Some parents report soothing their crying infants with alternative remedies, such as:
- Herbal teas
- Herbal remedies, such as fennel oil
- Homeopathic remedies
- Sugar water
- Gripe water (a mix of water and herbs)
- Massage therapy
- Chiropractic manipulation
But, no alternative therapies for colic have been proved to be consistently helpful. Some might even be dangerous.
Herbal products and supplements aren't regulated in the same way that drugs are. They may contain inconsistent amounts of certain ingredients, or they may be contaminated.
Several homeopathic remedies contain low amounts of potentially toxic substances. Even something that seems harmless, such as sugar water, could be a problem if it causes your baby to stop feeding properly.
Before trying an alternative therapy, talk to your baby's doctor to find out what's safe and what might be harmful.
May 14, 2014
- Drug and Therapeutics Bulletin. Management of infantile colic. BMJ. 2013;347:1.
- Turner TL, et al. Infantile colic: Clinical features and diagnosis. http://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed Dec. 11, 2013.
- Lucassen P. Colic in infants. Clinical Evidence. 2010;2:309.
- Turner TL, et al. Infantile colic: Management and outcome. http://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed Dec. 11, 2013.
- De Weerth C, et al. Intestinal microbiota of infants with colic: Development and specific signatures. Pediatrics. 2013;131:1.
- Sung V, et al. Probiotics to prevent or treat excessive infant crying: Systematic review and meta-analysis. JAMA Pediatrics. 2013;167:1150.
- Savino F, et al. New treatments for infant colic. Current Opinion in Pediatrics. 2010: 22:791.
- Thomas DW, et al. Probiotics and prebiotics in pediatrics. Pediatrics. 2010;126:1217.
- Dobson D, et al. Manipulative therapy for infantile colic. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews. http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/14651858.CD004796/abstract. Accessed Dec. 11, 2013.
- Posadski P, et al. Contamination and adulteration of herbal medicinal products (HMPs): An overview of systematic reviews. European Journal of Clinical Pharmacology. 2013;69:295.
- Perry R, et al. Nutritional supplements and other complementary medicines for infantile colic: A systematic review. Pediatrics. 2011;127:720.