About the Illness

Colic is a common problem in newborn babies. It shows itself as repeated, inconsolable crying in a healthy and well-fed infant. It usually begins at about 2-3 weeks of age, is at its worst at 6 weeks of age and then gradually improves and finally resolves on its own by 3-4 months. These episodes of crying tend to occur more frequently in the evening.

Common Symptoms

Sudden onset of screaming and crying that can last more than 2-3 hours at a time; baby may seem to be in pain and is difficult to console; while crying, baby will usually pass a lot of gas, draw up its legs and the abdomen may seem hard or distended; most babies with colic have one or two episodes of this type of crying each day. In between these episodes the baby usually acts normally.

Important Information

If the symptoms continue after 3 days of treatment, seek professional help.

Herbal Therapy

Try one of the following remedies to relieve the baby’s discomfort and distress.

Sodom Apple Root Extract good for baby

Crush 1 small root and mix it in 1/4 glass of cold water.
Feed baby 1 tsp 2x daily.

Vernonia amygdalina Leaf Infusion good for baby

Crush 2 leaves and soak in 1/2 glass warm water.
Feed baby 1 tsp 3x daily.

Toddalia asiatica Roots good for baby

Dry and peel the bark of the roots, then crush to powder form and mix 1/2 tsp in 1 cup of tea or porridge.

You can also try to relieve the baby’s distress by massaging and bathing:

Fuerstia africana Bath good for baby

Boil a handful of leaves until the liquid turns red.
Allow to cool until it is lukewarm, then bathe the baby and gently massage its stomach.
Bath and Massage Add Eyamakakha (soap) or any detergent-free soap to a basin of warm water and make a foam of bubbles.
Put the baby in the basin and gently massage its abdomen.
Then take a TINY piece of soap and insert in the anus.

Food and Nutrition Advice

There is no clear understanding of what actually causes colic; however there are 3 possible situations that may result in fussiness or colic in breastfed babies that are otherwise healthy and gaining weight adequately.

  • Too much sugar in the milk: Breast milk changes during feeding and the amount of fat in the milk increases as the baby nurses longer at the breast. If you switch breasts before your baby is ready, the milk is likely to have a high level of sugar which your baby may not be able to digest. This will cause discomfort. To prevent this, breastfeed at one breast until baby comes off on its own.
  • Drinking too quickly: A baby who gets too much milk too quickly may become very fussy and irritable at the breast. To prevent this, it helps to slow down the rate at which the baby drinks its milk. One way to do this is to feed the baby as soon as it shows signs of hunger and not wait until it is ravenous. It also helps to feed your baby in as calm and relaxed an atmosphere as possible.
  • Reactions to the content of the mother’s milk: Try to identify foods that you are eating and which could be causing irritability to the baby. These can include caffeine, cow’s milk, chillies etc. The best idea is to eliminate suspicious foods from your diet and see whether this has any effect on your baby’s colic.

If so, avoid this food until you finish breastfeeding.


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