02 May 2007

Probiotic cure for colic?

Hedra uncovered research that points to a probiotic as a promising treatment for infant colic:

Okay, so my kids are too old now to benefit much from this (at least in this form). But having learned (the hard way, with more than a year of hospital visits) that probiotics can help with GI troubles if you get the right one, I'm passing on this info.

It looks like Lactobacillus reuteri, at least one particular strain, stops colic in its tracks. QUICKLY. We're talking just a few days to see a change, and a week to see dramatic change.

We've all heard of using mylecon/simethicone (gas drops) for colic. And yes, that helps for some kids. Gripe water also helps for some kids. I haven't seen research on how many kids are helped by gripe water, or if it changes things for them in the long run (vs just treating each instance). According to this research, gas drops help about 7% of infants. (That matches my experience pretty closely. 1 in 10 or so.)

But according to this study, there's a probiotic drop that helps for 95% of kids. Holy MOLY! The average crying time dropped to 51 minutes per day, total, from three or more hours. Okay, I'll take that!

I hunted around and tracked down the product they used (which isn't identified in the study, true to good research form): Infacol.

It isn't available in the US yet, but it can be ordered from the following site: http://www.westons.com/acatalog/Online-Catalogue-INF181E.html. [NOTE: Both the probiotic drops AND traditional simethicone drops are sold under the brand name Infacol. Be sure you buy the probiotic drops. -- Ed.]

To give the company that makes it points, they have NOT been trumpeting the results of the study from the rooftops. Yet, anyway! LOL! But I'm going to, since I think this is immensely valuable as a tool, and colic (even mild colic) is such an issue for parents. Heck, this probiotic is also shown to do a lot of other good things, so even if you think it won't work, it is still a nice positive boost for other GI functions (including immune function).

My second son was so affected by his GI troubles that not only did he have huge behavioral issues, but he also lost growth velocity so severely that he dropped five standard deviations below his expected genetic range (using the gold standard for growth expectation, mid-parental height averaging). He started doing catch-up growth with
probiotic therapy (plain L. acidophilus, one specific strain). It turned out to be carbohydrate intolerances setting everything off. I learned, however, that if you can't figure out the problem, at least you can try using probiotics to help stop it from being a pain! Literally.

Note that each strain is different. This one works incredibly well for a majority of children. Others might work better for some kids. We'll have to wait and see. In the meantime, knowing the desperation for a solution to colic that doesn't involve drugs or duct tape, I knew I had to pass this on.


TrackBack URL for this entry:

Listed below are links to weblogs that reference Probiotic cure for colic?:

» Birth-Day: A Cure for Colic? from This Simple Life
This post about how to cure colic just popped up in my Parent Hacks feed. It isnt a birth thing but it is a very important baby thingso Im sharing it just the same. There is many a parent who has spent sleepless nights a... [Read More]

Your comments

Feed Follow this conversation by subscribing to the comment feed for this post.

My niece, now 2 1/2, had horrible colic when she was born. Her Grandpa, a nurse, had her mom mix just your regular probiotic in with her formula. It worked like a miracle!

Though this brand of probiotics may not be available in the US- my friend is able to buy a probiotics powder mix for infants and children at our local health food store. And if it's available in this part of Indiana, it's probably available most places in the US.

My friend's pediatrician recommended the probiotics mix for her son who had gastrointestinal surgeries immediately after his birth.

It's been very effective in comforting her son. It's also flavorless when mixed in water.

I totally agree w/using probiotics to "cure" colic. My daughter had it REALLY BAD! Not the "cries at least 3 hours, 3 days" crap....I'm talking full-on screaming for about 15 hours every day for almost two months. I tried everything I could get my hands on. New bottles, gripe water, chamomile tea....you name it, I bought it. Then I found out about probiotics. I actually was looking online for help w/dealing w/the colic and found a blog site and it was mentioned. I didn't actually try it until she was about 7 weeks old. I used Bifidobacteria. Excuse the caps: HOLY CRAP!!!! This stuff was amazing. The NEXT day, she smiled for the first time and that night she slept for 8 solid hours! 8 hours! The product I used is called BabyLife. If nothing else, I know that it didn't hurt her. She was hospitalized for her first week in the NICU and was given antibiotics. Good-bye gut bacteria...well, the "good" bacteria anyway. I know that this bacteria I gave her worked. I shouted it from the roof-tops when I found it. YEA PROBIOTICS!

If only I'd heard of this 18 months ago. I sat on the sofa crying with my daughter for hours and hours at a time for six months of "colic." My ex-pediatrician's best advice was that colicky babies like lots of room in the crib when they sleep.

Seriously, she said that.

I wish I had heard about all the natural treatments for colic when my son was a newborn! The 2 treatments I especially wish I had tried are probiotics and chiropractic (instead of zantac and being off dairy for 6 months!). Thanks for the great article!

hi guys! try these tips to help weathering colic...


We had a colicky baby too, and we tried acidophilus. It worked, but when our supply ran out the replacement acidophilus didn't do the trick. Eventually we bought different acidophilus, this time Extra-Strength (with 2 Billion CFU) and that worked wonderfully. We were lucky to have only had to endure the colic for a few weeks. There are lots of published studies on this available on Google Scholar.

We close comments after a month to guard against spam. Want to talk about this hack? Join us on Twitter and Facebook!


Free updates

  • Subscribers are my VIPs. My weekly newsletter includes a personal update, the latest from Parent Hacks, interesting links and news.

    Subscribers also get priority event invitations and occasional surprises via snail mail.

Asha's Book

  • At Amazon: Minimalist Parenting: Enjoy Modern Family Life More by Doing Less

    Find out why doing less is the key to resourceful, thriving kids, and a calmer, happier YOU.

    Minimalist Parenting is an encouraging roadmap for decluttering your schedule, your home, and your vision for family life. Reviewers call it "a much welcome alternative to the usual parenting advice."

    Learn More at Amazon

    Also available at Barnes & Noble or your favorite local bookstore.

New Book Coming Soon!

  • Coming soon: Parent Hacks Book

Start Amazon shopping here