Never in my life had I ever had to deal with a colicky baby until I had my fourth baby. It was stressful, overwhelming and draining. I was exhausted already from insomnia that had set in during week 32 of pregnancy so I was physically and mentally drained. I felt helpless and as if I was failing as a mother for my newborn child. We did the chiropractor and that helped a bit. We then took him to his pediatrician again where he was diagnosed not only with colic but with acid reflux. Our poor baby was suffering and it broke our hearts.
A lot of doctors are not sure what causes colic and if you are not sure of what it is it is basically your baby being cranky. A lot! Our pediatrician defined colic as – crying and screaming for more than three hours a day, more than three days a week and longer than a three week time period. As soon as he hit two weeks old it’s like someone turned a switch on for colic that was covered in cobwebs and dust bunnies. All hell broke lose! If that sounds like a nightmare to you trust me it is but rest assure a lot of times the baby is not in any pain. Our little one Kallen was in pain with the colic due to his acid reflux.
We were given meds to help his acid reflux which has helped tremendously but we still battled colic. We tried many things to help soothe him but there were so many nights he would wake up and cry and scream from about midnight to 4 or 5:00 AM! We were in zombie mode and I’m surprised we could function the next day.
It is important to know that when your baby is crying and screaming if their diaper is changed, they are fed, and you know they aren’t in pain you have to remain as calm as you can and have patience. If you are getting worked up and overwhelmed the baby can sense that. It is okay to lay the baby down in their bassinet or crib and just walk away for a few minutes. Come back until you have calmed down. Don’t be afraid to ask for help either!
What worked for us with our colicky baby is gripe water. It worked wonders at helping the gas, hiccups and tummy discomfort. We also fed him more upright and burped in between the ounces of his bottle feeding. We tried swaddling but that didn’t work for us but may work for some babies. Our little Kallen did not like having his arms bound together, he wanted his arms free so he could wave his little fists around uncontrollably.
Another method that worked for us was holding him like a football stomach down on our forearm and swaying him gently. He liked that. He also loves to listen to the sound of the shower. Instead of running the shower and wasting water we found a ten hour shower video or rain video on YouTube to soothe him and it helps put him to sleep and calms him down. Remember that if your baby has colic it is not the end of the world. Trust me I was at the point of me crying when they cried because I felt I wasn’t able to help my baby when that was far from the truth. They will eventually grow out of it before 3-4 months of age and it does get better with time. It just requires patience and cuddle your sweet little one so they know you are there for them. It does get easier.
Have you had a colicky baby? What are some methods that worked for you?