Foods that make babies colicky
What Foods Help With Baby Colic? | Colic Blog | Babocush
When your baby seems perfectly healthy, has no obvious signs of distress and yet cries continually, they may be suffering from colic. Colic is prolonged bouts of excessive, frequent crying for no apparent reason, although some abdominal discomfort is thought to accompany it due to the way many babies draw their knees up when they cry which would indicate trapped wind. These episodes can be very distressing for both baby and parent, and can last for several weeks.
When are the typical signs of colic?
Normal crying typically starts when your little one is about 2 weeks old. When babies develop colic, it's usually between 2 and 4 weeks of age. About 1 in 5 babies end up suffering with colic. Other symptoms typically include:
- Crying inconsolably for long periods of time.
- Some babies with colic experience bloated tummies, however not always.
- Babies with colic often pull their knees up to their chest and go red in the face
- Although there may be other causes, babies with colic often have a distinctive, high-pitched cry.
One thing you might not have thought about is the foods you're putting into your body. Breastfeeding mothers can normally eat whatever they want, however some newborns are intolerant to certain foods. The essential criteria for a good post-natal diet is to eat foods that are soothing, comforting, and nutritious. Slow-cooked foods, such as soups and stews, are recommended, as is avoiding too much raw food and limiting meals consumed straight from the refrigerator or freezer. Anything too harsh that passes through the mother's milk could harm a baby's developing gut. Colic-causing foods can enter your breast milk and upset your baby as early as two hours after you eat, with potential irritants being:
Milk, cheese, yoghurt, and ice cream are examples of dairy products. Cow's milk is known to be a main source of diet-related colic. Cow's milk proteins quickly enter breast milk, which is usually a positive thing because it familiarises your baby with these proteins early on, setting them up for when they’re weaned. Colic can, however, be caused by a sensitivity to cow's milk.
If you feel this is the case, try avoiding dairy products for 7-10 days to see if you notice a difference. If your baby's behaviour hasn't improved, gradually reintroduce the food again. If you see a difference and are concerned about your calcium intake, consult a nutritionist about different ways to get calcium, such as through leafy greens, broccoli, edamame, sardines, figs, oranges and calcium-fortified products.
Soft drinks, chocolate, coffee, tea, energy drinks, and some medicines all contain caffeine, and if you consume enough of it, your baby may develop colic. Many mums find that giving up caffeine can produce instant positive changes to their baby’s behaviour.
Theres a distinct taste in your breast milk after you’ve eaten a spicy dinner. This is because traces of spice have found their way into your milk supply. This is fine for most babies and helps them get used to new tastes, but for others, even the tiniest amount of spice can be enough to make them uncomfortable. If you've ever had heartburn after eating spicy food, this is considerably more likely to be the case.
Grains and nuts
Fats from cereals, nuts, seeds, avocados, and olives are essential for keeping your baby's skin healthy, although they can occasionally induce colic. Wheat, corn, peanuts, and soy are the most typical culprits.
You've probably experienced the unpleasant side-effects of a meal high in gassy vegetables like broccoli, onions, brussel sprouts, cauliflower, and cabbage. Gas can cause a lot of discomfort in the stomach, and if your baby is particularly sensitive to it, eliminating gassy foods could be the answer.
Tracking down colic-causing foods
Determining whether the food you eat could be causing your baby’s colic is achieved with a simple three-step process:
Step 1. Keep a record
You can develop associations between food and discomfort by keeping track of what you eat and when and how long your baby experiences colic episodes. Keep track of any changes in your baby's behaviour, such as fussiness, weeping, bloating, constipation, or diarrhoea, nocturnal wakings that aren't explained, or reddening around the anus.
Step 2. Eliminate foods
You can now rule out the suspect source after establishing a correlation between food and behaviour. Try to avoid this food for 10 to 14 days then check to see whether your baby's colic symptoms are lessening or disappearing. Return to step one if nothing has changed. Continue to step three if the symptoms improve.
Step 3. Challenge the result
If your baby's symptoms have gone away, cautiously reintroduce the source to test it. If the symptoms return within 24 hours, remove this meal from your diet temporarily. Continue to challenge the food supply at regular intervals until you've determined it's safe to eat again. Most babies are only temporarily intolerant of certain foods, so declaring a meal off-limits may unnecessarily deprive you and your baby of a vital source of nutrition.
Maintaining an anti-colic diet
To help reduce any chance of colic, there are a number of foods that you can limit or avoid during the six weeks leading up to birth and the 2-3 months that follow. These include berries, grapes, stone fruit, strawberries, mangoes, cabbage, tomatoes, lentils, garlic, pineapple, broccoli, brussel sprouts, cucumber, radish, cauliflower, raw onion, strong herbs and spices, powdered yeast and stimulants (tea, coffee, chocolate and alcohol).
