Parenting is the most demanding job ever. With a small baby beside, you need to pay attention 24*7. Things get infinitely more challenging when baby gets colic. It keeps on crying and parents have no clue how to relieve colic in baby.

“Infantile colic” is when an otherwise healthy baby cries inconsolably for hours together, which doesn’t resolve even after feeding or soothing by conventional method. And there is no other underlying cause for crying.

Colic is a painful experience for both baby and parents. Here in this article we will discuss what to do and what not to do, to relieve colic in babies. We will also guide when to see a doctor right away & what could be other serious conditions that mimic infant colic


Below are step by step methods you should apply, to relive colic in babies.

1.Do not self blame or live in guilt

Parenting has come a long way. Modern parenting style these days, makes parents overly cautious about trivial things.

So, when they find that baby is having colic abdominal discomfort, the first thing that comes to their mind is to blame themselves. Parents speculate that, probably they have done something wrong in parenting.

So what physicians do as the very first measure is, to assure parents not to panic. And also we make parents realise that colic is a normal physiological mechanism in babies.

2.Remove sensory stimuli

Small babies are not adjusted to surrounding well. Given that, stimuli like excess light, noise etc. trigger and intensify colic. Thus remove these environmental sensory stimuli by keeping baby in dark noise free room.

3.Hold or carry baby

When baby cries excessively, hold the baby close to your body. Make sure nose and airway are free. Carrying may calm down baby.

4.Try feeding

Sometimes intense hunger cry is confused to be colic by parents. So first attach baby to mother’s breast and try to feed. If baby is not eager to suck then do not force. Because over feeding worsens colic.

5.Burp baby


Swallowing of air during feeding causes excess gas to accumulate, resulting in colic. Burping is an effective way to remove residual gas.

Put baby on your shoulder and pat on back for 10-15 minutes up until, remaining air escapes out as burp.

6. Swaddle

Swaddling makes a baby feel secure as it were inside mother’s womb. So if it is a small baby then try swaddling with a comfortable cloth.

7.Rock the baby

Carry the baby in your arms and swing in a rocking motion. This might settle baby down and put it to sleep.

8.Walk with baby

Alternatively carry the baby and walk around. This also is a gentle way to calm baby down.

9.White noise / sleep music / zero music

If you are parent you must have heard about white noise or zero music. This is basically a sound of different frequencies playing together. These sounds cancel out unwanted sound from outside and induces/ maintains sleep. For babies, it works in minutes. 

Few examples of white noise are noise of vaccum cleaner, washing machine, fan etc. There are sleep machines available in market. Further white noise or sleep music audio is available easily over internet. However you should follow AAP guidelines while using white noise.


Never use white noise regularly for prolonged duration . As it may impede hearing and stages of brain development / function.


10.Stroll or car ride

Sometimes this is observed that by the time parents bring their colicky infant to doctor, it stops crying. This typically happens when they travel by car on smooth road. Vibration and sound of car has effect similar to sleep music.

Another interesting thing is babies love to look at different views of their surroundings. So
take your crying baby on stroller ride outside. It might help.

11.warm bath

You must have noticed that how warm bath relaxes a person! In my blog about “HOW TO MAINTAIN A HEALTHY SLEEP AWAKE CYCLE”, I spoke about adding warm-bath into night routine to get a healthy sleep and its benefits.

In the same fashion, babies too fall asleep comfortably after warm bath.

12.Rub or put warm cloth on tummy

Gentle rub on tummy or putting warm cloth on tummy of baby may relieve colic. Do not massage tummy when active colic is going on.


In some cases after baby sucks a pacifier ( artificial nipple) for some time colic stops. However role of pacifier is controversial. Paediatricians do not recommend it because of threat of accidentally introducing infection into baby.

If you are using it then sterilise it in due manner and use for just a brief period of time.

14.Take help

Positive parenting recommends to seek help. When it comes to taking care of a baby, parents should not shy away from taking help from other family members.


Most sought after medications here are the ones with simethicone and fennel oil. Consult paediatrician regarding dose, because it differs as per age of baby and strength of medicine.

Additionally there are few other medications for tummy discomfort. Your doctor is the best person to asses risk benefit and decide on that.

16.Consult paediatrician

Even after doing above steps,if baby still doesn’t stop crying or is very fussy, then see a paediatrician. There are many other conditions which mimic colic. These conditions should not go undetected.

Also parents should be aware of warning signs. If these are present, then bring baby straight away to doctor.


What not to do while the baby is actively having colic pain ?

Do not give these things when baby is having active colic. 

  1. Gripe water
  2. Fennel water
  3. Sucrose
  4. knee exercise/ massage at time of colic 

Further information about role of gripe water in colic pain is discussed in my another blog “15 MUST KNOW FACTS ABOUT INFANT COLIC”

What are warning signs of colic ? When you must see a doctor immediately ?

Now you know already how to soothe baby colic. If baby continues to cry regardless of doing all these, then consult a doctor.

But what are early signs in a baby with excessive crying that warns that it may not be colic? There may be some other urgent issue and you should visit a paediatrician immediately. Here are WARNING SIGNS of colic.

What are serious conditions that mimic symptoms of baby colic ?

Colic as such is a benign condition. But there are certain diseases that mimic colic like symptoms. Few of these diseases are listed below.

  1. Intususseption ( type of small intestine obstruction)
  2. Volvulus ( type of large intestine obstruction) 
  3. Cow milk protein allergy ( allergy to milk ) 
  4. Lactose intolerance ( inability to digest lactose in milk) 
  5. Infection 

There are other common day to day causes of excess cry in baby as well, which you can read in this blog ,”REASONS WHY A BABY CRIES EXCESSIVELY?”


To sum up, the whole approach of dealing with colic is to follow proper breast feeding technique as much as possible. But whatever you do baby still can get colic as 1 out of every 5 healthy infants suffer from it.

Hence follow soothing techniques as we have mentioned above. And consult paediatrician when required.


All the information provided here are for educational and awareness purpose only. Kindly do not use these as alternative to medical consultation.

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