My daughter developed colic at approximately a week old. Some doctors say that a child can not have colic unless the child is at least 3 weeks old. The problem is not all children are the same developementally. A child can be experiencing a symptom even if the doctor has not read about it in a textbook. After receiving very little help from our regular pediatrician we took our daughter to a naturopathic doctor who helped us immensely.
Colic is generally defined as a baby who cries during the first 3 months, for more than three hours per day, at least three times per week. My daughter also exhibited signs of abdominal pains and cramps. It is generally caused by gas and an immature/sensitive digestive system. All of the following items I have used with my daughter starting when she was 2 weeks of age.
Most nursing mothers know to change their diet if their child has colic. This means the mother should stay away from items such as broccoli, cabbage, all caffeine (coffee, chocolate), brussels sprouts, onions, garlic, citrus products, soy products, wheat, and cow's milk. At the same time a nursing mother should eat raw vegetables, such as carrots and celery. The raw vegetables have "live enzymes" that essentially get rid of the gas so that it is not passed onto the baby. I often "ate" my raw vegetables by juicing. Drinking Fennel tea is another way of getting rid of gas. For mothers who enjoy eating chocolate and drinking coffee, consider replacing chocolate with carob. Carob covered peanuts, almonds, nut clusters, raisins, rice bars, etc. are available. If coffee is what you enjoy consider replacing it with chicory. It is sold under the name of Roma Roasted Grain Beverage. Both of these alternatives are totally caffeine free! This way you can continue nursing without feeling like you are not enjoying what you like.
For mothers who are bottlefeeding or supplementing while nursing it is necessary to not feed the baby cow's milk or soy formula. They both create gas and are difficult to digest. I supplemented while nursing and the only thing I would supplement with was Goat's Milk (Meyenberg). As I quickly learned Goat's Milk is most like breastmilk. It has been used for centuries, long before formula was invented. Unfortunately, most pediatricians are not knowledgeable of Goat's Milk since they do not have a Goat Milk representative give them samples like the formula manufacturers. Meyenberg Pausturized Goat's Milk is available at some grocery stores and most health shops.
The #1 thing that helped my daughter the most was drinking FRESH, ORGANIC CARROT juice daily. When she was only a couple weeks old I would give her 1/2 oz. to 1 oz. of carrot juice mixed with the same amount of boiled, filtered water. By the way this same mixture, in larger amounts works just as well as the electrolyte replacement drinks that are sold at the drug stores for when a child is teething and running a slight fever. As she got older I increased the amount to 2-3 oz. of carrot juice to the same amount of water. I got my juicer from juicers.net. I use a strainer to make sure no particles end up in the bottle otherwise the nipple gets clogged. On the days I did not give my daughter the carrot juice she would experience colic the next day. When I gave it to her regularly all I had to do was sit her up and she would usually burp on her own. The Gerson Institute also recommends juicing for other ailments.
When I was away from a juicer and could not make fresh juice I would use Hyland's Colic Tablets. These are all natural and were extremely effective. The Colic Tablets are made with bittersweet apple, wild yams and chamomile. I also would use Boiron Colic Liquid.
Finally, I also gave my daughter Fennel tea occasionally. It was much weaker than the one I would drink. Once again, I would use boiled, filtered water and would soak the tea bag for approximately a minute in 1 to 2 oz. of the water. This worked the same way as for me, the mother, it cut down on the gas in the body.