Overcoming Colic Naturally

Dealing with colicky babies can be quite maddening. Poor babies with upset tummies who won’t sleep, cry inconsolably for hours, cannot sit in a car seat without crying constantly even on the smallest of trips. It is enough to drive any mama crazy! I have dealt with this with my past five babies. Getting to the root cause of the tummy issues is ultimately the key to helping the baby overcome this issue naturally. As with any issue, in order to heal completely and naturally, one must get to the source of the symptoms and resolve it in order for the body to repair and function as it was designed by our Creator. We have an amazing body that was created to heal itself when given the right tools and nutrients, clean out any hindrances, and heal any damage. Each baby is different and each situation warrants a slightly different approach, but here are some underlying root causes to consider and their natural solutions:

First, address the baby’s diet: if baby is nursing, this would be the mama’s diet. If the baby is drinking formula – the easiest to digest and assimilate with no digestive complaints is a goat milk based one. See the Weston A. Price video on how to make your own. For mama’s diet, here is a list of common offending ingredients that would upset baby and should be cut out of mother’s diet:

  • conventional or otherwise any kind of cow dairy (including milk, cheese, cream, ice cream, etc.)
  • wheat products of any kind (try sprouted flour or authentic sourdough instead)
  • corn products of any kind (look at your ingredients! A derivative of corn is pretty much all conventionally processed foods and restaurants)
  • spices (the orange, yellow and red spices)
  • soy products of any kind
  • citrus (lemons, grapefruit…)

I would highly recommend sticking to a Weston A Price lifestyle and diet as closely as possible while nursing. Your baby’s health is too important to leave to the Standard American Diet. It takes about 18-24 hours to get from mom’s digestive system to the milk, so if you think back to what you had for dinner last night (if baby is upset every evening) that might help.

A visit to the chiropractor regularly for a little while, or visiting a cranial-sacral chiro would be ideal as well. Many times the baby’s neck was misaligned in the womb or after with improper seating in car seats (or prolonged sitting time – babies do better being held than in chairs all day). This misalignment in the upper neck or even in the cranial will directly affect the digestive system and its ability to produce the enzymes and digest the food given. We had to visit a cranial-sacral chiro for our 6th baby and immediately after getting adjusted, he slept in the car on the way home for the first time ever and did not cry at all! He was 4 months old at the time. We had been to a regular chiro without those kind of results. Getting it back into alignment should make a dramatic difference if coupled with the dietary changes.

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If you find that you’ve done all the above, and baby is still miserable, the following could be considered:

  1. parasites in baby’s digestive system (and other systems like the central nervous system)- very common to have gotten from the mother in utero or in a hospital setting;
  2. food allergies caused by nutritional deficiencies (most allergies need a nutritional counterpart to be able to be dealt with – make sure baby’s diet is rich in amino acids, fatty acids, vitamins, minerals, and probiotics via mama’s milk or otherwise);
  3. major toxins stuck in baby’s liver and digestive systems (and other systems) from a conventional diet from mother, frequent eating out on mother’s part, toxic medications given at the birth or during pregnancy, or vaccinations.

Recommended approached for each of the above issues:

  1. If baby has parasites, chances are mom has them too! The best approach is to find a natural health consultant who can use MRT (muscle response testing or applied kinesiology) to find out exactly what kind of parasites you’re dealing with and the correct herbal or eo combinations to kill them out – different kinds of parasites need different combinations and there is no “one size fits all” supplement for this. Precision Herbs is one company I have used for these type of issues with great success. Also, baby has to be old enough to use the eo’s or herbal combinations to kill them out. If baby is nursing, the mother can take the herbs for baby and pre-digest them for baby so to speak. But again, it is best to find a trusted natural health professional to aid in this process. (See contact page if assistance needed or Precision Herbs.)
  2. Food allergies can be addressed by detoxing out gently any allergens stored in baby’s system (either given through the umbilical cord or developed from parasites). There are herbal combinations that can be used – again see a natural health professional to aid in the selection. Also, filling any nutritional voids for baby is essential. Read up on the Nourishing Our Children website or Weston A Price for the most nutrient dense diet.
  3. For toxic overload, if baby is nursing, the mother can take a gentle herbal detox or detoxifying tea. This should be done carefully and only when baby is old enough for it (every child is different and ages range from 4-8 months). Seeing a natural health professional to get the right formula for mom and infant would be best to take out any guesswork.

For our children, they all had a parasite we had obtained from a highly polluted lake in Iowa. Many agricultural states have devastated eco-systems with lakes and land over-run with harmful pathogens because all the good ones have been killed off with harsh pesticides, herbicides, pharma drugs, and insecticides. The parasite had been everywhere, including in the reproductive system, which was why each of my following children (after we moved away from there) were affected. We have since killed out, detoxed and done much in the way of healing the damage caused from this seriously harmful pathogen. It has been a very long road, but I am grateful God led me to the answers to get to the root of the problem instead of just addressing the symptoms. Through our cleanses, herbal combinations, and eo’s, we have healed from IBD symptoms, bi-polar tendencies, major skin issues (like eczema, severe acne), hypothyroidism, low milk supply, major behavioral issues. low immune function, and much more. To God be the glory for giving us the solutions to all our needs before we could even ask. He loves to help His children who honestly seek Him for guidance and wisdom. May He bless your family with the direction and the right people who can aid in the healing process.

