Tummy Trouble with Babies

What causes Colic?

‘Colic’ is so often said with such certainty but can often be a bit of a mystery

Colic is pain from trapped wind as your baby’s digestive system starts to develop and work. A crying baby is often put down to being ‘colicky’. If the baby is griping and bringing his/her knees up to the tummy then that can indicate digestive discomfort.

Prevention Tips

> Diet & Breast-Feeding

Breast-feeding tips

♠ If a mother is breast-feeding then her baby then a bland diet can really help to prevent or ease colic.

♠ The Brassica (cabbage & mustard) family of vegetables are notorious for causing colic when a mother is nursing a baby. Brassica vegetables are: cabbage, kale, broccoli, cauliflower, turnip, swede, kholrabi, brussel sprouts, mustard.

Infant Feeding Tips

♠ Colic tends to be less common in an older baby but can still happen.

♠ Follow the recommended stages of weaning and introducing foods to your child e.g. gluten later etc.

♠ Milks: goat’s milk is easier to digest than cow’s milk so if your infant is having a hard time digesting things, do consider trying a goat’s-based infant formula instead. They are called ‘nanny goats’ for good reason!


Winding & Burping

♠ Quite often wind is trapped because we haven’t burped the baby for long enough.

♠ I recommend burping your baby for a minimum of 15 mins. It can help to watch the clock so that you know how long you’ve been doing it for. Time when you are a tired mummy with a wee baby takes on a very weird form and can be very hard to judge otherwise!


Treating it

> Herbal Teas for Digestion.

The Carminative herbs are excellent to use for this.

Trapped wind can cause pain and griping, carminatives can help to break up trapped wind.

If breast-feeding then the mother can drink these as tea, and the baby will benefit via the breast milk.

♠ Fennel (Foeniculum vulgare)

♠ Peppermint (Mentha pip)

♠ Cinnamon

♠ Chamomile and lemon balm [see Nervines] can also be useful too. Try mixing a carminative with one of these.

> Gentle Tummy Massage.

♠ Essential oils are not recommended for babies so young. They are too strong and are not necessary.

♠ A gentle massage with a carrier oil e.g. sunflower, apricot etc. is usually all that is required.

What causes Reflux?

Reflux is when the child brings back up his/her feed on a regular basis

Working out the cause of the reflux is key.

It can be:

* Allergy to milk e.g. cow’s milk (try goat’s milk formula instead) or in very rare cases, the mother’s breast milk.

* Over-feeding, if the breast milk supply is really strong and the jet of milk is very forceful, the baby can bring this back up (use herbs to reduce and moderate the milk supply).

* Physical: the value in the stomach isn’t closing properly and is allowing the milk to come back up out of the stomach.

*Treatments: If herbs or changing to milks that are easier to digest do not resolve this problem then the GP can give a medicine to help the baby hold down the milk so that it can continue to feed, grow and develop properly.


> Herbal Teas for Babies