There are also some foods that will encourage a healthy gut and can help prevent symptoms of colic. These include apples, pears, asparagus, carrot, celery, kale, corn, bananas, papaya, celery, beetroot, pumpkin, zucchini, mushrooms, teas (chamomile, dandelion, fennel and cardamom), bone broths and apple cider vinegar.
There is no recognised “cure” for colic, although you may see some reduction in symptoms if you use a trial-and-error strategy. You may find that one thing works or that it is the consequence of a combination of circumstances, but be prepared to wait it out. Your baby will grow out of it eventually, and having a baby with colic has nothing to do with your parenting. Colic can affect any infant at any moment, and although it's natural to feel frustrated and upset, you should never feel responsible for your child's suffering.
- Do Breastfed Babies Get Colic?
- How Can I Tell My Baby Has Colic?
Foods to Avoid to Prevent Colic – Lola&Lykke
An expecting or new mother fears a lot of possible future scenarios, but one of the more common and everyday issues that she is, unfortunately, more likely to face is also one of the most mysterious, baffling, and frustrating: colic, which one in five infants are said to have. In this article, we’ll go over the definition of colic as well as the link it has to diet - namely, the mother’s. We’ll offer tips for how you can modify your diet, including foods to avoid during breastfeeding, to prevent colic.
What is Colic?
Colic is one of the more challenging problems a new parent can face. It’s when your new baby cries in a prolonged, intense, and frequent way despite being otherwise healthy. Colicky babies most often have their episodes in the evening, making it even tougher on already-tired parents who desperately want peace and quiet. Naturally, it’s heartbreaking to watch your baby suffer and not know why, and colic is all the more frustrating because it doesn’t seem to have any particular cause and no amount of soothing seems to help.
Does Your Baby Have Colic?
Defined as an infant crying intensely for three or more hours a day, three or more days a week, for three or more weeks, colic usually peaks when an infant is about six weeks old and declines after they reach three or four months of age. It can happen to any baby: breastfed or formula-fed, male or female, premature or full-term.
Symptoms of colic include:
- Intense, often high-pitched crying that resembles screaming or an expression of pain
- Crying that doesn’t seem to be tied to any particular reason such as needing to be fed or get a diaper change
- Intense fussiness that continues even after the crying stops or declines
- Predictable timing of crying episodes that occur especially in the late afternoon or early evening
- Facial discoloration such as a reddened face or pale mouth
- Body tension in the legs, arms, fists, back, or abdomen
- Colic episodes followed by a bowel movement or passing of gas that may bring temporary relief
- The baby closing their eyes tight or opening them wide, furrowing their brow, or even holding their breath
- Crying that disrupts eating and sleeping patterns
It’s important to note that colic is a condition that occurs in otherwise healthy babies. If your baby is intensely crying on a regular basis, it’s important to rule out the possibility of a non-colic cause that is leading to pain or discomfort in your baby, such as illness. If your infant experiences excessive crying, you should schedule an appointment with your doctor to see if an underlying cause can be found instead of assuming that it must be colic. Together, you will be able to determine if your baby does indeed have colic.
Can Your Diet Really Upset Your Breastfed Baby?
While the causes of colic are unknown, there is much speculation about what may lead to this condition. Theories for potential reasons include an imbalance of healthy gut bacteria, childhood migraine, overstimulated senses, acid reflux, an undeveloped digestive system, food allergy, and tobacco exposure.
Another popular theory is that colic may be tied to the diet of the breastfed baby’s mother. According to WebMD, “A study published in the [November 2005] issue of Pediatrics suggests that excluding highly allergenic foods from a nursing mother's diet could reduce crying and fussiness in her newborn's first six weeks of life. ”
There are several reasons to believe this may be the case. First, it’s known that the diet of a breastfeeding mother does affect the infant. If the mother consumes something that upsets the stomach of the newborn, this can lead to discomfort and crying. There also seems to be a link between colic and gastrointestinal distress; colicky infants are often gassy and passing gas is often followed by relief.
There are, in fact, several studies that have shown that a change in the mother’s diet can lead to a significant diminishment of colic symptoms, namely in how long the babies cried each day. Other studies have found a link between the consumption of certain foods by the breastfeeding mother and colic in breastfed infants. Ultimately, research suggests that an elimination diet may help ease symptoms of colic.
Learn more: What to eat while breastfeeding
Foods to Avoid
One category of colic foods to avoid while nursing is those that many people have an allergy to, such as:
- Cow’s milk
- Peanuts, tree nuts
With cow’s milk being the most common infant allergy. In one 2005 study, 74% of breastfed babies whose mothers ate a low-allergen diet eliminating all of the above ingredients showed significant improvement in colic.
