Colic – 6 Colic Remedies To Help Your Baby

Colic – 6 Colic Remedies To Help Your Baby

No matter what you try, your baby just keeps crying?

If this sounds familiar it could be that your baby is suffering from colic. Doctors often refer to the rule of 3:

  1. Crying for more than 3 hours a day
  2. Crying for more than 3 weeks
  3. Crying more than 3 days in a week

This sounds simplistic but does provide an idea of just how persistent this form of crying is. For many babies, it can happen at different times of the day, or night and usually develops between the second and fourth week after birth. The good news, it does subside! Normally by about 4 months, the bouts of crying begin to lessen and my 6 months they have gone completely. For colic remedies to help your baby then keep reading.

What Is Colic?

There is no real medical definition of colic, though most mums will tell you that it is very, very real! It can often be a sign of an issue with feeding, sometimes linked to intolerance in the milk protein, that can affect both bottle-fed and breastfed babies. This does not account for many of the cases though, as in most of the situations relating to colic there does not appear to be any intolerance or deeper medical conditions. There is a great definition on Wiki

Symptoms Of Colic?

As mentioned, the starting point is often the rule of 3, but there are other things that are linked to colic too:

  • Fussing, at different times of the day.
  • Feeding, changing or sleep do not ease the crying.
  • Crying can occur at any time.
  • Knees are brought up to the chest when crying, indicating pain in the stomach.
  • Tries to comfort by either the breast or bottle, but then pulls away.

What Causes Colic?

Although it is still a general term for a baby that cry’s for long periods of time, there is still not a clear idea of what causes colic. Some of the issues that are thought to be a factor:

Over-stimulation – Many babies cannot adjust to the stimulation of all of their senses. You will sometimes see that when a baby is in a room with lots of people, where there is constant noise and lights that the crying will be much worse afterwards. I have seen this in Baby Classes, and the only way that the central nervous system can cope is to shut it all out. It does this very effectively by crying until exhaustion sets in. It is a brutal response from the body and can be helped by ensuring that you limit the stimulation to your baby.

Reflux – Linked to the lack of development in the Pyloric Sphincter, this causes the milk to come back up after feeding, bringing acid with it. If your baby is spitting up lots of milk after feeding, it is time to get to your Doctor for some medical assistance. There are medicines that can be given to help and in extreme cases, surgery is needed, though this is rare. Again, for many babies, they will grow out of this as the digestive system matures.

Immature Digestive System – This can really affect the premies, where the digestive system has not fully matured. They can be very sensitive to feeding, both in quantity and time. Again, as the body matures the digestive system will develop and the symptoms will eventually go.

Food Intolerance – This can happen to both breastfed and bottle-fed babies. It is often the milk protein that causes the discomfort but it can really be any foods (if you are breast-feeding). I had one mum who narrowed it down to strawberries! If you think this is an issue, then please do consult your Doctor. If you are bottle feeding there are some great formulas that can help.

Colic Remedies

  • Change your feed – One of the first approaches is to try either changing your formula or cutting out dairy if you are breastfeeding. If the pain is being caused by an intolerance you will normally notice a difference in 4-7 days. As always, please do consult your Doctor or health adviser before doing this.
  • Baby Massage – The techniques on the tummy can really help relieve pressure, trapped wind and ease the discomfort. I have a masterclass, just designed for baby tummy pain. It covers my top baby massage techniques so ease colic, constipation and trapped wind. All of which your baby can be dealing with as part of the symptoms of colic. Constipation often is part of colic, as the feeding pattern can become erratic.
  • Baby Yoga – There are some great movements that you can do to relieve trapped wind, which can often be a cause of tummy pain. You can watch some great Baby Yoga Videos on my Youtube Channel or yoga moves specific to baby tummy pain are also part of the masterclass too.  The Baby Yoga Action Song of The Grand Old Duke Of York is a brilliant one, not only does the mix of song and action distract your baby but the movements help relieve trapped wind and constipation

