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Her own two children had colic, but it disappeared around the time she tried giving them an over-the-counter herbal liquid promoted as effective against colic.
Because colic does go away on its own, it's hard to determine whether specific treatments might work, she said.
"As a desperate mother, I can understand the sort of desire to try anything," Perry said.
She urged parents not to give up, since it's possible better designed studies on alternative remedies will show more definitive results.
Bhatia, a professor at Georgia Health Sciences University, said the study results don't mean that none of the treatments will work for any baby. Some parents do report success with alternative remedies. Sometimes that might be because parents think it will work and they feel calmer, which can in turn calm the baby -- a placebo effect. But even if there's only a placebo effect, there's no reason not to continue, as long as doctors have been consulted and the treatment is safe, Bhatia said.
Parents should always check with their pediatricians if they plan to give their children an alternative treatment, said Bhatia, For Leni Calas' baby Roxy, now almost 2, the incessant crying spells tapered down and by 9 months disappeared.
Calas said she's convinced of one thing "that no one wants to hear -- that the only thing that really does cure it is time."
American Academy of Pediatrics:
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