Applying gentle pressure to the webbed area between the thumb and index finger of either hand can calm a crying child. So can gently massaging the area directly above the child's navel and the corresponding spot on the spine. Applying warm compresses or holding your hand firmly over the child's abdomen can relieve cramping.
Teas made with chamomile (Matricaria recutita), lemon balm (Melissa officinalis), peppermint (Mentha piperita), or dill (Anethum graveolens) can lessen bowel inflammation and reduce gas. A homeopathic combination called "colic" may be effective, and constitutional homeopathic treatment can help strenthen the child's entire constitution.
Colic is distressing, but it is not dangerous. Symptoms almost always disappear before a child is six months old.
Many doctors believe that colic cannot be prevented. Some alternative practitioners, however, feel that colic can be prevented by an awareness of food intolerances and their impact.
Taylor, Robert, ed. Family Medicine Principles and Practice. New York: Springer-Verlag, 1994.
American Academy of Family Physicians. 8880 Ward Parkway, Kansas City, MO 64114. (816) 333-9700. <http://www. aafp.org>.
American Academy of Pediatrics. 141 Northwest Point Boulevard, Elk Grove Village, IL 60007-1098. (847) 434-4000. <http://www.aap.org>.