Transitioning Baby to Solids

When should I start my baby on solids? What should he eat? This is a common topic among mothers, especially if one is new to the Traditional Foods way of eating.

I heartily agree with most everything in the Nourishing a Growing Baby article from the Weston A. Price Foundation; with the caveat that all these foods should be started when the baby is almost 1 year of age and not at 4 months. If you have not read this article and have asked this question, it truly is a MUST read.

Pay close attention to the end of this quote (from the Nourishing a Growing Baby article):

“Meats will help ensure adequate intake of iron, zinc, and protein with the decrease in breast milk and formula.” (emphasis added)

This article assumes that a mother is DECREASING in nursing or bottle feeding. Why in the world would I want to start preparing all these time consuming foods for a baby that I can still breast-feed 24/7? If for some reason, one is unable to continue breast-feeding or is not able to, then I can understand the need for starting earlier. Otherwise, if the mother’s diet contains all these nutrient-dense foods, I strongly believe waiting until baby’s first birthday before even beginning the process towards solids.

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Even when a baby starts to eat solids, it is not guaranteed that the baby will like egg yolks, liver, or what have you. This is where nursing comes in all the more handy. I can rest assured knowing that baby is getting all the nutrients he needs because of my diet and not necessarily from his.

As baby grows and is nursing less in the 1-2 year age range, or if the baby is not nursing at all anymore, I find it most useful to get them used to smoothies. I can put homemade yogurt in there, raw goat or cow milk, a little bit of sucanat, maple syrup (honey when over 2), and any superfoods I want to ensure he is getting all he needs. I like to add 1/8 tsp of moringa once or twice a week. I also like to get the growing tot used to eating a teaspoon of fermented cod liver oil/butter oil blend off a spoon.

When babe is between 1-2 years of age, I like to make sourdough crackers with lots of butter and pink salt for a quick snack if need be on the go. Who needs goldfish when you can give your child a traditional, nutrient dense snack that takes hardly any time at all to make? Here’s the recipe I have come to love:

Mix 1 cup spelt flour, 1 cup starter, 1/4 cup softened coconut oil, tallow, or butter. Stir it all together and let sit overnight. Roll them out, brush with oil, sprinkle pink salt on top.  Bake at 350 until browned about 20-25 minutes.

This little person has a fresh start on life, why not start him out right? Loving real, nutrient dense, traditional foods.

Joey’s First Favorite Food – Homemade Yogurt

My littlest one will be one whole year next month. I can’t believe it has been almost a year already! I say that with each one, but the time really does go faster than I realize. Being the real foodie fanatic that I am, delaying solids for my little ones seems the most natural, traditional way to go. I breastfeed them exclusively until they are almost one (and still continue breastfeeding as long as we are able). I do this for so many reasons, but here are my favorites:

  1. Breast milk from a healthy mama, who is eating a nourishing, real foods diet is SUPREME to any alternative;
  2. Babies do not even develop the necessary digestive enzymes to digest or assimilate grains and many other foods until between 6-12 months; and
  3. Exclusive breasfeeding allows my baby to be with me 24/7 – babies need their healthy mama all the time not only for physical health, but for emotional, mental, and spiritual.

And there’s so more! (For more information, read Real Food for Mother and Baby.) But hey, never take anyone’s word for it – do your own research with reliable, honest sources.

When I do start them on solids, I begin with vegetables, some fruits, organic butter and almond butter, and fermented foods (such as homemade yogurt or spelt sourdough crackers). I don’t usually go out of my way to make them special food, but rather just give them what I have already made for snacks or dinner (just keeping the baby’s spice free and simple) Today, I gave Joey some yogurt and he just loved it. I was surprised, because usually at the beginning, they don’t seem to “love” any food; they simply enjoy the new taste and the newness of eating. But he really enjoyed this one, so here’s my simple recipe for a first food:

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Homemade Cinnamon Yogurt

Ingredients

  • 3 quarts raw, pastured milk
  • 3 Tablespoons yogurt culture (I used an organic Greek yogurt)
  • Cinnamon
  • Stevia extract or Sucanat (optional) – do not use raw honey yet

Method:

  1. Add milk to a large stockpot and heat gently until 180 degrees.
  2. Remove from heat and allow to cool to 110.
  3. Pour milk into quart jars, leaving a little space at the top
  4. Mix in 1 Tablespoon of yogurt starter into each quart. Put lids on the jars.
  5. Add warm water (110 degrees) to the stockpot and place the quart jars in the water bath.
  6. Place the stockpot on a heating pad (or heating element of choice) and keep the heat steady at no more than 110 degrees and no lower than 95.
  7. Leave yogurt for 24 hours.
  8. After yogurt is thickened, put it in the fridge – it will become even more solid after cooling.
  9. Scoop out 1/2 cup yogurt into a bowl.
  10. Sprinkle a dash of cinnamon and a dash of sucanat or a couple drops of stevia extract.
  11. Mix well and serve.

Though I don’t like heating raw milk, for this ferment it does make the end result thicker without the use of gelatin or other thickeners. Also, using just a tablespoon of starter gives the culture space to work, which in the end creates a smoother, slightly tangy taste. This might just become my new favorite snack as well!