Another type of colic baby breastfeeding food to avoid is the category of foods that often creates a lot of intestinal gas, namely cruciferous vegetables. This includes cabbage, cauliflower, broccoli, and brussels sprouts. One 1996 study found that mothers who ate diets high in cabbage, cauliflower, and broccoli were more likely to have colicky babies. As these foods are high in fructans, which are difficult to digest, they can cause gas and bloating.
It is often assumed that foods that are unhealthy for adults will also be unhealthy if they make it into a breastfed baby’s diet, which is why many sources recommend that breastfeeding mothers looking to reduce colic should avoid unhealthy foods such as highly-processed foods and foods high in saturated or trans fats.
While it is debatable whether chocolate is healthy for you or not, with dark chocolate in particular often being cited as a healthy food, the same 1996 study that linked certain cruciferous vegetables with colic also found that mothers who ate a lot of chocolate were more likely to have colicky babies. However, it isn’t specified which type of chocolate, and it very well may be that milk chocolate may have this effect due to containing cow’s milk. It’s also thought that the problem may be the acidity of chocolate, which can cause acid reflux.
Breastfeeding Diet for a Colic-Free Baby
While various sources may name a list of foods to eat while breastfeeding to avoid colic, there isn’t any scientific evidence pointing to the possibility that including certain particular foods in your diet can help colic. That being said, it is reasonable to conclude that a generally healthy lifestyle and diet with a variety of nutritious foods is what will be best for the mother and, in turn, the baby.
As such, a healthy diet for breastfeeding mothers to avoid colic may include:
- Plenty of water to stay hydrated
- Fruits and non-cruciferous vegetables
- Whole grains
- Lean proteins
- Apple cider vinegar
It’s particularly worth noting that there have been studies that have shown that probiotics can help colic by helping infants form a protective barrier against harmful bacteria and stimulating the immune system. One 2007 study found that “colic improved in a dramatic 95% of babies given Lactobacillus reuteri once per day for 1 month.” While it is not wise to begin a course of probiotics on your own, it may be something worth speaking to your doctor about.
If you want to go the more natural route, foods high in probiotics include:
- Sourdough bread
- Some cheeses
However, because many of these contain common allergens like dairy, wheat, and soy, kombucha has alcohol in it, and sauerkraut and kimchi are based on the cruciferous vegetable cabbage, you may not want to take the risk of eating them. For that reason, a doctor-approved probiotic dietary supplement might be the best route for mums who are considering probiotics as a solution to colic.
If you do decide to change your diet in response to colic, especially if you want to start probiotics or try an elimination diet, it’s important to consult a medical professional such as a dietitian, who can monitor you and your baby’s nutrition and health and make personalised recommendations.
At the end of the day, the unfortunate truth is that there is no “cure” for colic. However, you can be reassured by the fact that - diet change or no diet change - colic doesn’t last forever; there is an end in sight. Colic is not your fault and while you can do your best to treat it, you should never feel guilty that it is happening. Do your best, take care of yourself and your baby to the best of your ability, and - sooner or later - the colic will pass.
Have questions about breastfeeding, pregnancy, or postpartum? Ask Lola&Lykke Experts, completely free of charge.
by Lola&Lykke Team
- Diet & Nutrition
Colic in a newborn - causes and symptoms. Foods that cause colic in a child
Colic is pain in the abdomen caused by the accumulation of gas in the intestines. Unfortunately, babies are familiar with these unpleasant sensations firsthand.
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The body of a newborn is only adapting to the new conditions of extrauterine life, and normal microflora has not yet formed in its intestines. That is why in the first months of a child's life, his parents often have to deal with uncontrollable crying, which seems to never end. Colic begins in newborns at the age of 2-4 weeks. The good news is that they usually run out by 3 months of age.
How to understand that a baby has colic:
- Sudden and piercing crying. If your baby usually calms down when you take him in your arms, rock him, talk affectionately, stroke his back - this does not help here. The only thing that will alleviate the condition of the baby is the passage of gases.
- The baby arches its back and presses its legs to the stomach. Colic is always a cutting, sharp pain.
- The child may turn pale.
- Sometimes the baby releases gases.
All of these symptoms usually begin shortly after feeding.
Common causes of colic in children:
- Incorrect feeding technique (breast or bottle). Together with mother's milk or formula, a child can swallow a lot of air, which causes bloating.
- Excited state of the baby. A child can catch air not only during feeding, but also with a long cry. This is characteristic of children "with character", demanding, loud.
- Incorrectly selected formula for babies on artificial nutrition.
