A colicky baby that cries for more than three hours a day at least three days a week can be a real challenge for parents. The babies are difficult to console and their crying is distressing, but very often the pediatrician can find nothing wrong.
Calming a Colicky Baby:
Swedish researchers now have a treatment option to offer. They recruited 147 healthy but colicky babies who were between two and eight weeks old. The infants were all seen in a child health center twice a week for two weeks where parents could discuss their babies’ symptoms with a nurse.
Two-thirds of the infants also received acupuncture. Some were randomly assigned to acupuncture at the LI4, a standard acupuncture point between the thumb and index finger. Others got customized acupuncture at various points on their bodies, as suggested by traditional Chinese medicine. The acupuncturists all had at least 20 years of experience and additional training in treating babies before the study began.Infants in both acupuncture groups cried less at the end of the study than those in the standard care group.
Infants in both acupuncture groups cried less at the end of the study than those in the standard care group. Crying less than three hours a day meant that many babies no longer met the criteria for colic. The goal was to reduce crying, not to eliminate it completely. Crying is, after all, one important way that a baby uses to communicate with its family.
We have discussed acupuncture for menopausal symptoms in Show 1042, but this is the first research we have seen on acupuncture for infants.