What to avoid

  • Avoid cigarette smoke around your baby. Smoking during pregnancy and exposure to cigarette smoke can cause Colic. Not only does it cause Colic, but it is not advisable for the health of your baby.


  • Minimise the use of antispasmodics and sedating “colic mixtures” as some have been found to cause significant side effects in babies.


  • A lactose intolerance, or allergy to a protein found in Cow’s milk, can cause symptoms very similar to those of Colic. So it is important for you to consult with your Health Care Practitioner in terms of determining the cause of your baby's crying. If it is a lactose intolerance, or allergy,then your doctor could advise you to take one or all of the following steps:
    • Change your baby's formula onto a Soya, Lactose free or Hypoallergenic formula.
    • If you are breast feeding, he may suggest you go onto an elimination diet whereby you eliminate all dairy from your diet for a period of at least 2 weeks, and see if it helps your baby's symptoms. Other common food allergens are often eliminated at the same time to see if they could be the cause.
    • See the section on Food Allergies and Intolerances for more information.
    • You can make use of the Colic and Food Diary example to take with you to your Health Care Practitioner to see if Food Allergies or Intolerances could be responsible for the Colic.
    • Try a product that contains lactase enzymes, which help in the digestion of lactose, the sugar found in milk. This may help to alleviate the discomfort your baby is experiencing.


If you need to embark on a restrictive diet, it is advisable that you seek the advice of a Dietician or Nutritionist, who will help you to design an appropriate diet that will ensure you are getting the right nutrients to optimise your breast milk quality.


The information in this article was reviewed for medical accuracy by, Paediatrician and Allergy Specialist, Dr Claudia Gray (MBChB (UCT), MRCPCH (London), MScClin Pharm(Surrey), DipPaedNutrition (UK), PostgradDipAllergy (Southampton), Certified Paediatric Allergologist (SA))

Dr Gray works at the allergy clinic at the Red Cross Children's Hospital in Cape Town, and has a private practice at Vincent Pallotti Hospital in Cape Town, contact 021 531 8013.