- feeding mode. Sometimes, in order to find the most suitable mode for your baby, you need to experiment. Of course, it is better to do this after consulting with your doctor.
- Mom's food. Colic during breastfeeding can very often be caused by the fact that the mother does not eat properly. There are a number of foods that cause colic in babies, and to make life easier for both the baby and the parents, it is enough to exclude them from the mother's diet.
Foods that cause colic while breastfeeding:
1. Spicy, smoked and salty dishes
2. Black yeast bread
3. Whole milk
4. Mayonnaise, ketchup, mustard
6. Raw vegetables and fruits
7. Carbonated drinks
8. Coffee and chocolate
How to help a baby with colic
First of all, calm down yourself. When the baby is torn from screaming and nothing can calm him down, the mother, of course, also “turns on”. Be patient and convey to the baby your calmness and confidence that everything will pass soon. The main thing is that you are there when he needs it and help him.
- Place your baby on your stomach, in your arms, or in the crib more often.
- Put something warm under your baby's belly.
- After at least 15 minutes have passed after feeding, massage the tummy. Do not forget to lubricate your hands with cream or cosmetic oil. Stroke the tummy in a clockwise circular motion.
- Prepare a reasonably hot bath for your baby. This will help him relax.
- Do gymnastics, pressing the child's legs, bent at the knees, to his tummy.
Often, problems with colic in newborns and older children can be solved if a nursing mother drinks teas with fennel, cumin, anise, lemon balm. They help a lot with excessive gas formation.
Be attentive to your baby and also check out our expert article on spitting up in newborns.
3 71Nutrition Care and development
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Infant milk formulas are made from cow's milk. However, in terms of fat composition, it differs significantly from that of the mother.
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How to choose milk formula for a baby
Breast milk is the best food for a newborn baby. It contains all the necessary nutritional components that fully meet the needs of the child and are necessary for his healthy and harmonious development.
Foods that cause colic in newborns
The baby cannot fall asleep, cries for no reason at first glance, behaves anxiously. All this causes anxiety among young parents, who cannot immediately guess what is the main reason for such behavior. And the answer may lie on the surface. It’s just that mom didn’t follow a diet and allowed herself foods that cause colic in babies. As a result, the baby develops intestinal spasms, pain, which means that the little one begins to cry and spin. To prevent this from happening, the mother should monitor her diet by excluding foods that cause colic in children from the menu.
Foods that can cause colic in a newborn
In your daily diet, avoid foods that cause colic in newborns. These include:
- Whole milk. The lactose contained in the composition refers to a substance that causes colic in newborns due to gas formation. This product is poorly absorbed by the baby's body and can cause, in addition to bloating, allergic reactions. In your diet, it is better to replace milk with kefir, curdled milk, fermented baked milk.
- Spicy sauces. Ketchup, mayonnaise, mustard cause intestinal irritation, which causes colic in newborns, so it is not recommended to include these products in the menu of a nursing woman.
- Black bread. The enzymes that make up the composition lead to gas formation. When breastfeeding, this product is best replaced with whole grain bread.
- Legumes. Lentils, corn, beans, peas are foods that cause colic in newborns. Instead, it is better to include other protein-rich foods in the diet of a nursing mother. For example, cottage cheese, soy cheese, low-fat fish.
- Raw vegetables and fruits. Flatulence causes fiber, and some fruits can cause an allergic reaction. Therefore, any vegetables and fruits should be heat treated.
- Sweets. Chocolate, sweets are among those products that cause colic in children. So it is better to give up your favorite delicacies. Carbonated drinks. Not only Fanta or Coca-Cola can cause colic in newborns, but also ordinary sparkling mineral water. So you should accustom yourself to drinking weak tea or herbal decoctions.
How to make a menu to save a newborn from colic
Knowing what foods cause colic in babies, any woman can make the right menu for herself. It may include:
- Lean fish and meat.
- Cottage cheese, kefir, fermented baked milk.
- Buckwheat, rice, wheat groats.
- Baked vegetables and fruits.
It is important to consider not only what foods cause colic in newborns, but also to understand what can cause gas. In this regard, it is necessary:
- There are products separately without mixing them.
- Drink more clean water.
- Eat in small portions.
- Avoid exotic foods.
To increase the protective properties of the child's body, it is necessary to gradually introduce new foods into the diet. After all, the baby should prepare for nutrition not only with mother's milk. And at this stage it is very important to reduce the formation of colic. For this purpose, you can give the baby the drug "Kolikid", which is shown to children from the first months of life. The active ingredient simethicone gently eliminates gas formation in the stomach of the baby, without penetrating into the bloodstream and not being absorbed by the body.