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  • Get Outside – I found when my daughter had colic that one of the best ways os soothing her was to take her outside. The fresh air and sun always helped, though I also combined this with a particular holding position too.
  • Holding Pose – I was taught this position when my girls were born (I have twins), and it was one of the BEST SOLUTIONS for colic that combined with these other tips, really did help bring her some comfort and relief. It is called different things, but I know it as ‘tiger in a tree’. You hold your baby in your lap, facing out and then you tip her so she rests along the length of your arm, her body is fully supported by you throughout. This position naturally puts pressure on the tummy, which seems to ease pain from trapped wind (it is also a great way of bringing up trapped wind) and you can also add in movement by rocking or swinging.
  • Colic Drops – There is no real scientific proof that these work, but I did add them into the routine in those colic weeks. Some mums swear by them, others say they do not make a difference. I think, as with most things baby-related, you can add it into your toolbox and see if they help your baby.

Bonus Tips To Try For Colic Remedies

Swaddle – Again, some babies really respond well when they are fussing to being swaddled. You can read more on how to do this, and some of the benefits too in a previous blog on swaddling your baby. Although I found it essential for sleep, I did not find it that beneficial for colic. Though again, it is easy enough to try, so worth a go when you are struggling for remedies for colic.

Swings – As I mentioned in the holding pose, movement can really help your baby when they are distressed or in pain. A baby swing is a great way of achieving this and often allows them to also sleep, which is always a blessing when you have been up for hours trying to offer comfort.

Tips For Mums

Nap – Get rest when you can is number 1. With patterns all over the place during these weeks, you will need your strength.

Help & Support – Do not be afraid to ask your partner, family and friends to help. Even if it is to drop off some meals, do the shopping. Or just be around so you can sleep for an hour. You will NEED support during these weeks. I remember these days well, and I was exhausted.

Other Mums – If you are part of any classes or groups then reach out for that emotional support from other mums. Mums are an awesome tribe that will be there for you, and having a friendly ear at 2 am can be a life-line. I know from my Baby Classes that the mums are often up during the night feeding but texting or chatting in a WhatsApp group. It helps get you through those well known ‘witching hours’.

Helping You And Your Baby with Colic

The Masterclass combines my knowledge of 15 years as a baby massage & yoga instructor with being a parent. I know first hand how Colic affects your everyday. It is all well and good people saying it is only a phase, but when you are up for hours rocking your crying baby, those weeks feel like years. I designed this class to offer you REAL SOLUTIONS TO COLIC, that you can use TODAY. It costs just £9.99 and includes full video instructions which you can watch at any time.

massage and yoga for tummy pain

Baby Massage – Colic Remedies

There is also an online complete baby massage course, that delves further into infant massage. This course has over 100 minutes of guided videos, with a fully illustrated handbook and full support via my Private Facebook Group too. This is designed for you to watch at your own pace, go back to any of the videos and work through the course when it suits you. It is perfect for parents who are not able to get to physical classes. A full body baby massage routine is broken down into manageable stages, allowing you to learn at leisure. One of my mums, who has been to my classes previously took this course recently as said that it combined all the knowledge from my live classes, it ‘was as if Rachel was in my living room’! It is a very personal touch, one that I hope connects with you too.

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baby massage at home

Connect With Me

Feel free to comment below, ping me an email or connect on Facebook. I love being able to support parents, through the rough and the smooth. I hope that these colic remedies are able to help with your baby.

Good luck over the next few weeks, I know how tough it is. Hang on in there, and know that you are doing an amazing job!

x

Rachel

Learn How To Massage Your Baby

Learn How To Massage Your Baby

Your Newborn Baby

The times of popping along to a baby class are currently out of action for many people across the globe. Baby Massage is still such a useful skill to have, but how can you still learn how to massage your newborn baby?

So, the need for great quality online baby classes and courses to impart some great techniques and also keep parents sane is a must. The Baby Massage Course is the start, Baby Yoga Classes will be coming as well. 

Baby Massage Benefits

There are soo many benefits to both you and your baby from learning essential baby massage techniques. You can read about many of them in my Top Benefits blog. Though for most parents they need solutions to:

  • Calming
  • Relaxation
  • Colic 
  • Constipation

There are lots more, but if these are the ones that you need then YES massage is the right solution for you! 

Baby Massage – Why Learn From Me?

