Home Remedies For Colic | Fussiness In Babies

Baby chiropractor performs a diaphragm massage to relieve tension for colicky baby
Colic is something we see all the time as pediatric chiropractors. Try these home remedies for colic which includes stretches you can do & products you can incorporate into your routine.  

Does My Baby Have Colic?

'Colic' is a very common term. The word colic is derived from the word 'colon' and generally refers to infants who are having GI issues. Colic is diagnosed in a healthy infant using the 3:3:3 rule - infant crying for more than 3 hours per day, more than 3 days per week, and longer than 3 weeks. Some babes have colicky-like symptoms but never get diagnosed with colic and are told they will grow out of it. As professionals in the pediatric realm, we can help relieve those symptoms of colic using stretches to loosen up their bodies and home remedies to decrease the fussiness in your little one.

What Causes Colic?

Finding the true cause of your baby’s colic isn’t an easy feat. The truth is, it’s probably not just ONE thing triggering their symptoms. As we mentioned, colic is often times related to a gut issue. Below are some of the MOST COMMON causes of colic. You should know that this list is limited and it may be a combination of factors affecting your little one. 

  • Mother’s GI Health : food needs to be correctly [and completely] digested. Gut bacteria may not be optimal — affecting your babe’s guy microbiome. [Common conditions for moms: IBS, Crohn’s Disease, Leaky Guy, etc.]
  • Antibiotic Use : taking antibiotics can be absolutely necessary for babes [or moms]. Antibiotics pass to the baby via breast milk and affect the gut microbiome. 
  • Mode of Delivery : baby’s born via C-section aren’t exposed to the same beneficial bacteria as vaginally-birthed babes. Other delivery characteristics that may affect colic include : use of instruments, long & traumatic OR very fast deliveries, breech presentations.
  • Formula : not to say you can't continue to use formula-- but you may want to change the brand//type and add in an infant probiotic. More on this below. 
  • Food Sensitivities : the mother's diet can trigger colic symptoms for babes that are breastfed. The most common food sensitivities for babes are wheat/gluten, dairy, fizzy drinks, chocolate, & spicy foods.
  • Difficulty Breastfeeding : tongue & lip ties, troubles with latch, torticollis, painful feedings, etc. 
  • Tongue/Lip Ties: tongue and lip ties are often key causes of colic. To learn more about tongue ties, check out!
  • Baby GI Issue: gas, constipation, reflux

Baby chiropractor performs a tummy massage to relieve colicky symptoms in babe

Natural Remedies for Colic & Fussiness

When we see babes in the clinic and their parents describe their behavior as 'colic,' we always look for tension in their little bodies. This tension can look like they are constantly looking one way as in a head preference. It can look like constipation or gas symptoms. It can also look like reflux and generally very uncomfortable in their little bodies. These home remedies for colic techniques are designed to loosen up babe and help them relax into their little bodies as they grow.

Body Circles

Body circles are a great place to start for a babe with colic. With babe supported in a seated position on your lap. Slowly move their body in a circle - both clockwise and counterclockwise. You will want to make sure you are also supporting babe's head with your hand on their forehead. 

PRO TIP:  Use an exercise ball to help with babe's core and for a more soothing motion! 

Side Body Stretch

When we are working with a colicky babe, we want to focus on mobility of the entire body. Which brings us to stretching the sides of the body. You can do this stretch with babe laying on their back or laying in your lap. The goal is to ~basically~ make a C-shape with their body by stretching between their hip and shoulder. 

Diaphragm Massage

The diaphragm sits at the bottom of our rib cage to facilitate breathing. The esophagus has to pass through the diaphragm to get to the stomach. Because of this connection, we can relax the diaphragm to improve reflux symptoms. You can perform this technique with your baby lying on their back or while they are resting on their tummy. First, take your thumbs to the midline of your little ones tummy, under the ribs. Start by applying a little bit of pressure and then stroking to the outer parts of their tummy! Practicing this before feeding can be helpful for babe's with reflux. For more techniques regarding reflux, check out!

Rib Cage Pats

Therapeutic patting, tapping, or vibration work can help relax your little one that is dealing with colic symptoms. When babe is practicing tummy time, gently pat or tap repetitively along their rib cage. 

Hip Shakes

Hip shakes or glute shakes focus on your babe's pelvic mobility. This technique is great for babies dealing with gas or constipation! This can also help reduce any tension in their lower body reducing their colicky symptoms that way! Start by grabbing babe's pelvic//hip bones, then give them a gentle wiggle or shake side to side. Babes typically LOVE this technique!

Alternative Tummy Time Positions

Having baby love tummy time is a great home remedy for colic! By helping them relax into this position it will help with any GI stuff they may be dealing with. Follow our ALTERNATIVE TUMMY TIME video for more techniques!

Products for Baby Colic

Probiotics for Colic

As we mentioned, colic is often times a gut issue for babes. Common causes of colic are related to poor gut bacteria, like antibiotic use, formula, mode of delivery, etc. Thankfully, you can add in a baby probiotics to help establish your babe's gut microbiome! If mom is breastfeeding exclusively, we recommend that she start a probiotic FIRST before adding one in for babe. Here are our favorites for both moms and babies: 

Baby probiotic for colic
Mary Ruth’s Infant Probiotic
Infant probiotic
Garden of Life Baby Probiotic
Baby probiotic
Mary Ruth’s Probiotic for Women
Garden of Life Women’s Probiotic


Magnesium for Colic

 Earthley Magnesium Lotion

You may also consider adding magnesium into you or your babe's routine. Magnesium is responsible for hundreds of essential functions in your body. This includes sleep, detox, muscle function, blood sugar balance, and gut health. If babe is dealing with colic difficulty sleeping, we recommend a magnesium lotion. This Good Night Magnesium Lotion  is safe for all ages! 

Craniosacral Therapy for Babes with Colic

Craniosacral therapy is a gentle, hands-on technique that helps reduce tension in the body. Research has shown that craniosacral therapy is effective and safe for infantile colic. In a study with 58 infants, those who received CST experienced less hours of crying, reduced colic severity, and an increase in the total hours of sleep. Schedule your babe's craniosacral appointment today!


For More Help with Colic and Fussiness

There is a lot of information in this blog from lifestyle tips to products to stretches, but it is only a start. Check out our YouTube playlist for a comprehensive lineup of all things to help babe feel and move better!

Baby receiving craniosacral therapy to help with colic and fussiness

⬆️ YouTube playlist that gets updated regularly ⬆️

Medical Disclaimer:

All information, content, and material of this website is for informational purposes only and are not intended to serve as a substitute for the consultation, diagnosis, and/or medical treatment of a qualified physician or healthcare provider.*

As always, don’t hesitate to reach out with questions//thoughts surrounding this topic!