Today’s post is sponsored by Gerber® Soothe, which believes less crying for a baby means more smiling for all.
First, if you are a new parent and reading this blog post for tips on colic let me say that you and baby will get through this! You know this, it will not last forever. You can do this! You are ENOUGH. Your smart enough to be looking for tips to help calm and comfort your little one and I hope these ideas help you as much as they have helped us.
Second. Until our 5th baby, I had no idea how hard colic could be. Our youngest little love has been by far the hardest on us. I never understood how much harder having a baby could actually be until we had a baby with colic. I say this because you need to know what you are in for. All those people with easy answers who don’t understand why you haven’t showered in days and don’t have the energy to do normal things or go out to social events have no idea what you are dealing with. Remind yourself what works for one baby, may not work for yours. What works for a while for your baby, might not work the next time you try it!
Colic is typically described as a healthy baby
crying for more than 3 hours, at least 3 days a week, for over 3 weeks.
Colic commonly starts in the first few weeks of life and can be worse in the evenings and at night. For us, it was a doctor that told us our baby had colic. I had thought for sure something had to be wrong. Infact others didn’t really understand just how much our baby was crying, they thought for sure they could help, and then upon meeting our princess and seeing her evening struggle and everything that didn’t work, they too thought something must be very wrong. The doctor was sure though that nothing more terrible than colic was upsetting our little one. It started a long journey to help our beautiful baby find comfort and calm.
So what causes Colic in babies?
Research indicates that a type of bacteria in the digestion track
plays a roll in the discomfort baby experiences.
Why our youngest had colic and our other babies did not I can’t explain. It was a sure thing though that she did have it! My husband and I adore the new baby time, truth be told though there are things every parent loves about ever phase of their children’s lives. But the newborn phase is specially magical. The helplessness that comes with colic though can put a real strain on everyone in the house making this special time harder, specially of others don’t understand what you and baby are going through.
The first thing to do when your doctor has told you baby has colic is to make a survival guide for yourself! This list should have things you know you can do and try to make life easier on baby and on you. List things that you have researched and might work, things that loved ones have shared with you that might work, and be ready to try things, cross things off your list, and find just what works for your baby. Remember what worked one night, might not work the next! Don’t get discouraged. Focus on the list and the things you can try next.
When baby is happy, everything is right with the world!
Tips to Building your own Colic Survival Guide:
1. Build your support team!
Make a list of those people who are helpers, who know about colic, who can give you a break when you mentally need it, when you need to shower or make dinner. You don’t have to go it alone. Don’t feel badly about asking for help, your sweet newborn is worth it right? Of course he or she is. Build a support team for them! The more arms you have to help cuddle this little one through the hard times, the better!
It is normal to think something is very wrong with baby, call your doctor! After tests they might insist it is “just” colic and that is ok, they might also have ideas to add to your survival guide! If you want more ideas you can call Gerber as they have different experts available (Registered Dietitians, Certified Lactation Consultant and Certified Baby Sleep Consultant) to answer any questions. 1-800-203-4565.
2. Plan your evenings accordingly.
You now know that chances are your little one is going to have a hard evening or night. It is best to be home for this time, not eating our, shopping, or hanging around people who will not understand why your baby is crying. Plan to be home and plan to be comfortable. Not the best time to leave baby with Grandma or anyone who feels like they can’t handle crying. Try to have someone from your support team available if you need the back up!
3. Comfort Swaddle
Remember when your baby is uncomfortable that making baby feel more secure, like she did in the womb can help bring her calm so she can rest. Swaddle baby as they showed you in the hospital. Don’t be scared to try different ways to wrap baby. We love the very large muslin blankets for this. There are companies that make weighted little baby sleeper suites too that help baby feel secure.
4. Change the Temperature
We had read that the best temperature to help prevent SIDS was 72 degrees so we kept the babies room at this temp. Sometimes though we noticed that a change in temp, warmer or colder even helped her relax more. We achieved this a number of different ways but one of them was actually warm baths, going outside, changing the AC, changing her clothing. Sometimes we just had to distract her from her discomfort for a moment so that she could catch her breath and relax and be soothed.