I have been teaching the Massage Your Baby baby massage course for 15 years. The last few weeks have seen the closure of classes, with the risk to parents and babies just too high.

New Online Baby Massage Course

It was time to get this course available to everyone, no matter where they are. So, I have created an online course for you. With over 100 minutes of videos, a fully illustrated PDF handbook and clear modules to follow.

Why Online?

Many people are now in a situation where they are unable to get to a class. For others, who are still able to get out and about but perhaps prefer the idea of taking their time and working through all the information at their own pace.

What About Support?

Do not worry, the learn to massage your baby course also includes access to my VIP Facebook Group too! I pop in there with additional tips for babies and development.

There are lovely parents in there to chat to along the way. Offering that additional level of support that will keep you going and answer any questions that you may have.

How About The Baby Massage Basics?

I have put a little video below which not only covers the basics but will also give you an idea of what you can expect from the course too. I hope you enjoy it and please do let me know how you get on.

How Do I Purchase The Online Baby Massage Course?

If you want to purchase the complete online course you just hit the button below. The course is only £57 and includes everything you need confidently massage your baby at home, with video, modules to follow, downloadable handbook and support. 

Reviews Of The Infant Massage Course

If you want to know what parents really think!

I love the personal touch, it’s like Rachel is sitting in your living room with your” and “It’s so much more than a massage course!”. You can also see lots of reviews from many of the parents who have attended the live courses over the years on the Facebook Page too 

More Baby Classes

There will be lots more resources coming along soon. All online courses are available on the online page and will run via the Online Parenting Platform, This platform allows you to access each course easily and download all the elements.  This already has lots of ideas for keeping the older kids busy – all with a mindful approach.

Ideas For Baby

There are some great baby and parenting blogs here to help you along the parenting journey too, with making your own all-natural bath soak, to learn more about bonding.

I hope that the resources from both of my websites will help. You can always sign up for the newsletter to get to know when more classes are coming too.

Good Luck and be safe out there

x

Rachel

14 Benefits of Baby Massage

14 Benefits of Baby Massage

Why You Need Baby Massage In Your Daily Baby Routine

We are all very aware of Baby Massage, however, it has only become so widespread during the last 10-15 years. This is mainly due to the amazing research that took place around 2004 by Dr Tiffany Fields at the Touch Institute, Miami. Studies were run in Neo-Natal Units, where pre-term babies were massaged daily.

The results were profound with research showing that babies fed more, slept better and therefore left the hospital before their non-massage counterparts. As you can imagine, it has now lead to the integration of Baby Massage into most Western Cultures as we all accept the benefits of Baby Massage.

Communication

As parents, we know that although our little baby may not have any verbal language they are able to let us know whether they are happy, unhappy, hungry, tired or content in many other ways. It is one of those amazing skills that parents develop quickly – how to ‘read’ their baby! Other’s will come up to your crying baby and say ‘oh he must be hungry?’ but you know that is not the way he acts when hungry, this time he is tired. How do you know?

It’s all about the non-verbal communication, how he cry’s is just part of it. Is he also using his any other parts of his body? Are his eyes closed? As a parent, you learn to read these cue’s very quickly.

How does Baby Massage fit in? Well, how about touch as communication? Parents use it instinctively, we stroke our babies when they are tired or upset, we rock them to soothe them, we pat their back to reassure. Massage is yet another method of adding touch into this language. We call it the power of ‘positive touch’.

Video on Baby Massage Benefits

Benefits of Baby Massage

 

Bonding With Baby

Every parent assumes that when their baby arrives they will ‘naturally’ feel a connection. That is not always possible, as for many babies they may be taken away from birth due to arriving early or problems during labour. For parents this trauma can be ongoing, they feel they have missed essential moments with their baby. Massage can help every parent with this bond. A time that you set aside just between you, your baby is the only focus. You are both able to develop that connection in a calm, relax environment. The use of repeated strokes can assist you both to allow a sense of security but also activate the parasympathetic nervous system. This is our involuntary system, that regulates heart rate and blood pressure. Massage can help to regulate the heart rate and lower blood pressure, in both baby and parent – both win! You can read more on Bonding with your baby on our Guest post from Parenting expert, Sarah Weller.

