Every mom has dreams about bringing home their newborn baby and cuddling and gently rocking the day away. But, when your baby starts crying and doesn’t stop for hours on end each evening, we get frustrated, tired and confused.
You take her to the doctor and after they determine that she’s healthy and thriving there’s only one diagnosis – Colic.
This is exactly what happened to me with all three of my babies.
Baby #1 had the worst bout of colic and it last for 6 long months. We bounced and rocked and swung and sang. But, nothing seemed to help. Sleepless days and nights took a toll on us as parents.
When Baby #2 came along, we hoped we wouldn’t have to watch our sweet bundle go through that again, but sure enough like clock work, two weeks in and he started wailing. Thankfully we had gained a little experience and knowledge and were able to use some techniques to make this time much more tolerable.
When Baby #3 came home and was a quiet little angel, I thought for sure we were in the clear, but once again colic came when she turned 2 weeks old. Thankfully, we were ready and prepared to tackle it head-on!
What is colic?
Colic begins within the first three weeks of life, lasts at least three hours a day, three days a week and continues for at least three weeks. The good news is that colic is usually over by the time baby is around 3 months old, but what do you do in the meantime?
1. Swaddle – The #1 piece of advice I have for you is to swaddle! Swaddle at naps and at fussy times and swaddle your baby nice and tight. A loose swaddle only makes baby and mom more frustrated.
Even if you think your baby doesn’t like to be swaddled and resists, do it anyway. They will settle down once all wrapped up and in your arms.
Babies love to feel all tight and snug just like when they were in the womb – it helps them to feel secure and also helps from keeping their little arms flailing about from their startle reflex.
My FAVORITE Swaddle Blankets!
The Muslin Blankets are perfect for newborns but the SwaddleMe is best for after the newborn phase. I’ve tried EVERY swaddle blanket – these are THE BEST!
2.The 5 S’s – Once you have baby swaddled, pick up baby and practice the 5 S’s that are discussed in the book by Dr. Harvey Karp – The Happiest Baby on the Block.
By swaddling, placing baby on his side/stomach, shushing loudly by baby’s ear or playing a white noise loudly, swinging baby and providing something to suck on, you can almost always get your baby to calm down and go to sleep.
This book was a lifesaver for us! Pick one up!
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3.Diet – The next thing that has made a huge difference in colic symptoms for our third baby is changing my diet. I breastfeed and therefore always believed that it was safe to eat just about anything.
By changing my diet, I’ve found that baby’s colic symptoms decreased a ton! I eliminated all dairy products – milk, cheese, yogurt, butter. Even products that contain dairy – cake, granola bars, cookies, chocolate, etc…
A lot of newborn’s digestive systems are sensitive to the proteins found in dairy products and can’t digest them effectively, thus resulting in belly aches, baby acne and colic symptoms.
Most all babies grow out of this, but by eliminating dairy from your diet all together can make your life and baby’s life much happier!
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This book was a lifesaver for me! It covers so much about breastfeeding that can help when baby has issues or when you’re new to feeding.
4.Nursing – Next, check baby’s latch. If you’re breastfeeding or bottle feeding, make sure baby is latched onto the nipple properly and not getting excessive amount of air in their belly with their milk. Too much air leads to gas and too much gas leads to belly pain.
If you’re breastfeeding, you can also check to see if baby is getting too much milk too quickly. If baby chokes, gags and pulls off your breast during feedings, you may have an abundance of milk. There are a couple of things you can do to help regulate this.
Limit baby to nursing on one side for 2-3 feedings before switching to the other breast. This will ensure baby gets the right balance of fore and hind milk. You can also sit while nursing baby so that you are leaning backwards slightly, like you would while sitting in a recliner. This helps to slow milk flow down.
5.Get Outside – Also, make sure to get out with baby daily. Go for a walk, sit on the porch or in the backyard. Fresh air and sunlight does wonders for mom and baby’s mood! Make sure to enlist help for your baby’s fussy time of day. Sometimes taking a break and getting some fresh air will help mom to have a renewed spirit to tackle the rest of the night.
GET A GOOD STROLLER!
Get a good jogging stroller and get out and walk! When you have a nice stroller, you can walk just about anywhere with ease. BEST INVESTMENT I made with my kids!
Remember this is just a short phase in your baby’s first year and it will come to an end. And before long you’ll be holding and snuggling with that sweet bundle you’ve always dreamed about!
BONUS ITEMS YOU MUST HAVE!!!!! ADDED LATER!
I have found that the Fisher Price Rock N’ Play is a MUST – HAVE when you have a baby. It keeps baby semi-upright and slightly snug. I only experienced this with baby #3 and several of my daycare babies. When you combine the techniques above, along with swaddling and white noise THIS is a winning combo!
Do you have any tips for dealing with colic? I’d love to hear! Leave them in the comment section below!
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