Moms know. There’s no word in the English language dirtier than that five letter “C” word.
Days and nights of screaming, inconsolable babies. Headaches. Sleeplessness. And just when you’ve
decided you’re a complete and utter failure as a parent, it disappears. That wailing newborn turns into a
smiling, happy baby, leaving you wondering if you’ve suddenly lost your mind.
Relax. Breathe. As Painful as It Is, It’s Not Uncommon. At All.
Nobody wants to use the word “normal” when talking about colic, but it is. Colic affects approximately
25% of babies and usually improves, often disappearing entirely, but the time your little one is five
What is colic? The verdict’s still out on that one, but by now most doctors agree colic is caused by some kind of sporadic gastrointestinal distress in an otherwise well-fed, happy baby. It’s usually marked by intense, incontrollable crying at approximately the same time every day, three days a week or more for more than three weeks.
Colic is miserable, but you can survive.
Making Those Long Days Just a Little Easier
Put them in a warm bath with lavender when they start getting near the end of their crying jag. After
a week or so, you’ll have their crying schedule figured out. Toward the end of their bout, put them in a
warm bath with lavender. It can help loosen tense muscles and calm them down a little sooner.
Carry them in a football hold, belly-down, and pat them on the back and bottom. A good argument for
the fact that gas and GI upset is behind colic is the way babies seem to respond favorably to things like
this, intended to put pressure on the stomach and intestines and work out stubborn gas bubbles.
Let them lie on their stomach. Maybe it’s just my kids, but I noticed when they were fussy they were
a lot more likely to be soothed-and fall asleep-if they were lying on their stomach. If your baby’s not
sleeping well when you put them down on their back, consider talking to your pediatrician about safe
Sit in the rocker, put them tummy-down over your shoulder, hold their head firmly in place, pat them
on the back and rock. Hard. I don’t know why it works, all I know is it works. The pressure on their
abdomen, maybe? Just make sure you support their head and shoulders so they’re not flopping around.
Pull out the stroller. For the first three months of his life this was the ONLY way my oldest would settle in. We’d pop him in an umbrella stroller and wander through the house, or go hit the streets. The
motion of the stroller would settle him down, and as long as I kept walking, he’d stop crying.
I figured that was fair trade, all things considered.
Get in the car. Colicky babies are infamous for settling in once you get them in a moving car. I don’t
recommend doing this all the time, since it sets a bad precedent for their sleeping habits after the fact,
but if you’re at the end of your rope there’s nothing wrong with popping your baby in their car seat and
hitting the road.
Put them in their crib or playpen and walk away. Nobody wants to leave their baby when they’re
crying, but constant screaming after several nights in a row of not getting any sleep is enough to bring
even Mother Theresa to tears. Put them down someplace safe, step outside where you can’t hear them,
and take about 5 minutes worth of deep breaths. Go ahead and cry if you need to. Then, when you feel
like you’ve got it together, go on back inside.
Should you spend the money on medicine for colic?
There are a ton of remedies out there for colic. Some people swear by them, others say they’re a
waste of time. I know I personally never had much use for them, but if you’re interested talk to your
This won’t last forever, no matter what it feels like right now. Don’t forget to breathe.
A Note From Kami: Invest in a white noise machine! Or download an app for your Iphone, TRUST ME! White noise is very soothing to a baby, like a shushing sound...shhhhhhhhhhhhhhh. But hours of doing this will turn you blue in the face and nearly make you pass out. I know it did to me! When your wee babe is inside you they hear a constant stream of sound from your heartbeat to your blood rushing through all of your organs. The sounds inside are louder then that of a vacume cleaner! Babies are used to a constant stream of white noise, so the shock of dead silence to them is scary! When my Claire Bear is fussy I turn on the white noise machine, loud, swadle her up nice and tight, stick her on the boob, and rock in the rocking chair. Works like a hot damn!!! I suggest reading the book "The Happiest Baby on the Block" it saved my sanity and taught me this awesome trick xo
Renee Malove is a book addict, a sci-fi fanatic, and the often frazzled mother of three. When she’s not driving the tap dance taxi or cracking the whip over homework time she can usually be found running, curled up with the latest from Patricia Briggs or finding new and inventive ways to bend her furry, four-legged roommates to her will. Oh, and she writes. A lot. You can find her on the web at www.Clever-Copywriting.com and talking marketing, parenting, writing and fiction all over the Internet.
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