Health Benefits for Baby Massage

There are so many different ways that massage actually benefits the physical, emotional and mental well-being of your baby.

  • Lowers blood pressure
  • Reduces heart rate
  • Produces oxytocin (the feel-good hormone)
  • Decreases adrenaline (one of the hormones relating to stress)
  • Deepens the breath – deeper and longer breathing
  • Assists in weight gain due to the above

Health Benefits for Parents When Massaging Your Baby

Yes, you too benefit when you are performing a baby massage.

The repetition of the strokes can also address your para-sympathetic nervous system in a similar way to your baby’s, including:

  • Lowers your blood pressure
  • Releases Oxytocin
  • Increases the emotional bond between you and your baby
  • Deepens your breath as you tend to breathe more deeply as you perform the strokes
  • Increases your confidence

 

Establish Baby Routines

At some point in the early months, most parents strive to establish a routine for themselves and their baby. Based around feed times, sleep times and other family aspects (such as an older sibling).

Newborn massage is a great way of assisting in setting habitual behaviour, that you can create by making baby massage part of your baby routine EVERY day.

In all classes, I discuss how adding simple things like lighting and music all help ‘set the scene’. Creating an environment that is then always associated with their baby massage gives your baby a sense of security which adds to the benefit of the routine. With this added security babies often feed and sleep better.

Again a great win for parents.

Many More Benefits Of Baby Massage

There are lots of other benefits for both you and your baby from regular infant massage. However, the key is to learn some techniques that you feel confident enough to take home and use regularly. Many more benefits are discussed during the Massage Your Baby Course.

This course is available in person (UK based), but also online. Often parents in classes bring up new ideas of how massage benefits their family, as we have plenty of time to chat over a cup of tea at the end of classes.

You will cover more of the benefits in both the online course and in person classes.

How Can I Learn Infant Massage?

You can come to local classes if you are in Kent. See the class page for all the details of when and where baby massage classes in West Malling run.

The ability to pop to a live class is not always possible. We have all learned to adapt over the last 18+ months, and many new parents will still be shielding, or just unsure if they are ready to come to a in person class.

Also, I know that many of you reading this will be based in other Countries, so do not worry. You can still gain from all of the baby massage BENEFITS listed but know that you and your family are safe.

The LEARN BABY MASSAGE AT HOME Course is designed to be as full of information as any course that I would normally be delivered in person.

Learn How To Massage Your Baby

 

 

You can check out all the details including a FREE Basics Of Baby Massage Video too. All created by Rachel, a Parenting expert who has been teaching parents all the essentials of baby massage and much more for 17 years.

How To Get Started With Baby Massage

HOW TO GET STARTED With Baby Massage Video

You can grab the free video that has some simple ways to get started with your baby massage.

Other things to remember that are important for your infant massage time:

  • Pick a suitable time of day
  • Use a good quality Baby Massage Oil
  • Ensure your environment is warm
  • Turn off the phone
  • Learn a few strokes that you and your baby enjoy

To watch the FREE video from Rachel and understand even more of the basics of baby massage then watch the FREE VIDEO

If you would like more details of some of the amazing research carried out by Dr Tiffany Field then please have a look – Research

Thanks for reading and I hope that you will take the time to visit Mindful Parenting or read some of the other useful blogs.

Happy Parenting

x

Rachel

7 Benefits Of Baby Yoga

7 Benefits Of Baby Yoga

I love teaching baby and toddler yoga, even after 15 years. The benefits of Baby Yoga continue to amaze me, and other parents too.

Although it is now far more wide spread than back then, it is still one of those baby classes that parents are often unsure of what the real benefits to their baby are. This comes up frequently when parents contact me regarding what is involved in a baby yoga class. Time to put some of those amazing baby yoga benefits out there for you all.

Benefits of Baby Yoga – For Parents

Yes, you too can gain from attending a baby yoga class!

Bonding – The time that you spend with your baby during a class is precious. It is really is just about the two of you, and this allows for building those deeper connections.

Support – Never underestimate the power of support when you have a baby. You really do need to have a tribe around you. Other mums who know what you are going through, who can offer that much needed ear to listen or shoulder to cry on. Most of my classes end up creating Whatsapp groups that offer support to each other. Many develop friendships that last years.

