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Dear Mom With That Colicky Baby

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Dear Mom With Colicky BabyDear mom with that colicky baby:  Do not be discouraged, you are not alone, and it WILL get better!

It seems so unfair!  After nine long months, you are so excited to finally hold your new little bundle of joy.  You have been dreaming about the beautiful moments that you will have together.  You imagine all the perky Facebook posts you will make with your sweet baby’s face highlighting each one.  You can’t wait to show the world what a wonderful mom you are.  But then, after only after just a short while, the screaming starts.  You are not the proud momma of a delightfully peaceful Anne Geddes baby!  You have a baby with colic, and it’s not easy to be THAT momma!

I can’t say it’s going to be easy, but I hope these few tips will help you get through it:

  •  Talk to your doctor! This is very important, and should be one of the first things that you do. There are medical reasons that could be the underlying cause of the colic, or that exasperate the problem.  Make sure you explain all of your concerns to the doctor.  Make note of times of day, or situations that seem to make the problem worse.  This could help pinpoint the triggers and help the doctor make a better diagnosis.  In our case, our firstborn was meeting or exceeding all growth milestones in spite of being a champion spitter-upper. We used gas-drops, but I’m not sure how much they helped.  He was quite a screamer, which just caused a lot of air-swallowing.  This created a vicious cycle of gas, spitting up and screaming that never seemed to end.


  •  Don’t compare your baby to other babies! Your baby, you and your family are all unique.  What works for one baby may not work for another.  Everyone’s circumstances are a little different, and everyone handles similar situations differently.  That’s ok.  Don’t compare!  Our son is 15 years old, but I clearly remember going to a bridal shower not long after he was born.  For obvious reasons, I did not take him to the shower.  Another mom did bring her baby, who had this tiny newborn cry. You know the one:  the soft waa-waa that you think all babies should have.  All I could think of was, “MY baby doesn’t sound like that!  MY baby’s cry could be heard a mile away!”  That thought haunted me a little.  Why was my baby so loud? Dwelling on thoughts like this will not help you at all!


  • Rest when you can! I know everyone says this:  Sleep when the baby sleeps!  What if your baby barely sleeps? What if he only sleeps in short intervals?  What if the housework never gets done, or the laundry overflows into the hall, or no one every eats a real meal?  What if?  The bottom line is this:  If you do not get some rest, you will get more easily frustrated, and that will just compound the situation.  I became the master of 10-minute naps!  We had one of the old-fashioned wind-up swings.  During the day, that swing was the only thing that saved my sanity.  My little guy would nap in it as long as it kept moving.  I would put him in, wind it up and lay on the couch with the swing within arm’s reach.  I would doze until I heard it slow down and then gently wind it up as quietly as possible.  As long as I was successful at keeping those annoying clicks silent, I could squeeze in another 10-minutes.


  • Let someone else take over! Don’t let yourself get overly frustrated with the baby.  Let someone else take a shift with them.  It’s not easy.  As a mom, you want to meet all of your baby’s needs and be able to comfort them.  Sometimes this just isn’t how it works.  My husband and I would take turns with walking and rocking.  Our son was especially bad in the evenings, so we literally did not eat dinner together for WEEKS!  One of us was always holding the screaming baby. If we had a really bad day, we were fortunate to live near my husband’s parents, so we could take him there for an hour or two to get a little relief.  Don’t underestimate how much this will help you!


  • Don’t feel bad when your baby stops crying when someone else hold’s him! This is tougher than you think!  YOU want to be the one to comfort your baby, but sometimes someone else is going to have the magic touch – especially if you have become especially tense or frustrated.  My husband’s brother would take our little guy and hold him on his arm like a football.  It worked like a charm every time.  But it always made us feel a little bad that we could not comfort him like that even if we tried to hold him the same way.  Just enjoy the peace and quiet while you can!


  • Go on with your lives! For a while we kept our screaming baby tucked away at home.  Honestly, this just adds to your own frustration.  My husband decided that we were not going to lock ourselves away any more, and would go about our lives as normally as possible.  I vividly remember one shopping trip where our son cried (screamed) through the whole store.  We made sure all of his needs were met, and tried to comfort him as we shopped, but as usual, nothing helped.  When we got to the check-out lane, someone made the comment, “So THAT’s the baby we heard through the whole store!”  It was a little annoying, but in the end, we survived and our son survived.  That trip really made us feel less isolated!  From that point on, we just went about our day to day business.  Of course we took into account times of day or situations that were particularly stressful, but overall, we just did what we needed to do.


  • Colic doesn’t last forever! Our doctor told us that some babies are just high-energy, and that seemed to be the case with our son (he was even super-active when I was pregnant with him).  High-energy babies need to release that energy, and the only way they can really do that is by crying.  Once they start moving more on their own, the crying starts to lesson.   By the time he was really crawling, the colic disappeared!  Whatever the reason for your baby’s colic, he will eventually get past it especially once they can express themselves in other ways.  Take heart!  It doesn’t last forever!


  • There are a lot of products and resources out there! Some babies like to be swaddled (ours did NOT), some respond to soothing music, lavender products or movement likes swings or bassinets. Try some things, but don’t go broke trying to find the magic fix – there might not be one.  Chances are, you are just going to have to be patient and wait until it passes.  And it will.


If you have survived having a colicky baby, what helped you the most?