If you are one of the unlucky parents that has an infant with colic, please keep on reading.
Between my sister and me we have had 3 babies with colic. It has definitely put us and our spouses to the test. You read all the reasons that colic may occur and you try to direct your comfort measures toward those reasons but in the end there doesn’t seem to be a link. However, over the years we have learned a few tricks which we want to share with everyone. These tricks work to calm any baby who is upset. We have included ways to calm your baby as well as ways to help you deal with times when you can’t stop the crying.
Methods to help calm an inconsolable baby:
• Turn on a fan, vacuum, Sleep Mate sound machine (white noise), or washing machine
• SWADDLE your infant http://www.colichelp.com/shop/swaddling/1.html
• Hold your baby up on your shoulder so that his stomach is resting on the front part of your shoulder
• Pat the baby’s back firmly
• Hold the baby in a “football” hold.
• Try doing deep squats while holding the baby
• Lay the baby on her back and just let her be
• While cradling the baby securely, twist your torso back and forth while your feet are planted
• Shush the baby loudly and repetitively. “SHHHHHHH” should be your best friend.
• Lay the baby’s torso over your lap face down, hold the baby’s head in one hand and pat the baby firmly with the other
• Change scenery: go outside, turn down the lights, change something
• Consider the baby may be over stimulated and reduce as much input as possible. Try to decrease auditory, visual, vestibular (positional) and tactile input as much as possible. Limit it to one for each sense. (Go to the quietest, darkest room in the house (add white noise to keep auditory input the same, if necessary), maintain one position for the baby, swaddle the baby and pat the back firmly to keep the baby focused on a specific tactile input.
• Stroller or car rides
• Music moderately loud, try vocalists that seems to be similar to the mother’s voice tones
• Use a Bjorn or Moby or sling
• Pacifier if the baby will take one, or have the baby suck your clean, nail trimmed pinky finger up side down.
• Try gently massaging the forehead between and above the eyes
• If you feel that your baby might be sensitive to something in your diet, try eliminating it but remember 2 things: 1) it takes 2 weeks for something to be completely eliminated from your body and 2) mother’s tend to blame themselves for all their baby’s problems so be careful to not assume colic is your fault!!
If none of these tricks work, give yourself a break:
• Get relief from a spouse family member or friend or service like Mommy Relief
• Place the baby in the crib safely and close the door. Let the baby cry for a little while, so that you can do a few small tasks so you feel more organized and maybe even let your self go to the bathroom without the baby! (sometimes our tension is sensed by the baby and returning to your baby a little less stressed may help)
• Call someone and talk or cry
• It is hard to meet a person going through the same thing because we tend to hide. All the crying in public makes us feel like bad parents but often you can find someone who has been through it. Feel free to call our offices and speak to us about how hard it is or how much it stinks or how to get relief.
Often when you have a child with colic you may miss your baby’s development. If you can keep an eye out for these things that happen in the 1st 3 months it might make you remember that this is temporary because you can see changes in the baby in other areas.
• At 5-6 weeks start to look for that smile
• Watch for her to start to follow you with her eyes, especially if you have on some nicely patterned clothes
• Between 7-8 weeks might skip a feeding at night; we have unofficially noticed that it tends to be right when babies hit the 12 pound weight mark:)
• At 2 months start to watch to see if your baby will swat at something (he may be WAY off on the aim but his eyes will be on his target and an arm will swing outward)
• Around 8 weeks time they show anticipatory excitement – the wiggling around when they see the bottle or the breast
• Between 2 and 3 months you might hear a laugh
• Between 2-3 months they start to kick their legs reciprocally (one then the other)
• Around 2-2.5 months they want to bear weight and try to stand
• Sometime in the 2-3 month range they bring hands to midline – getting ready to hold that bottle one day!!