Benefits of Baby Yoga – For Babies

Brain Boosting – You may have seen from my other posts that I love how baby’s brains develop! One of the main features of baby yoga that make it really great to boosting that brain power is mid line crossing. This where we take arms and legs across the body. You can read how important this is for baby brain development here.

Body Awareness – How your baby learns about not only his body, but where is body is in relation to other objects (known as propreoception). Working out how movement can benefit motor functions as well as sensory development are integral to my classes.  For more information on how your baby’s brain is structured you can read my article on the baby brain.

Establishing Routines – Getting your baby moving can really help alongside other activities to sorting out some routine in your day. If your baby is a bit grumpy before bed (the witching hour as I used to call it), then putting in a couple of fun yoga moves can really help to tire them out.

Break The Mood – Even the best of babies can get grumpy for seemingly no reason. No matter when people ask – “is he hungry”, “is he tired” and you know that answer is NO! They can get themselves into quite an emotional state without much effort. How about some tools to help you break that cycle? Well that is one of the most surprising benefits, if you can get singing and moving your baby, they often forget what was making them all emotional in the first place!

Singing & Movement – I love the combo of using baby songs and movements in classes. You can watch one of these in action in my Baby Songs Videos, on my Youtube channel.

How To Get Started With Baby Yoga

If you can attend a live class then that is great. Buddha Buddies run a combination baby development class that offers baby massage and baby yoga. You can also watch lots of baby yoga videos on Youtube, or meet up with friends and have a go together. For inspiration, check out my Yoga Songs Videos and have a go with your baby. You can watch the great Baby Yoga Action Song Wind The Bobbin below.

How Baby Yoga and Baby Massage Compliment Each Other

I love using both baby massage and baby yoga together. The movement followed by a chilled out baby massage really does lead to the most relaxed babies. You can catch my online baby massage course below. At only £57, it really does cover everything you need to confidently massage your baby at home. Learn How To Massage Your Baby

I hope that you are able to start with some baby yoga with your baby or toddler, as you can see there really are some great benefits of baby yoga, not just for your baby but for you too. As always I love to hear what you think, so please do leave a comment below or connect with me on my Facebook Page.

For more parenting tips, with lots of freebies then do sign up to my newsletter.

x

Rachel

 

 

Your Baby’s Brain – Left vs Right

Your Baby’s Brain – Left vs Right

As adults, we are aware that our brain is divided into two halves – each having very distinctive roles. What, though does that mean for our babies and children? How do the left and right hemispheres of the brain talk to each other and can we improve baby brain communication?

How does this look for your baby’s brain? 

Well let’s break it down to basics to start:

LEFT

  • Responsible for the control of the RIGHT side of the body
  • Artistic/creative side
  • Insight/imagination
  • Musical awareness
  • Left-hand control

RIGHT

  • Responsible for the control of the LEFT side of the body
  • Academic/logical side
  • Language
  • Logic/reasoning
  • Science/maths
  • Written
  • Right-hand control

So both sides control very different functions – most of which will not be needed in these early months. Although what is also developing is the bridge that connects both hemispheres (Corpus Callosum). Communication between the two is essential – more about that in our next blog!

Our baby’s’ brain is busy forming new networks that once formed can then be used for pretty much anything, from language to fine motor skills. The process of forming these networks is biologically driven, but experiences also allow connections to form. Our babies continue to build these connections between both hemispheres for many years, but 0-3 years are the crucial ones. More synaptic connections are formed during the first 3 years than during the rest of our lives! However, our brains can continue to build new connections throughout our lives, it really is possible to teach an old dog new tricks! 

Baby yoga with Rachel Hawkes
Baby yoga, great for movement

Baby Brain & Movement

Simply put – it is just as important what we do with our babies, to create these experiences as it is to allow the body to form them on its own.

Although in a Buddha Buddies Baby Yoga class we do talk in about the brain – what is covered is how it develops and what this means to YOUR baby. Milestones and reflexes are just part of this developmental process, and there are many things we do in classes to bring our awareness to these key points of development. There is more information and some great techniques to try at home in the next blog about Midline Crossing, which is one of the best ways to increase connectivity between the left and right side of the brain. This is also true for older kids and adults. 

