Research provides further evidence for treating colic

Research Summary
Alexander Nguyen
Research Assistant

Crying is an inevitable part of infancy. However, as mentioned in a previous Baby Sleep Study article, too much crying may be a symptom of a larger problem. Colic, or excessive infant crying, is linked with the gut microbiome and is recognized as a gastrointestinal disorder. Previous research has shown that the addition of probiotics such as, L. reuteri, may induce positive changes to the microbiome and help treat infant colic, but there is no clear consensus on its effectiveness. A recent study provides additional evidence that L. reuteri is effective for treating colic in breastfed infants.

In this study, 345 infants with colic were given either L. reuteri or a placebo, which is a fake and harmless substance. Often, simply enrolling in a study has an effect. So a placebo was used as a control to determine the actual effects of L. reuteri. This was a double blind study meaning that neither the parent nor experimenter knew whether a baby received L. reuteri or the placebo. The babies were then measured on fussiness and crying over 21 days. The researchers found that the group that had received the probiotic had less crying and fussing time than those who had received the placebo. The placebo group reduced their crying and fussing time as well; however, those in the probiotic group reduced their crying and fussiness by roughly 21 more minutes per day than the placebo group after 7 days of treatment and 25 more minutes after 21 days of treatment.

This new research is promising. However, make sure to speak with your baby’s pediatrician about L. reuteri and other probiotics before adding them to your baby’s diet.