We are so excited for our little bundles of joy and then BAM! We have a tiny human just crying and crying until we have exhausted adult crying humans! What is colic and what can we do about colic?
Colic is crying for at least 3 hours a day, crying at least 3 days a week and crying for 3 consecutive weeks. It is an intense and inconsolable crying. The medical community does not really know inconclusively what causes colic.
A little about me, I was a young mom. I had a child at 21. She is now 24. I knew nothing about health and wellness. I had a colic baby. I had no idea what to do. I am pretty sure she spent the first year of her life crying. I really wish I had some of this information to just re do so much of what I didn't know then. When I had my second child a little later in life, I had learned so much along the way and had such a different experience with a baby. We now have 3rd child in the home and really what I have learned a long the way benefited him the most- a huge reason I became an herbalist. That story is a totally different blog topic! Maybe another day. :) However, back to colic.
It is always recommended to check with your pediatrician to rule out any potential issues and diagnosis before implementing any other remedies. For our family, we have a really good chiropractor and naturopath that we see.
Thankfully, I have put together some tips to help soothe a colic baby naturally. Rule out baby reflux.
If you are breastfeeding, check with an IBCLC-certified lactation consultant to rule out latching issues, tongue and lip tied and to make sure your baby is getting the hind milk. Follow a clean nursing diet. Foods such as dairy, wheat/gluten, cabbage, broccoli, eggs, onions, beans, soy, citrus, shellfish, corn, white/processed sugar, processed foods, caffeine and spicy foods can be colic triggers. A paleo diet would be great to look into. I have really awesome cookbook called Affordable Paleo Cooking with your Instant Pot. Loading up on a prebiotic and probiotic rich foods, adding in a bone broth 5 days a week is also good to consider. Drinking some fenugreek tea.
What if you are not breast feeding? Then what? I have some tips! I am a label reader. I read everything. I want to know what ingredients are, what is their benefit, why is it in there etc etc. Reading a label on a formula can, whether its is your big brand name or an organic brand was really eye opening to me. For me, this was a more personal issue. I saw a lot of chemicals and things that were not even food or had any nutritional benefit. We were told by the hospital that our 5 year old would never walk or talk. I had done some research and found that in that first year of life you really can do some amazing things to un do something done in utero. I decided to make my own formula for him and be the one in charge of what was going into his body. If you are using formula, I urge you to consider making your own formula. It is really empowering to see how much your little benefits from it. You can always reach out to me for any help. I would love to help with formula making! (I will post the recipe and where to get the ingredients at the end of this blog)
Back to topic, a swaddle blanket - making a baby burrito- and a baby sling are really helpful tools. A white noise machine, some even have a heartbeat sound. Creating some movement, by going outside in a stroller and walking, a baby swing, doing baby exercises such as bicycle legs and baby massage. A really good chiropractor is really key, in my opinion. An amber necklace and a homeopathic product called Camilia. You can try 1/8 of a teaspoon of glutamine powder in some breast milk or formula.
Some herbs beneficial for colic are chamomile, angelica, anise, fennel, marshmallow, bittermelon and catnip. Gripe water- label read on that, quality matters.
A warm bath with Epsom salt, lavender, chamomile, and rose.
Essential herbs can also be beneficial for colic baby. Essential oils such as ginger, fennel, lavender, geranium, and chamomile. Massaged on the babies belly and also diffused is great too.
Those are some of the tips I wish I knew and had resources when my oldest was a very very colic baby. The comfort I could have tried for those miserable times she had. Hindsight, right. I'd love to hear if any of these help or you have any other ideas to add in the comments below.
Before I go, here is the formula recipe I used. I had gotten it off of Dr. Mercola's website. Our chiropractor recommended that for our youngest little.
Homemade baby formula combines nutritionally dense ingredients like raw milk, whey, lactose, probiotics, cream, gelatin healthy oils and more. You are probably wondering where I got most of these ingredients. There is a store online that sells a formula kit. It came with all of the non-perishable items and I would just re order what I needed after my initial purchase of the formula kit. If you do the math, it is actually cheaper to make your own formula. The website I got the formula kit is called: https://radiantlifecatalog.com/nourishing-traditions-kit-for-homemade-baby-formula-domestic-version/ They have a lot of really cool things. I got our glass baby bottles there as well.
Prep Time10 minutes Total Time10 minutes
2 cups whole raw cow’s milk preferably from pasture-fed cows (I got this from Sprouts)
1/4 cup homemade liquid way. Do NOT use powdered whey or whey from making cheese (which will cause the formula to curdle). Use only homemade whey made from yoghurt, kefir or separated raw milk. I will put that recipe below this one. It is super easy to make.
4 tablespoons lactose
1/4 teaspoon bifidobacterium infantis
2 or more tablespoons good quality cream preferably not ultra-pasteurized. (I used raw cream from Sprouts.)
1/2 teaspoon unflavored high-vitamin or high-vitamin fermented cod liver oil or 1 teaspoon regular cod liver oil
1/4 teaspoon high-vitamin butter oil optional. I used Ghee.
1 teaspoon expeller-expressed sunflower oil
1 teaspoon extra virgin olive oil
2 teaspoons unrefined coconut oil
2 teaspoons Frontier brand nutritional yeast flakes
2 teaspoons gelatin
1-7/8 cups filtered water
1/4 teaspoon acerola powder
Put 2 cups filtered water into a pyrex measuring pitcher and remove 2 tablespoons (that will give you 1-7/8 cups water).
Pour about half of the water into a pan and place on a medium flame.
Add the gelatin and lactose to the pan and let dissolve, stirring occasionally.
When the gelatin and lactose are dissolved, remove from heat and add the remaining water to cool the mixture.
Stir in the coconut oil and optional high-vitamin butter oil and stir until melted.
Meanwhile, place remaining ingredients into a blender.
Add the water mixture and blend about three seconds.
Place in glass bottles or a glass jar and refrigerate. (We used glass bottles for baby.)
Before giving to baby, warm bottles by placing in hot water or a bottle warmer. NEVER warm bottles in a microwave oven. (I will not rant about microwaves today ha!)
Homemade Whey Recipe: Makes about 5 cups. Homemade whey is easy to make from good quality plain yoghurt, or from raw or cultured milk. You will need a large strainer that rests over a bowl. If you are using yoghurt, place 2 quarts in a strainer lined with a tea towel set over a bowl. Cover with a plate and leave at room temperature overnight. The whey will drip out into the bowl. Place whey in clean glass jars and store in the refrigerator. If you are using raw or cultured milk, place 2 quarts of the milk in a glass container and leave at room temperature for 2-4 days until the milk separates into curds and whey. Pour into the strainer lined with a tea towel set over a bowl and cover with a plate. Leave at room temperature overnight. The whey will drip out into the bowl. Store in clean glass jars in the refrigerator. (I used the yoghurt for my whey and kept it in a glass mason jar.)