 

 

Baby Yoga

So, if you would like to know what is happening, then check out the other blogs and you can even view some great action songs that use techniques to boost that brain connectivity on the Youtube Channel, including this fab Grand Old Duke Of York Action Song. The Facebook Page has lots of tips that you can use to include into your day and you can also learn more about how to make Baby Massage part of your routine, which is another great brain-boosting activity. 

Rachel Hawkes

A mother of twin girls, Rachel is a Complimentary Health Specialist. Running a Wellbeing Centre and founder of Buddha Buddies, baby & children’s Yoga, Massage and Mindfulness Classes. She runs between juggling the usual family and household dilemmas and her businesses.

Mindful Parenting by Rachel Hawkes

She is a major fan of Mindfulness and you can read how to use Mindfulness with your children in her book Mindful Parenting- 40 Mindful Moments to share with your children.

There are Amazon Affiliate links in this article. Only products that are actually used by the author are ever used. Rachel will earn a few pennies from all purchases made via the links.

 

Baby Activities-Midline Crossing

Baby Activities-Midline Crossing

As parents, we are constantly amazed by how fast our baby grows and the new skills they seem to develop almost daily. As an Instructor, I have relished learning more and more about just how babies develop and how to incorporate these new skills into a part of our lives. In every Buddha Buddies Baby Yoga class I teach we include activities that practice ‘midline-crossing’. For me, they are an essential element of baby and toddler development, easy to do and repetitive (for embedding) and fun.

Why is it so important to add midline-crossing activities into part of your baby’s day?

Well, we all know that the left and right hemispheres of the brain control different things. (You can also look at our previous blog on how the brain is structured.) However, what is also key here is how the two sides are able to communicate. There is a bridge between the two sides called the corpus callosum. This allows both sides to essentially talk to each other. As each side carries out different tasks they need to be able to work together in order to coordinate learning and movement.

For babies, this communication is the foundation for later work on the development of such things as the dominance of hand and bilateral movement (both sides working together – i.e pushing and pulling).

So how can we add in activities early on in our baby’s development?

That is where our Baby Yoga comes in, specific moves are practised to enable the crossing of one limb over the middle of the body. Of course, we always make it fun and we never force any movement!

So to keep you going here are a few activities for you to try at home – or you can always pop along to a class or watch one of the various Videos including Action Songs that work on crossing the midline FREE on the Youtube channel.

  • Half lotus – with your baby on the floor in front of you start by taking hold of the right lower leg, now take this leg and move it across the body to the right thigh. Repeat each side several times. In class we also sing ‘pat-a-cake’ while we do this, adding other elements of singing and language into the mix!
  • Give me a hug – in the same position as before, this time take the arms out to the side and then cross over in the middle of the body, give them a little hug with their arms as you go. Repeat, this time ensuring that the arms move position, whichever one was on top is now underneath.
  • Hand to knee – with your babysat on your lap take the right hand and move towards the left knee. Repeat each side several times.

As you can see, they are all easy moves to incorporate as part of any routine. You do not need any special equipment and if you can, always make good eye contact, so you work on your non-verbal communication and bonding at the same time.

If you would like to know more about the activities or baby development, then do pop along to a class. You can also check out the YouTube channel, which has some great videos to watch on all things baby. 

Some Tools

I have put together a little list of some great baby (under 1-year toys) that can help with mid-line crossing activities at home.

Have a look at some of these developmental toys, you will notice that not only are perfect for adding in some midline-crossing but they also address other skills such as; problem-solving, hand to eye coordination and fine and gross motor skills.

Rachel Hawkes

Rachel is a mother of twin girls. She is a graduate with a combined honours degree in ‘English & Psychology. She is also a Complimentary Health Specialist, running a Wellbeing Centre and also is founder of Buddha Buddies – baby classes based around child psychology.

You can read her book on Mindful Parenting on Amazon. Sign up to receive more top tips to help you on your parenting journey.

Mindful Parenting by Rachel Hawkes
Mindful Parenting by Rachel Hawkes

There are Amazon Affiliate links in this article. Only products used or recommended by other parents are ever endorsed.