Colicky baby? Probiotics may reduce crying from colic and reflux

Does your baby cry for hours at a time every night for what seems like an eternity? Do their tears worsen into a full-fledged meltdown, complete with clenched fists, flailing legs, and an unhappy red face, despite your best efforts to soothe them? Welcome to the (very unpleasant) world of colic!

Mother and newborn child

Colic likely has more than one cause, but studies have found a link between gut microbiota and colic in babies. High levels of Escherichia coli, Clostridium difficile, and Klebsiella have been found in babies with colic, while Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium levels have been found to be low. This dysbiosis could be a possible cause of abnormal gut motility and increased gas production.1

Supplementing beneficial bacteria, in addition to other methods, may help reduce pain and provide your baby with relief until colic passes.

Here are six ways to help your baby’s gut.

Give Them a Burp

A crying baby can consume a lot of air. This can make them gassy and bloated, exacerbating their crying. Burp them on the back with firm but gentle pats. The traditional position, with your baby’s head over your shoulder, works but can leave a spit-up trail down your back. Change things up: Place your baby on your lap, face down, or sit them up, while your arms support their chest and neck.2

Switch Up Feeding Practices

Changes in feeding practices may also provide some relief. Bottle-feed your baby upright and frequently burp during and after a feeding. A curved bottle will help with vertical feeding, while anti-colic valves may reduce air intake.3

Do Baby Bicycles

This simple exercise can aid in the manual release of gas. Lay your baby on their back and use a bicycle motion to gently cycle their legs towards their tummies.4 You can also gently push your baby’s knees towards his or her tummy and hold the position for 10 seconds. Release and straighten their legs several times, then repeat.

Watch Your Diet If Breastfeeding

Research suggests there is some correlation between maternal diet in breastfeeding mothers and infantile colic. According to some studies, removing allergenic foods from the maternal diet may reduce colic while consuming a protein-rich diet may protect infants from colic.5

Consider Probiotics

Restore and maintain your baby’s gut health with Reuterina® drops6, shown to reduce colic crying time7, and daily regurgitation8.

Reuterina Drops

Reuterina® drops can be used as a preventative measure9 to reduce the onset of constipation in healthy newborns, increase the daily evacuations and improve gut motility and the number of bowel movements.

Speak To Your Healthcare Provider

Make an appointment with your child’s paediatrician if your baby is crying excessively or you are concerned they may have colic. Remember that while it may appear that your baby will have colic indefinitely, colic is only temporary. You won’t remember your baby having colic in a few months because you’ll be too busy making memories with your bundle of joy.

The Reuterina® family of probiotics are available from Dis-Chem and Clicks stores and independent pharmacies nationwide.  Join the conversations on Instagram and Facebook.

References:

1. Savino F, Garro M, Montanari P, Galliano I, Bergallo M. Crying Time and RORγ/FOXP3 Expression in Lactobacillus reuteri DSM17938-Treated Infants with Colic: A Randomized Trial. J Pediatr. 2018 Jan;192:171-177.e1. doi: 10.1016/j.jpeds.2017.08.062. Epub 2017 Sep 29. PMID: 28969887. Available from: https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/28969887/. Last accessed November 2022.
2. 10 Tips to Soothe Your Crying Baby. Reviewed by Renee A. Alli, MD on May 14, 2021. Available from: https://www.webmd.com/parenting/baby/ss/slideshow-treating-colic. Last accessed November 2022.
3. Mayo Clinic Staff. Colic. Available from: https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/colic/diagnosis-treatment/drc-20371081. Last accessed November 2022.
4. What to Do If Your Baby Is Gassy and in Pain. Medically reviewed by Mia Armstrong, MD — By Dorian Smith-Garcia on August 31, 2021. Available from: https://www.healthline.com/health/parenting/baby-screaming-in-pain-from-gas#remedies. Last accessed November 2022.
5. Aksoy Okan M, Gunduz M, Okur M, Akgun C, Esin K. Does maternal diet affect infantile colic? J Matern Fetal Neonatal Med. 2016 Oct;29(19):3139-41. doi: 10.3109/14767058.2015.1115011. Epub 2015 Nov 30. PMID: 26523529. Available from https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/26523529/. Last accessed November 2022.
6. Reuterina® Drops Approved Package Insert, August 2009.
7. Savino F, Garro M, Montanari P, Galliano I, Bergallo M. Crying Time and RORγ/FOXP3 Expression in Lactobacillus reuteri DSM17938-Treated Infants with Colic: A Randomized Trial. J Pediatr. 2018 Jan;192:171-177.e1. doi: 10.1016/j.jpeds.2017.08.062. Epub 2017 Sep 29. PMID: 28969887. Available from: Crying Time and RORγ/FOXP3 Expression in Lactobacillus reuteri DSM17938-Treated Infants with Colic: A Randomized Trial – PubMed (nih.gov). Last accessed November 2022.
8. Indrio F, Riezzo G, Raimondi F, Bisceglia M, Filannino A, Cavallo L, Francavilla R. Lactobacillus reuteri accelerates gastric emptying and improves regurgitation in infants. Eur J Clin Invest. 2011 Apr;41(4):417-22. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2362.2010.02425.x. Epub 2010 Nov 26. PMID: 21114493. Available from: https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/21114493/. Last accessed November 2022.
9. Indrio F, Di Mauro A, Riezzo G, Civardi E, Intini C, Corvaglia L, Ballardini E, Bisceglia M, Cinquetti M, Brazzoduro E, Del Vecchio A, Tafuri S, Francavilla R. Prophylactic use of a probiotic in the prevention of colic, regurgitation, and functional constipation: a randomized clinical trial. JAMA Pediatr. 2014 Mar;168(3):228-33. doi: 10.1001/jamapediatrics.2013.4367. PMID: 24424513. Available at: https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/24424513/. Last access November 2022.