When the new parent is faced with the colicky child who at random times or at a particular time each day seems to commence a bout of inconsolable crying which nothing seems to soothe, they can feel anxious and helpless to say the least.
In the event they are willing to try just about anything, and often pick alternative treatments because they are supposed to be safe and free from side effects.
A recent review of 15 randomized clinical trials found that so called alternative remedies are ineffectual against colic and some may actually have negative side effects.
The baby continues crying, seemingly without any cause and parents are helpless to do anything about it.
According to Dr. Edzard Ernst, a professor of complementary medicine at Peninsula Medical School in England, the best remedy still seems to be holding and soothing the baby with some tender loving care.
Though many theories are advanced as to the underlying causes of colic, such as the growing pains of an undeveloped digestive system and gassiness to the general fussy disposition of a baby, there seems to be no consensus as to what really causes colic.
While some treatments can be useless other colic treatments may actually be dangerous – probiotics, fennel, herbal tea, and sugar solutions may often be just a waste of time, and chiropractic treatment, such as the kind involving spinal manipulation may actually result in serious complications.
Common colic treatments did sometimes show some benefit but not so much and not so consistently that they could be said to work conclusively.
Also if some remedies do seem to work, there is really no saying what a safe and effective dose may be. So the considered view of the medical community is that parents should not use unproven alternative remedies as far as possible for treating colic.