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ChamomileThis has long been a question without a definite answer. Still no one is quite sure what actually causes colic. Babies with colic are healthy, so it does not appear to be caused by a medical problem. And colic is not caused by the way a baby is cared for. Without a doubt it is not any fault of the parent.

Although colic isn't thought to be due to pain, your baby may look uncomfortable or appear to be in pain. Babies may lift their head, draw their legs up to their tummy, become red in the face and pass wind. Colic is not a serious condition. Research shows that babies with colic continue to eat and gain weight normally, despite the crying. If your baby doesn't, you should see your health visitor or GP.

The main problem with the condition is the stress and anxiety it creates within the home. You may find it difficult to cope with the constant crying, so it's important for you to have support and to take a break now and then.

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The digestive tract of a newborn takes several months to mature and regulate. During this time some babies show signs of colic - which is a term used to describe a variety of symptoms such as persistent crying - especially after feeding, signs of flatulence or trapped gas, pulling up of the legs and a generally'unsettled' baby.

Most babies will cry less when they are held, fed, and given attention. These things may not work for babies who have colic. When they are crying, they may clench their fists and stiffen their stomach and legs. Some babies arch their back, while others pull up their legs to their stomach.

Your baby may have colic if he or she cries excessively over several days. Although this crying can occur at any time, it usually gets worse in the late afternoon and evening. Colic usually appears in the first few weeks after birth and the cause isn't known. It generally lasts for three to four months.

Vomiting, diarrhea, fever, or blood or mucus in the stool is not a symptom of colic. If your baby has any of these symptoms, he or she needs to be checked by a doctor.

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A milk allergy was once considered to be a possible cause, but now doctors believe that this is rarely the case, as breastfed babies can get colic too.

Many believe that colic is caused by excessive gas in the tummy which is the result of baby swallowing too much air while crying.

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Home Remedies

It may help to see if there is a pattern to your baby’s crying. Many babies cry most in the late afternoon and evening hours. If you notice that your baby cries at certain times of day, you can try holding your baby more before those times. But during expected fussy times, limit visitors, keep noise and lights low, and touch your baby only if needed.

After crying starts, try rocking your baby in a quiet room, or take him or her out for a walk in a front-pack carrier or stroller. Some babies are soothed by riding in a car or listening to a droning sound, like a fan or a clothes dryer.

Do what you can to comfort your baby, but accept that sometimes nothing works. If you feel stressed or worn out, ask a friend or family member to give you a break. Take good care of yourself, and remember that colic will go away soon.

If you have suggestions or know of a proven home remedy add it here in the comment area.

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Herbal Remedies

One of the best natural remedies for colic is herbal tea. While you might not think that tea is a suitable option for your child, it's safe for you to give your baby up to three ounces of herbal tea per day.

You need to limit the amount of tea you give so that your child doesn't refuse formula or breast milk where he or she gets all of the nutrients needed for life.

The herbal teas that you might want to try are chamomile, ginger, catnip, and peppermint. All of these herbs have been used for a long time all around the world to provide relief for unsettled stomachs and it's worth a try for your baby.

You should be careful when making your own tea that you aren't making it too strong or it could cause your child to become nauseas, which will just add to the problem! Follow directions carefully and you'll usually find that this natural remedy will provide some relief.

If you have suggestions or know of a proven herbal remedy add it here in the comment area.

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Massaging gently can be helpfull. The baby should be stroked in a continuous, flowing movement from head to foot, using light stroking and deeper massage.

Thoroughly burp the baby during and after feedings.

Burp the baby during crying bouts to relieve any build up of any gas brought on by the crying.

Lay the baby across your lap so pressure is applied to his or her stomach.

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