Science says this soothes colicky babies. Please be true, say moms everywhere

Research published by the American Academy of Pediatrics showed that a specific probiotic may help with colicky babies.

Science says this soothes colicky babies. Please be true, say moms everywhere

Health and Safety

Science says this soothes colicky babies. Please be true, say moms everywhere


Looking back on many miserable milestones, moms can just shake their heads with a dreamy ‘remember-when’ smile…

Feeding every two or three hours.


Terrible twos.

But colic? No. It was a nightmare.

Credit: Giphy

Babies cry for hours at top lung capacity and nothing works. Sometimes it happens night after night for weeks. Pediatricians can’t say what causes colic or how to make it go away, only that it’s normal. But it messes with your sanity, normal or not.

Hope in the grocery store?

Therefore a review published in the American Academy of Pediatrics that showed  promise in an item found in the vitamin section of grocery store will no doubt give desperate parents hope.

The authors of the review looked at four double-blind, randomized, controlled studies of a probiotic called Lactobacillus reuteri (or L. reuteri ) and whether it can reduce crying and fussing in breastfed babies with colic. (There was insufficient data to make conclusions about formula-fed infants.)

Probiotic versus placebo

The 345 breastfed babies with colic who were given probiotic drops over 21 days cried less compared with infants given the placebo.

After 14 days, 58 percent of those infants receiving the probiotic drops showed a 50 percent or more reduction in crying and/or fussing time from the beginning of the study. By 21 days, over two-thirds of that group were experiencing less fussing and crying.

Credit: Giphy

So that’s relief. But the authors are cautious about drawing any definite conclusions.

Too soon to call it a cure

The review in the journal also included an editorial that suggested it’s too soon for pediatricians to start prescribing probiotics for colicky babies when major questions remain.

One is why are healthy babies crying? Another is, what is going on with babies digestive systems? Not enough is known yet.

Also, the editorial points out that incidents of colic drops without any probiotics from 20 percent in the first six weeks of life, 11 percent by weeks eight or nine and 6 percent at weeks 10 to 12.

This doc prescribed probiotics

Still, Dr. Javay Ross, a pediatrician with UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospital Oakland, told the HuffPo, that she read the findings and found them encouraging. Ross said she has prescribed one parent probiotics for a colicky baby.

“We’re just in the beginning stages of general pediatricians incorporating this into practice. A year from now, we’ll have a better sense of whether this is a game changer for real.”

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