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HealthWatch: Probiotics Help Ease Colic

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Everly Weinholtz

Everly Weinholtz is a 4-month-old with colic whose mother said has benefited greatly from probiotics.

CBS New York (con't)

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NEW YORK (CBS 2) — Having a baby with colic can be extremely stressful and heartbreaking as a parent.  Babies with colic cry for hours for no apparent reason and can’t seem to be comforted.

A new study in the journal “Pediatrics” shows there is a possible treatment that could help.  The small study found that infants who took a daily drop of a probiotic supplement cried one-third less than babies who didn’t.

Probiotics are healthy bacteria that help keep the intestines working properly. Probiotics can be found in yogurt and some bread products.

Four-month-old Everly Weinholtz is a normal baby during the day.  She cries when she’s hungry or tired.  During the night however, colic turns her into another child.

“She screams. She yells. She turns beet red. She clenches her fist like she’s fighting someone,” said her mother, Ali Weinholtz.

Now Weinholtz and other moms with colicky babies may have a new hope.

“If there are less spasms and the muscles don’t contract so strong, the baby won’t feel pain,” said Dr. Joseph Levy of NYU Langone Medical Center.

Colic affects up to 28 percent of infants but doctors are not sure what causes it.

When diagnosing the condition, doctors refer to the rule of threes:

* Crying for more than 3 hours

* At least 3 days a week

* For at least 3 weeks

Probiotic products for babies are already on the market but parents should check with their pediatrician before adding any to their child’s diet.

“Not every probiotic is the same and not every baby that cries has colic,” said Levy.

More studies need to be done before probiotics can be used to treat colic.

Allie Weinholtz would welcome a remedy for her baby.

“I’ve been swaddling her, trying to soothe her with a pacey,” said Weinholtz.

For now, Weinholtz can take comfort in knowing that babies usually outgrow colic by the time they are six months old.

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