Colic Can Make You Crazy!: Solutions That May Help

by Jennifer Chait

Colic can be a very frustrating occurrence for parents both new and experienced.

DSC_6254_a 200x151.jpgAll babies have fussy periods but if your baby is otherwise well-fed and cared for and still exhibits the following behaviors he may have colic:

  • Daily fussiness that occurs around the same time of the day (usually in the evening).
  • Your baby’s legs may be drawn up or his belly might be distended. He might also clench his fists.
  • He may become much more active during these periods.
  • Likely he’s inconsolable and his crying turns to screaming rather quickly.

Does the fussiness run along this tell-tale time line?

  • Starts within the first three weeks of life
  • Lasts up to or beyond three hours daily
  • Occurs three or more days weekly

If your baby exhibits most of the above there’s a good chance he has colic.

The first thing to do is don’t lose it. It can be hard to stay calm but try to keep things in perspective.

  1. This stage won’t last forever.
  2. Other parents go through this.
  3. Your baby is normal he just has colic.

Cold comfort I know. Sometimes when parents get too frustrated they may accidentally hurt their baby. You don’t need to become this frustrated. Here are some things you can do when the crying becomes too much:

  1. Have your partner take over baby duty for a while.
  2. Call a friend, family member, or neighbor. Have them come over so you can have a break.
  3. No one to call? Walk away. It’s better to put your baby in his crib, swing, or other safe place, shut the door and walk away for a little bit — watch some TV, sit on your porch, anything that you think might chill you out a little is ok to try.

Longer term solutions: Tips for relieving colic.

  • Pick your baby up: Many baby experts believe that the more you hold your baby the fewer episodes of colic a baby will exhibit. I wore my son all the time when he was a baby in his baby carrier and he did seem to have fewer long-lasting crying fits than friends I knew who held their baby less than me.
  • Try swaddling: This works wonders for some babies. try different types of blankets — fuzzy, smooth, warm, or cotton weave. Never swaddled a baby? Here’s how.
  • Breastfeed: Bottles push extra air into your baby’s small tummy. Breastfeeding is the perfectly nutritious way to feed your baby and is more soothing to most babies than a bottle. If you do feed your baby formula talk to his pediatrician to see if a formula change might help — it sometimes can.
  • Move around: This can stop colic cold. The only issue with constantly moving around with your baby is obviously that you become tired. Try a baby swing, ride in the car, or bouncy seat.
  • Baby massage: This is a great way to keep your baby and you calmer. Massage incorporates fluid and soothing movements along with touch that your baby will love. Here’s a baby massage primer.

Remember if you get too frustrated call someone for help. You can also call Parents Anonymous if there’s no one else to call. It doesn’t make you weak to ask for help when you’re frustrated. Parenting is hard work and asking for help makes you a better, stronger parent.

How do you calm your baby down when he’s upset? 

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This entry was posted on Saturday, July 14th, 2007 at 11:57 pm and is filed under Uncategorized. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

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