Colic: Harmful Treatments - Adventist HealthCare

Colic: Harmful Treatments

Topic Overview

Do not use unapproved, unproven, or potentially dangerous substances or methods as treatment for your baby who has colic.

Potentially dangerous treatments include:

  • Gripe water. Varying ingredients are used in blends labeled as gripe water. In some batches, alcohol is a main ingredient. Gripe water is an herbal home remedy that is not considered safe by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Some companies sell gripe water in the United States as a dietary supplement, instead of as a medicine, bypassing FDA regulation.
  • Medicines, such as antispasmodics or sleep aids. These and other medicines can have potentially serious and even deadly side effects in infants. If your doctor prescribes them to treat other symptoms your baby is having, be sure to follow the instructions carefully.
  • Placing a hot-water bottle or heating pad on your baby's stomach. Babies burn easily—do not use heated items such as these.
  • Quieting a baby with alcohol. Even dipping a pacifier in brandy or other alcoholic drinks is dangerous.

Methods not proven effective include:

  • Stopping breastfeeding. Sometimes people believe that the mother may not be producing enough milk for the baby or that her baby is allergic to the milk. But this is rarely the case, and weaning a colicky baby to formula can make the colic worse.
  • Feeding foods (such as baby cereal and solids) earlier than recommended.
  • Switching to a soy-based formula when milk allergy symptoms are not present.

Related Information

Credits

Current as ofMarch 27, 2018

Author: Healthwise Staff
Medical Review: John Pope, MD, MPH - Pediatrics
Kathleen Romito, MD - Family Medicine

Disclaimer: The information contained in this website, and its associated websites, is provided as a benefit to the local community, and the Internet community in general; it does not constitute medical advice. We try to provide quality information, but we make no claims, promises or guarantees about the accuracy, completeness, or adequacy of the information contained in or linked to this website and its associated sites. As medical advice must be tailored to the specific circumstances of each patient and healthcare is constantly changing, nothing provided herein should be used as a substitute for the advice of a competent physician. Furthermore, in providing this service, Adventist HealthCare does not condone or support all of the content covered in this site. As an Adventist health care organization, Adventist HealthCare acts in accordance with the ethical and religious directives for Adventist health care services.

Find a Doctor

Find an Adventist HealthCare affiliated doctor by calling our FREE physician referral service at 800-642-0101 or by searching our online physician directory.

View Doctors

Set Your Location

Setting your location helps us to show you nearby providers and locations based on your healthcare needs.