So, your baby has colic?
Let me guess…
You’re worried sick.
No one’s sleeping - not you, not your little one.
You’re trying to form a special bond, but you feel like nothing you’re doing is right.
You’ve been searching for answers.
There are tears… lots of tears… baby tears & adult tears.
First, lots of hugs and positive vibes are headed your way.
I’ve been there.
SO MANY NIGHTS. And days.
My two baby girls both had severe colic. And I’ve made it my mission to share all we learned on our journey to help families along theirs. Colic can be confusing, lonely, and frustrating. No matter how you’re feeling…
You’ve come to the right place.
We have the best tips to help with colic relief and help support both you and your little angel along your journey.
If you already know your baby has colic, you can skip the next section. Scroll right down to 10 Ways to Help Soothe Your Colicky Baby for some golden tips.
If you’re not sure your little one has colic, here are a few general signs to look for. Also, consult with your pediatrician.
How Do I Know if My Baby Has Colic?
First things first, you might be wondering how to tell the difference between “normal” baby cries and colicky baby cries. While colic is not a disease or a specific diagnosis, it is defined as “frequent, prolonged, and intense crying or fussiness in a healthy infant.”1 This crying is usually different from other baby cries and may include:
Louder than normal cries
A bright red face
Colic cries are also generally determined to be “colic” when it meets the “3” criteria:
Cries that last more than 3 hours a day
Crying that happens at least 3 times a week
Episodes last for 3 or more weeks
If you’ve checked off all these criteria, and your little one is crying excessively for (seemingly) no reason, chances are that your baby has colic. Make sure to check in with your pediatrician to get support and confirmation.
So now, you’re looking for answers. How can you help your colicky baby?
Let’s get this parent party started with the Top Ten ways to help provide some colic relief for you and your baby.
10 Ways to Help Soothe Your Colicky Baby
1. Use the ByeByeCry™ Baby Sound Machine for Colic
This is our #1 pick for the best way to soothe your colicky baby. And there’s no doubt about why – these sounds are what got us through colic with both of our babies.
Babies crave a calm environment. So when you hear the sounds “chainsaw” and “lawnmower”, that may sound like the opposite. But for a colicky baby, these sounds can help distract from their crying. They form a consistent white noise that is just right to soothe their fussy cries.
2. Ask Your Pediatrician About Hypoallergenic Formula
A game-changer for us was when we started using hypoallergenic formula. This is cow’s milk formula that consists of broken-down proteins so that it’s easier for the baby to digest them. The liquid formula is ready to feed, so there’s no mixing/bubbles. This is better for a baby’s gassy belly.
Lots of babies have a sensitivity to milk, which is a reason that this can be a good option.
Since there’s no definitive cure for colic, it can feel frustrating not to have an immediate solution. Believe me – I was in your shoes.
It’s helpful to be able to talk to the doctor about what’s working and what isn’t. They can check to see if there is any other reason (e.g., food sensitivities) that your baby is upset. Please note, this is not medical advice. Please consult with a medical professional for all healthcare decisions.
3. Find the Nearest Children’s Hospital With a GI Specialist
You’ve consulted with your pediatrician about colic. A gastroenterologist, or a GI specialist, can also provide support for you and your little one.
Many colicky babies tend to have digestive issues. This may appear in the form of physical symptoms of discomfort. During or after a feeding, your baby may have gas or reflux. Bringing your baby to a GI specialist may help to shine some light on their colic and how best to proceed.
If you’re not sure how to connect with a GI specialist near you, ask your pediatrician for a referral.
4. Go for a Drive or Stroll if You’re Too Tired to Drive
The vibrating motion of a car seems to work wonders for fussy babies. When we were in the thick of colic, my husband would wake up in the middle of the night and drive our little one around until she fell asleep.
I had exhausted – and was exhausted – all my other options. I’d been walking around the house for hours with no end to the colicky cries in sight. My wonderful husband would then drive in circles in the local school parking lot and on roads with fewer stoplights to keep the motion consistent.
And if you’re dealing with colic at home, fresh air can shift the mood and clear the mind. Strolling the baby around the neighborhood on a sidewalk or a less finished surface is a great way to add some motion to the stroll.
5. Keep Your Baby Upright for 15-20 Minutes After Feeding
Holding them in a safe position, allow your baby to remain upright for approximately 15-20 minutes after a feeding. This will allow the milk to continue traveling through the baby’s developing digestive system and help gravity do its job.
Whether you’re bottle feeding or breastfeeding, burping your baby is always an important part of the feeding process. Burping your baby can help relieve discomfort and clear out excess gas from their body.
After a feeding, you can also place the baby in an upright baby bouncer, like the Baby Delight Alpine Organic Deluxe Portable Bouncer. Again, some babies love the motion of a vibrating bouncer and others prefer to be held – do what works best for you. Never leave a baby unattended.
6. Try Anti-Colic Baby Bottles
This was another lifesaver for our family. Anti-colic bottles help with the airflow as your baby is drinking. Gas discomfort and gas bubbles are common with a colicky baby. Having a tool to use during feedings can provide relief.
