For a brand new mommy, or even a seasoned one, dealing with a colicky baby can be overwhelming. The constant crying is heartbreaking and nerve wracking, and leaves you with a sense of helplessness. But don’t lose heart; the only good thing I can tell you about colic is that it’s temporary. Here are a few ideas to keep you going.
First – Be sure it’s really colic. If you haven’t had the little one checked out by a doctor, do so. Sometimes what’s written off as colic is really a milk allergy or some other true gastric disorder, like acid reflux. If the baby is on formula, you should ask if making a change in brand might help.
Secondly, get help! If you have to deal with the colicky symptoms all by yourself every day, you’re bound to go nuts. Swap off with your spouse, another family member or a friend. My daughter had colic for the two longest weeks of my life, and it began every evening around 5:00pm. My husband and I took turns making dinner and eating with our other children while the other took care of the baby. It kept each of us somewhat sane to have a normal evening every other night, plus our other children didn’t feel so neglected.
Next, try some of those tricks everybody tells you about. A lot of them really do work! Take the baby for a drive (this worked wonders with my daughter). Vacuum, play music or sit with the baby on the washing machine during the spin cycle! Try to take the baby’s mind off her misery. For some babies a warm bath and a rock in the rocking chair is helpful. I don’t personally recommend the “crying it out" method for colic. Your baby is truly in pain and needs comfort during this time, and letting her cry for a long time will probably only escalate the situation. Mylicon Drops, an over the counter gas medication, might relieve symptoms on some babies. It’s perfectly safe, so it’s definitely worth a try. Otherwise, don’t medicate unless it’s something your doctor has told you to use. I’ve heard of moms giving the baby something to make them sleep. This is terribly unsafe.
Finally, if the colicky symptoms haven’t subsided within a few weeks, make a return trip to the doctor, just to be sure nothing has changed. Colic is a temporary condition, so just bear with it and look forward to better times.
Sarah is a 41 year old wife and mother of two boys and one girl. She spent many years as a manager in the corporate world, and gave it up to be a stay at home mom.
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