When it comes to colic, there is no quick fix. But don't feel alone, there are some great resources out there and many parents have been, or are going through the same thing you are. Only a parent of a colicky baby could possibly understand how hard it can be to care for a baby with colic. Remember, colic is only temporary and usually clears up around when your baby is 6-12 months.
In the meantime, try to take breaks as much as possible and breathe. A baby with colic can test anyone's patience with the long hours of crying and no sleep. Always remember it's okay to put your baby in a safe place where he or she won't hurt themselves to take a break for yourself.
If you have a spouse, family member or friend who can help you, ask them to take the baby so you can take a break. All new parents need frequent breaks and any parent who has cared for a colicky baby knows you definitely need a break now and then. Sometimes, it's good to just take a walk, get some fresh air or take a trip to the grocery store or coffee shop. The important thing is to take out time for yourself so you will have plenty of patience during those times where your baby isn't feeling well.
Some facts about Colic
Colic is a syndrome that causes crying and irritation in babies, usually in the afternoon, evening and nighttime. A colicky baby cries more than 3 hours at a time, 3 days a week. Where as a non-colicky baby cries 1-2 hours, every day the first few weeks. Colic can last anywhere from 2-6 months and every baby is different when it comes to how long it will last. Colic is a benign condition and the excessive crying is not harmful to the baby. Colic also effects the babies sleep patterns so if you baby has colic, he or she may not sleep very much for up to 6 months.
Causes of Colic
Colic is actually a generic term and there are many factors that can cause the crying. No one actually knows what causes colic. Most doctors agree it is stomach irritation and sensory overload. One theory is colic is often “diagnosed" when medical personnel do not find the reason for the babies excessive crying. If you're not satisfied with the colic diagnosis given by your pediatrician, I would recommend asking for a second opinion. There are lots of cases where colic has been wrongly diagnosed for a more serious illness.
Avoid smoking cigarettes
It is thought that a smoking mothers runs a bigger risks for developing colicky babies than non-smoking mothers. We have not found any report or documentation that supports this claim, but it is a generally good advice for mothers (and fathers) to avoid cigarette smoking.
White sounds, also referred to as white noise is a common way to sooth colicky babies and infants. The sounds actually does not treat the colic but they help the baby to calm down and the result is often that the baby stops crying and goes to sleep. Ways to create the white noise is to use a vacuum cleaner, hair dryer or running water. A ride with a car has also often proved to be effective since a car ride combines white noise from the engine with rocking movements.
Try to Cushion the Gas Pains
Burp your baby often. You should also consider gas relief drops or colic tablets which will ease the pain in most cases. If you are bottle feeding then you should try to use feeding bottles for reducing gas. We use Dr Brown's bottles and they work great!
Rocking movement will often help soothe your baby when he or she is having a spell. You can rock your baby in your arms, take him or her for ride in the car, rock in a cradle or in the stroller.
Infant Formula and Colic
Make sure you purchase a formula your pediatrician suggests for the colic and fussiness. There are several brands you can try including Enfamil and Similac. We used Enfamil Prosoybee for my daughter and Similac Sensitive for my son. Every baby is different so you may have to experiment a few times.
Baby massage has often been proven to help colicky babies. You can purchase books or do some searches online to find out the proper way to do this. It will also calm your baby down and even put him or her to sleep at times. Your baby should love this!
Last but not least you need some good, old fashioned patience. If you baby is crying that means their trying to tell you something is wrong. Go through the list of what you normally would do. If you've changed their diaper, fed them, burped them, they could just be really tired. Chances are your baby is going through a colic spell and just needs to be rocked and soothed.
For more resources and helpful information about Colic and more, please visit http://www.squidoo.com/colicbabytips