying worse. Another issue is feeding too quickly. Nursing babies can typically regulate the flow of milk themselves, but parents who offer baby formula should consider a slower nipple for the bottle.
Colicky babies are already crying a great deal and swallowing air. This can lead to gas and more crying. When feeding your baby, you want to find a position that is comfortable for you and your baby. However, it is important to make sure that your baby is sitting up. This will reduce the potential for gas as well as acid reflux. When you cradle your baby, be sure that the head is higher than the stomach. A pillow can make both of you comfortable while maintaining the proper position.
Remember all of the chances for swallowing too much air in either crying or feeding? You also need to make sure that you are burping your baby enough either in between ounces or at the end of the feeding.
There is no cure for colic, but there are a number of ways that can ease your baby's crying. How you are feeding your baby is just one way until your baby is out of the colicky stage, which is about 3 months old.
Revised and reposted from May 2018