Infant Colic
Answered by: Susan Eagles
Question from: Peter
Posted on: September 6, 1998

My brother’s new baby has colic. I’ve heard that tumeric, catnip, and the mint teas would all be good. Do you agree? How much would one give an infant?

The baby should be examined by a licensed health care provider to ensure that there is no obvious physical cause for crying, such as sore throat, swollen glands or other illness or injury, and that the baby is growing normally.

Colic is common in babies up to 3 months. Some factors which should be examined are: Is the baby getting enough milk? Is the baby burped after feeding? Anxiety in the mother or the home atmosphere can have an effect on the baby. If the baby is breast fed, certain foods in the mother’s diet are gas forming and may cause colic in the child: onions, brussels sprouts, broccoli, cauliflower, beans, cucumber, red & green pepper should be avoided. Other foods in the mother’s diet that may cause colic in the child are: garlic, cabbage, yeast breads, dairy products, melons, spicy foods, eggs, corn, wheat, chocolate, alcohol & coffee. The mother can keep a food diary to try to identify a food that possibly causes the colic.

If no cause can be found, chamomile, fennel, spearmint or catnip tea may be given. Make the tea by infusing a teaspoon of the dried herb in a cup of boiling water. Steep, covered, for 15 minutes. Strain. Give the baby 1 teaspoon of the tea in water three times a day. The breastfeeding mother should drink a cup of this tea three times a day. Extra tea may be kept in the refrigerator for no longer than 1 day. I don’t know of Turmeric’s use with babies.

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