Before I had children I thought the word colic was a code word parents used to describe babies that cried more than other babies. I had no idea.
The Mayo clinic says this about colic, "Colic is a frustrating condition marked by predictable periods of significant distress in an otherwise well-fed, healthy baby. Babies with colic often cry more than three hours a day, three days a week for three weeks or longer. Nothing you do to try to help your baby during these episodes seems to bring any relief.
Colic can be distressing for both you and your baby. But take comfort: Colic is relatively short-lived. In a matter of weeks or months, the colic will end, and you'll have weathered one of the first major challenges of parenthood."
Wait. What? Crying for more than 3 hours a day? No wonder parents with babies with colic need survival techniques. Here are our top colic survival techniques because let's face it, living through that colicky period is just plain uncomfortable for everyone involved.
Get Out of the House
This seems counter intuitive since no one wants to leave the house with a screaming infant, but motion helps! Whether you go for a drive (my favorite) or a walk, three things happen that seem to make the baby happier. First of all, strapping them into the car seat or stroller makes them feel more secure, secondly, the motion of the car or walk in the stroller is lulling in a very good way, and thirdly, the change of scenery is distracting.
Figure Out Your Babies Happy "Carry" Mode
Colicky babies seem to prefer to be held in one of three ways. These "carry modes" are most soothing to them.
First is what I call the football hold. The baby is held stomach down over your forearm. The pressure of your arm against babies stomach must ease the painful gas in their stomach.
The second hold is really any hold that allows for a swinging motion. So, this may be in your arms, in a baby swing, strapped into a , etc.
Lastly, most colicky babies are happiest when they are swaddled. Swaddled babies feel more secure and are unable to get too worked up moving their limbs so it eliminates extra stress.
Babies can sense your tension which in turn makes them more tense which will compound the problem. So, when you feel like you are getting towards your wits end, enlist help. Get your partner to take a turn, even ask grandparents, and friends. Having a set amount of time to yourself that is free from crying will make a HUGE difference.
Try White Noise
Try using to soothe your infant. Different white noise sounds are helpful!
Keep a Colic Journal
Sometimes it takes writing down schedules to see a pattern and perhaps ascertain if there is something that can be . Is the baby being overfed? Being ?
Talk to Others
Many parents receive great comfort from talking to other parents that have survived colic. It's nice to know that there is a light at the end of the tunnel and those parents might have tips and tricks that may work for you. You might also consider talking to your child's pediatrician to see if they have any insight for you.
Many parents feel better after hearing from a professional that they are not alone!