Is it true? Can there really be a colic remedy?
Having heard stories from my friends whose new babies have struggled with colic, the idea of a remedy must come as a welcome relief, a breath of fresh air, and a glimpse of possible rest for your family.
Colic occurs on many varying levels of severity being caused by spasms of new intestines or gas trapped within the intestines. My babies never experienced what I would consider a severe case of colic, and yet we did meet some early digestive challenges that caused them discomfort, and found herbal remedies that worked for us.
My favorite colic remedy is catnip fennel tea.
Prepare this brew by pouring 1 cup of boiling water over 2 teaspoons of dried catnip leaves and 1 teaspoon of fennel.
Let it steep for 15 minutes.
Drink this brew right before nursing to pass the benefits on to the baby or give it by dropper or bottle directly to your baby.
With Hailey, I would make an even stronger brew, putting a handful of catnip and a tablespoon of fennel in about 4 cups of water and simmering for 20 minutes. I would give her one dropper full at a time, every half hour until the discomfort eased. It worked beautifully. Please choose a strength and dosage that feels comfortable for you in your situation.
Other aromatic seeds like dill, anise, and cumin can also be used to create a colic remedy seed tea. Simply pour the cup of boiling water over one teaspoon of any one or combination of seeds and steep for 15 minutes. Pass it through the breast milk or give it directly to your baby as recommended above. The seed tea offers antispasmodic and carminative effects that will help relieve the colic.
Another possibility for a colic remedy is a preparing a slippery elm gruel.
To make it, mix a liquid sweetener (like maple syrup – definitely NOT HONEY since honey should never be given to a baby under one year of age because botulism could result) with slippery elm powder until it is all wet. Add hot milk or water until porridge results. Give one or more servings to help quiet the intestines.
Tips to help prevent colic
All of these colic home remedies help with digestion to relieve the discomfort of colic, and there are also many things you can do to help prevent colic.
Some of these things include giving small, frequent feedings and soothing your baby with skin-to-skin contact during feedings. Also feeding your baby is a calm, safe place can help digestion flow more easily.
If you are breastfeeding you can also avoid gas-producing foods like the brassicas including broccoli, kale, and cabbage as well as onions and garlic.
I usually recommend mothers go easy on the beans and spicy foods during the early nursing days as well. Other foods like chocolate, peanuts, sugar, and white flour can slow intestinal activity and lead to colic so you can try cutting these out. Also limit your intake of food laxatives (like prune juice) as they may distress the baby’s intestines.
My hope is that these suggestions and home colic remedies help you to feel empowered and give you some strategies to work with your baby in natural ways to ease her discomfort and help you all to get some rest.