5. Go for a Walk!
So many walks, be it at 6pm, or 3am! What ever helps her sleep!
We went from having babies who could be instantly calmed just by nursing to a baby who seemingly couldn’t be calmed. I felt like I was failing as a mother. This happens a lot and do not let it get to you. Be kind to yourself! While nursing wasn’t calming our babies every issue one thing helped her more than anything else. Taking her for walks in the jogging stroller! The more bumpy the road or path, the more she liked it. My husband was so sweet, he did most of the walking and let me rest. It was important we made sure he was home in the evenings. The walks I think made friends and family feel awkward, as baby would suddenly start to cry, they would try to help, nothing would work, and then off husband would go with the baby for a walk. We brought the jogging stroller everywhere! Walking on a bumpy surface worked 75% of the time. When it comes to colic, that is a huge win! I can’t say it enough, what worked one night might not work the next. Have a list of things you can try, try, try again! It helps you keep focused and not feel helpless.
6. Go for a Drive!
Most of our babies loved drives, but not this baby, except on bumpy roads and oddly out on the country we don’t have enough of those around. For some people though the comfort of a car seat and the rumble of the drive helps sooth their baby. Try it!
7. Use sound!
Try comforting baby with a white noise machine, a fan, or music. Try all kinds of music and don’t be scared to let the music be rock and roll and loud enough to make your teenage self proud! (not too loud of course!) We found our baby unexpectedly liked a rather inappropriate song with a lot of drums and base. I was shocked but not going to look a gift horse in the mouth. Thank you Pandora!
Lets face it, we are mammals much like chimps and most mammals of our kind do not put their babies down! There is a solid argument that states it isn’t even natural to put our babies down, thus most babies love being held as often as possible. To give mom and dad their arms back babywearing helps hold baby close! We love babywearing so much! It can help baby feel your body heat, listen to your heart and breathing, and help keep baby feeling natural movement they felt while in the womb. It is of course important to babywear safely! Many places have local babywearing groups who have parents who can help guide you and possibly let you borrow different kinds of babywearing gear!
As colic is said to be caused by gut bacteria it would logically be a topic that should be addressed. While I breastfed our babies, I also used formula for a number of medical reasons. You can check the blog to see all the reasons why. One of those reasons is Mammary hypoplasia, I lack the right kind of breast tissue to have a full supply. Don’t worry, it is a rather rare condition. This being said though, picking the right formula for baby can be very difficult. Gerber has honestly been the best for our baby. When I saw Gerber was looking for Moms to share news about it’s formula I knew that was us. For breastfeeding Moms I highly recommend they work on an elimination diet to see if that helps baby. For formula Moms, I suggest talking to the doctor about the best formula for your little one.
I received a free sample of Gerber® Good Start® Soothe infant formula and Gerber® Soothe probiotic colic drops from Gerber®. My thoughts and opinions are my own.
We know that probiots are great for us, they are also helpful to baby! Gerber® Soothe Probiotics Colic Drops is formulated with comforting probiotics L. reuteri which is a probiotic that is safe for infants. It has been clinically shown to significantly reduce crying time in colicky babies by 50%. ® Good Start® Soothe Infant formula is a formula that you can get in most places you get baby formula, no doctor prescription needed. It is designed to ease excessive crying, colic, fussiness, and gas while providing complete nutrition.
These products are not intended to treat or cure any disease.
10. Baby Gear
There are bouncy seats and swings and inclined baby beds all designed to help baby be comfortable and relax. We tried so many of these products and sometimes they worked and sometimes they just didn’t. Our sweet little one didn’t like the very costly swing we got for her, much to our shock. She very much liked her Rock N Play Sleeper but didn’t enjoy the vibrating feature. Instead she liked when someone softly rocked her back and forth. I will not lie, we did a lot of rocking and goodness I begged her to please let me stop sometimes. She is of course worth every effort! I even got food at rocking the product with my foot when my arms got tired! I suggest borrowing different baby items until you find one you like then buy that. Used baby stores can be fantastic, specially when one thing didn’t help baby, so you want to try another but not spend a great deal of money on something you are fairly certain will not help. Keep trying!
Did you have a baby with Colic? What helped?