Published: Friday 15 January 2021

Colic is a broad term, which is defined by its symptoms rather than a particular cause. It is a topic we explore and discuss as part of our Diploma in Teaching Infant Massage Course.

Colic is believed to affect about 20% of babies. A baby is described as having colic if he or she has episodes of uncontrollable, extended crying over three hours a day and at least three days a week.

Every baby cries, but if your baby is otherwise healthy and well fed, then he or she may have colic. Often the stomach pain is the result of crying rather than the cause. In general, babies start with colic around three weeks old, reaching its worst at around six weeks old and then usually stopping around three or four months old.

The exact cause of colic is still unknown but there are many theories on why a baby might have colic. Some of the many possible causes include:

  • An immature digestive system
  • Overstimulated senses
  • Acid reflux
  • Food allergies or intolerances
  • Exposure to tobacco

Each of these theories, along with many others, are still being researched today. Since there is no factual evidence on what the exact cause of colic is, there is no one easy solution to help parents ease or comfort their baby through an episode of crying.

How and why does baby massage work?

Infant massage helps in a number of ways:

  • It helps to eliminate wind from baby's body
  • It can help to produce "feel good hormones" helping baby to relax and reducing levels of stress hormones
  • Baby massage can help to mature the digestive and nervous systems by helping to tone the digestive tract and aid the process of myelination of nerve cells for better brain body communication
  • Most importantly, baby massage offers the opportunity to listen, observe and communicate
  • It makes the baby feel secure and comfortable outside the womb
  • Skin to skin contact may be able to soothe and reassure baby

Using infant massage to help relieve colic is just one its many benefits. You can take a look at some of the others here.

Thinking of learning to teach baby massage and share the benefits with others? Currently, due to Covid restrictions, we are not running face-to-face courses but we do offer the same course via distance learning. You can learn from the comfort of your own home at your own pace.

The course is comprehensive, covering all you need to know about baby massage and how to run your own classes. Find out more here.

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