I was reading through this vintage book from the 1800’s, Domestic Cookery, Useful Receipts, and Hints to Young Housekeepers by Elisabeth Ellicot Lea that is out of print but free to read online thanks to Project Gutenberg, and had to laugh at this advice on dealing with a colicky baby:

Tea made of catnip, and sweetened, given to an infant  when it appears to be in pain, is often useful.  Sweet marjoram tea also relieves pain, and has a soothing effect on the nerves.

To put the feet in warm water, and put a warm piece of flannel to the stomach, is important; but if neither of these relieve the child, put it in warm water for about ten minutes, and cover it from the air carefully; wipe it dry, and keep it warm afterwards.

A little weak ginger tea is also good for the colic; as also tea made of dried damask rose leaves; a teaspoon full of leaves will make a tea-cupful of tea.

Uneasiness is frequently caused by their stomachs being overloaded with food, and care should be taken in this respect.

Actually some of that does ring true for me… for instance, I know many babies are soothed by warm baths, and overfeeding can definitely cause upset stomach.

But I’m also trying to picture myself putting my squirming, screaming, colicky infant’s feet into warm water while at the same time trying to keep a warm piece of flannel on his tummy.  Really?  I guess I need a youtube video example showing me it can be done because I don’t want to attempt that.  ;-)

By the way, just because I included an excerpt here from this book doesn’t mean I’m advising you to follow the book’s advice.  I’d ask your pediatrician before giving your child any herbs or trying home remedies on your child.

If I come across anything else interesting, I’ll share with ya!  :)


One Response to Advice from the 1800’s – How to Calm Your Colicky Baby

  • Catnip tea? Um, I don’t think I could do that. What works for us right now are warm baths in the evening, gripe water on occasion, laying Owen down over my legs and bouncing him while rubbing his back. All these things are helping, he’s been happier!

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