If you’re doing an online search using the keywords “coping” and “colic,” you’ve come to the right place. There are thousands and thousands of books and articles about colic and coping strategies. That’s because having a colicky baby is a big deal. It may seem like an overwhelming situation now, but the good new is it passes. And you’re not alone in your struggle.
My first baby was a colicky baby. He was a beautiful, sweet, happy, healthy and easygoing baby, so when the crying spells began, everyone was worried. Plus, I was at home with him every day, so it started wearing on me emotionally quicker than it did on others.
Spending a day with a baby who screams at you for hours takes its toll. I felt like I was failing as a mom. I was sad for him and sad for myself. I also felt isolated and alone. Was I the only mom with a perfectly healthy baby who cried and cried? None of it made sense. Maybe something was wrong with him? Wrong with us?
If you’re trapped in the cycle of colic, here are few things to think about that will ease your mind and your baby.
Share Your Struggle
There’s no shame in colic, so share your feelings and frustrations with your family members or close friends. If they want to help you with your baby, let them! Every mother knows the journey of motherhood isn’t always an easy one. The people who love you genuinely want to help you. Don’t feel embarrassed or isolate yourself because you have a colicky baby. Ask for help.
Calm Your Thoughts
The whirlwinds of emotions you begin to feel with a colicky baby are powerful. If you’re having trouble staying calm during a crying spell, take a break. Put your baby in a safe place and regain your composure. Take a few minutes to reset your inner voice. Stop the negative self talk and tell yourself something positive, no matter how silly it may seem. On my worst day, I remember telling myself, “Well, I brushed my teeth this morning. That’s something!” It was such a goofy thought, but it worked.
This Too Shall Pass
Being a parent is challenging when you’re well rested, so taking care of a colicky baby when you’re totally exhausted can seem impossible. Just remember babies do grow out of colic. Babies do sleep. You will sleep. Everyone will sleep. Studies show colic tends to start when baby is 2-3 weeks old and usually subsides by (or before) they are 5-months-old.
Visit Your Pediatrician
New moms worry and that’s totally understandable. It’s also expected. Don’t feel guilty for scheduling an appointment with your pediatrician because your baby is crying. Long episodes of uncontrollable crying are probably nothing to be concerned about, but it could give you much-needed peace of mind to hear that from your doctor. A little reassurance can go a long way.
Try Different Soothing Techniques
In my article Ways to Soothe a Fussy Baby, I discuss various techniques many parents swear by for calming down a cranky baby. If you’ve tried everything and nothing seems to work, focus on one soothing technique for a day and see if that works. If not, move on to another technique the next day. That way you aren’t over stimulating your baby and you may find one that works better than the rest.
Ease Tummy Woes
When it comes to causes of colic, there are many schools of thought. In 5 Things You Should Know About Colic, I explore the possibility of tummy woes. I know it’s hard to keep a clear mind during a bout with colic, but try to read your baby for signs of tummy pain. There are lots of little tricks you can try to help ease the discomfort if it’s stemming from digestive issues like gas and reflux.
Gripe Water to the Rescue
We heard about gripe water from other parents and after hearing their success stories, we gave it a try. Little Remedies Gripe Water is a liquid you can give your baby and it instantly begins to ease the colic. We joked it was “magical” because it helps all kinds of things that could be triggering colicky behavior like gastrointestinal discomfort, teething pain, reflux and other stomach ailments.