(NEW YORK) -- Anywhere from one-in-five to one-in-20 babies have infantile colic in the first few months of life, and the fussiness and inconsolable crying associated with the problem can leave parents at their wit's end and many pediatricians stumped.
With no known cure and few reliable treatments, parents often will resort to any number of alternative remedies in hopes of soothing their crying infant.
In their tweets, moms told ABC News they used anise tea, long walks outside, rides in the car and even goat's milk in an attempt to soothe their babies' crying. Still other mothers said that time and only time could cure colic and urged patience and TLC.
But what do pediatricians have to say about all the remedies? Are alternative remedies harmless but likely ineffective? Are parents wasting their time with drops and teas when they should just be making sure they burp the baby sufficiently?
U.K. researchers delved into the issue of alternative colic treatments in a paper published Monday in the journal Pediatrics. They assessed 15 previous studies on alternative remedies and found that most were inconclusive when it came to treating colic, though herbal remedies such as fennel extract and chamomile and the use of sugar solution had soothing effects on infants that merited further study.
But if none of the remedies worked consistently, what are parents to do?
"Apply common sense, TLC and patience," said study co-author Dr. Edzard Ernst of the Peninsula Medical School in the U.K.
Correct diagnosis is also key, added Dr. Thom Lobe, a pediatric surgeon based in Beverly Hills, California, because colic can stem from a number of different causes.
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