Colicky babies, for some reason, like their tummies supported. When sitting down, place your infant along your forearm, face down, cradling the head in one hand. This takes practice to perfect the technique.
· Slings are invaluable when your baby is crying inconsolably. Just being nestled against your warm chest is comforting, as is your heartbeat.
· Place your infant in a mechanical baby swing. For some reason, the continual and steady back-and-forth motion has calmed many distressed babies.
· Run the vacuum cleaner. The sound is like a lullaby to the ears of some colicky infants. Sometimes, colicky babies respond to the sound of a tumble drier.
· Cut down external stimuli. Sometimes, the more you try to calm a colicky baby, the more he seems to cry. This might be because the baby’s nervous system is too immature to handle any noise. Just hold her in your arms and avoid making any noises or eye contact, which is a form of stimulation.
· Do not pat your baby’s back when burping her as this can irritate an already-inflamed area. Gently rub in circular motions on the left side of back, or rub upwards with baby’s arm straight over your shoulder.
· Burping your infant several times during feeding will help minimise gastric pressure, and the reflux it can cause.
· Look at the feeding technique and ensure the teat is not too free-flowing — I recommend medium flow. If he has taken a good feed and is still fussy, use a dummy to calm him rather than feed again, which will only make him more distressed.
Always consult your GP if crying is persistent, your infant is refusing to take bottles, has a fever, or if you’re too stressed to cope.
Frank Kelleher D.O., R.N.M.H., Cranial Osteopath at Elmwood Lodge, Frankfield, Douglas, Cork.
Tel: 021 4364750