An Elimination Diet can Help Colic Symptoms

An Elimination Diet can Help Colic Symptoms

Many colicky babies like the “football” hold.

The cries of a colicky baby are enough to bring any new mother to tears, but what exactly is colic, and what can you do about it? A baby is said to have colic if he or she cries vigorously and cannot be consoled around the same time each day or night–usually after feedings–for at least three weeks. You may notice signs of abdominal discomfort or gas such as pulling their knees to their chest, an arched back, or clenched fists.

There are many different explanations for colic, but most believe that the baby’s digestive system isn’t mature enough to function properly and certain foods may be causing irritation. While colic usually resolves by about sixteen weeks, making some dietary changes may make a difference in your baby’s pain. An elimination diet can help you pinpoint if there is a particular food or foods that may be the cause.

First, eliminate foods that are known to be common culprits of colic, including: caffeine, onion, garlic, pasteurized dairy, chocolate, soy, wheat, eggs, nuts, corn, broccoli, cauliflower, and cabbage. It can take as long as two weeks to get these foods out of your and your baby’s systems, so be very strict on avoiding these foods. Always read labels carefully since these ingredients may be lurking in places you don’t expect them, such as wheat in soy sauce and corn syrup in ketchup.

After two weeks you should notice a difference in colic symptoms. If there is no difference you may need to eliminate more foods, take a close look at your diet and look for less common allergens such as coffee, carrots, beets, oats and peaches. As soon as there’s an improvement in symptoms you can start adding foods back in one at a time.

The easiest way to make an association with what could be causing colic is to keep a detailed journal. When you begin adding foods back, only add one at a time and wait at least four days before between re-introducing foods. Keep a food/mood journal in where you record everything you eat and any behavior changes you notice. Having a record to look back at can help you pinpoint the culprit and you’ll know which foods to stay away from. Always discuss any concerns with your pediatrician and get their approval to begin a colic elimination diet so they can rule out any other health problems that may be causing your baby’s discomfort.

Jacqueline Banks is a certified Holistic Health Counselor focused on nutrition and green living strategies. She works with women in all stages of motherhood, from mothers struggling with conception, through pregnancy, lactation and beyond to ensure the best health and nutrition for both mother and baby.

Tags: colic, colic symptoms, elimination diet, fussy baby, mom's milk boutique

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