When our youngest was born she was just as beautiful and perfect as our other two and we couldn’t have been happier. However, we were rather shocked when a few weeks after she was born she started crying one night…and wouldn’t stop. We did everything. Rocking, walking, burping, nursing, check diaper and nothing seemed to soothe her. It breaks your heart to not know how to soothe your sweet little one and I just wasn’t sure what to do. By the time she was asleep, I was worried and exhausted. So the research side of momma kicked in.
When a baby cries incessantly for no apparent reason, it is generally termed as colic. But what is colic? After lots of research I learned that not even doctors really know what it is. The term colic just refers to a baby that can’t seem to be soothed, but has no specific physical reason why. Oftentimes though it is attributed to a very gassy belly. Knowing that my kiddos have struggled with tummy issues I decided we needed to approach it by addressing her tummy health, as well as mine since she was nursing. I wanted to also try to help naturally soothe and calm her. After lots of research we tried a few things and were so excited when they worked! We were especially grateful when we read colic can linger for a few months for many babies and it only took about a week to completely get past it once we incorporated these things!
Our sweet girl is now almost two years old, but when a friend recently mentioned their struggle with this it brought back the memory of our experience and that helpless feeling of not knowing how to help our baby. I decided maybe this would be a good thing to share with the hopes that our experience can help other sweet mommas and their little ones!
1. DiGize and Lavender essential oils
This was the first thing we pulled out and we couldn’t believe the difference! DiGize essential oil can help to support tummy soothing and lavender is a beautiful calming and relaxing scent. Because she was so tiny we diluted it quite a bit by just putting a little puddle of olive oil in our hand and adding one drop of DiGize to it. We then rubbed it either on her toes or on her belly, gently massaging it around her belly button in a clockwise motion. The Lavender we would dilute slightly and rub on her toes. The first night we did this within 15 minutes she was letting out gas we couldn’t believe had fit in her tiny tummy! Tummygize is also another great blend for little ones.
We quickly learned for our girl that it was better to periodically rub this on throughout the day rather than waiting for the crying to hit. If we were diligent about applying it periodically it wasn’t long before the crying periods became non-existent. To make sure I remembered I would keep mine next to her changing area and just try to apply at most of her diaper changes. This is definitely the first thing I reach for anytime my babies tummies seem a little irritated.
Taking a tiny baby to a chiropractor can be a little disconcerting, but a good gentle chiropractor knows what they are doing and can make a huge difference for your little one. Birth can be rather traumatic and can have a baby (and momma) out of whack in multiple ways. Having a good adjustment can help to support healthy elimination, digestion, good eating and a relaxed little one.
3. Diet and Birth
Taking a look at baby’s diet can be a huge factor in keeping baby healthy and peaceful as well. It is so important to not just treat the gassy tummy but to look at the foundation of what could lead to the discomfort. Obviously at this stage baby should be either on breast milk or formula. If formula, you may want to investigate what is in the formula to see if something in it is bothering baby. If nursing, you may just want to check your diet to make sure you aren’t eating anything that may contribute to a gassy belly. If your baby continues to struggle with tummy troubles, you may even want to look at other foods that your baby may be extra sensitive to such as dairy or wheat. Eliminating a food we enjoy can be an adjustment but definitely worth baby’s comfort and a little sleep!
Looking at the birth experience may sound crazy, but studies have shown that baby’s born via C-section tend to be more prone to tummy troubles. Baby’s born vaginally pick up a healthy bacteria from their mommas through the birth canal that helps with good digestive health. Baby’s born through C-section miss out on that good bacteria and thus can be a little more prone to trouble in that area. Please don’t take that as condemnation if you had a C-section! All three of my baby’s were planned as natural births but ended up C-section so this isn’t to put guilt on you! It is however a good thing to know as the birth of your baby could contribute to the need of a little extra tummy support.
The addition of probiotics in the diet is a good idea anytime for anyone but is especially good when dealing with tummy troubles! Eating and drinking good fermented foods such as kombucha and kefir is a great way to get probiotics in. If you are a breast feeding momma, just you getting these in will get them to baby and will benefit momma as well! If you need additional support you can find some great probiotic supplements. Just make sure you are getting a good product. My favorite is the Life 9 probiotics from Young Living. This is also a great one to give to little ones as they get a little older because it is a capsule that you can open up and sprinkle into food to make it easier to take.
5. Herbal Tea
Herbal teas are amazing to help support a soothed and healthy digestive system as well as promoting relaxation. When a baby is tiny, I prefer to make a tea and just drink it myself so that they get the benefits through my breast milk without the full strength of the tea. However, you can also make a mild tea and give baby some little sips as well. You just want to avoid sweetening it if giving straight to them and make sure to use gentle mild herbs while baby is under 1.
My favorite herbs for gentle digestive support include:
Fennel: Great for supporting a soothed and healthy digestive system and helping to relieve gas. This one has an extra benefit for momma as well because it can support a healthy milk supply. This one is considered safe for little ones.
Catnip: Another great herb to support digestion as well as promoting relaxation. This is also considered safe for babies and is very mild.
Chamomile: This is yet another great herb for soothing digestion and is a great herb to promote calming. It is also considered safe for little ones and has a wonderful apple flavor!
Ginger: This is one that you may not want to include if you are giving it straight to baby, but only because it has a strong flavor. It is great to include if momma is drinking it though as it can help to soothe cramping while encouraging the body to release gas.
Cinnamon: Another herb that is considered safe for little ones, but can be slightly strong. The flavor is of course wonderful and can promote healthy digestion and the release of unwanted gas.
You can always add in other great herbs to make yourself a delicious tea to drink daily. Some of my favorites for supporting healthy mommas are red raspberry, ashwaghanda and nettle. You want to make sure to be getting good herbs with no additives and organic if possible to avoid drinking the chemicals. The Bulk Herb Store is one of my favorite places to purchase herbs!
Hopefully you never face tummy troubles with your little ones, but if they do hit, these are all things I wouldn’t want to be without! I hope these help you to naturally support soothed and happy tummies in your home!