We used Dr. Brown’s anti-colic bottles. Depending on the brand, some bottles have different pieces or inserts to help lessen the amount of air swallowed by the baby. That means a few more pieces to clean every day, but it’s worth it! When a baby has colic, you have to pull out all the stops!
7. Swaddle and Carry Your Baby
You learned how to do it in your birth class. You finally found your groove with the wrap-and-tuck method. Or maybe you’ve got one of those handy dandy velcro swaddles (my fave!). Now, put your practice to the test… many times a day.
Our babies are used to being safe and sound, tucked in a dark and protected womb. That’s why swaddling feels so comforting to them and can also help them feel calm outside in the world.
Baby carriers and wraps are a great way to keep your little one close to your body. They can feel your heartbeat and breath next to their own.
Each baby is unique, so they might prefer a specific swaddle or prefer to not be swaddled at all. Try out what fits best for you and your baby. You’ll find your groove!
8. Gently Bicycle Your Baby’s Legs
This method can work wonders for colicky babies, as well as normal fussy babies who are bloated or gassy. To start, lay your baby on his or her back and gently pedal the legs as if riding a bike. Moving the legs up toward their belly and extending them can help to relieve gas.
Remember to do this exercise gently. If a baby is experiencing colic, they’ll most likely be tense and/or resisting. It can help to bicycle their legs for a bit when they are super tense and need to pass gas. Here’s a helpful video of the method.
For a helpful way to hold the baby that can help stop colicky cries, check out this video. Tip – take turns holding the baby because your arms may get tired in this position!
9. Ask About Probiotic Drops
Another thing to ask your doctor about is probiotic drops. These drops are aimed at supporting your baby’s overall gut health and good bacteria. They can help relieve gas, reflux, constipation, and more.
Probiotic drops can be given in a bottle, on a mother’s nipple during breastfeeding, or directly into a baby’s mouth. Read through the directions for each set of drops to determine the best way to administer them.
10. Ask Your Doctor About the Possibility of Tongue-Tie
Tongue-tie refers to a condition that happens at birth where a baby’s tongue has a limited range of motion. This is due to a thick piece of tissue underneath the tongue. A baby’s tongue-tie can cause discomfort and reduce the baby’s intake of breast milk or formula.
Tongue-tie can be related to colic and symptoms can even overlap. The baby may have more air intake during feeding, causing reflux and fussiness. Because of the limited range of motion of the baby’s tongue, they may also struggle to take in enough nutrients during a feeding. This can leave them feeling hungry and upset.
Most pediatricians check for tongue-tie at early newborn checkups. If your baby has developed colic, be sure to check back in with the doctor regarding the possibility of tongue-tie.
11. Get Help & Take Breaks
Colic can be overwhelming. Here are a few things to remember and ways to get help:
Never shake the baby. Read here for information on Shaken Baby Syndrome(3).
Call the National Maternal Mental Health Hotline at 1-833-943-5746 (1-833-9-HELP4MOMS)
Join mommy colic support groups on Facebook.
Ask other moms who have been through colic for support.
Taking breaks by leaning on your support system is crucial. If you can – with your partner, a grandparent, or a babysitter – take a breather, even if for 10 minutes. If you are alone and frustrated, you can put the baby in the crib on their back – with no blankets or anything inside the crib – and set a 10 minute timer on your phone. Walk away, breathe, and regain your composure. This solution is best if you are worried about shaking your baby. Whatever you do, do not shake your baby. If you do not have the support you need at home, please consult with your pediatrician and OBGYN.
We recognize that many parents are going through this journey alone. We see you. Especially with a colicky baby, the day can feel long. The ByeByeCry™ sound machine can offer much-needed help by calming your little one. While they lay in their crib listening to one of the custom-recorded sounds, you can breathe for a moment.
Conquer Colic With the ByeByeCry™ Sound Machine
When our first sweet baby girl had severe colic, my husband and I were at a total loss for how to soothe her.
She’d cry all day and all night.
Her little face would turn bright red.
We could tell she was so uncomfortable.
We were new parents dreaming of our firstborn sleeping peacefully.
Instead, it was a nightmare – our little angel needed our help and we felt helpless.
We developed the ByeByeCry™ Portable Baby Sound Machine For Colic so that parents who were going through exactly what we went through could finally have the help we so wished for.
The good news? We can totally relate to what you’re going through because of our own experiences. We have tons of tips and tricks to add to your toolkit to help soothe your baby.
The great news? Colic doesn’t last forever. And now you have the whole ByeByeCry™ community to support you. We’ve been in your shoes, and now we’re here to walk this journey with you.
1. Mayo Clinic Staff. “Colic.” https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/colic/symptoms-causes/syc-20371074 , Accessed 24 November 2022.
2. Brennan, Dan. “What Is the Baby Witching Hour?” https://www.webmd.com/baby/what-is-the-baby-witching-hour, Accessed 25 November 2022.
3. Mayo Clinic. “Shaken baby syndrome.” https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/shaken-baby-syndrome/symptoms-causes/syc-20366619, Accessed 28 November 2022.