4 Changes I Made to Help Reduce Baby's ColicDevan McGuinness
Colic is mean! It’s sad to see my baby Silver so upset and to feel like I can’t comfort him — and to be honest, it’s a true test of patience. Hours of screaming, fussing and trying everything I can do to help calm him day after day is not an easy thing to deal with. I’ve never experienced it in my other three children and didn’t expect to this time, but for the past two months, colic has been a real part of my life.
I’ve been researching and talking to friends who have dealt with colic, trying to find answers on how to help time pass with our sanity in tact. I expected a fourth child to have an impact in our lives and routine, but this colic that we’ve been dealing with has been a lot harder than I had anticipated. I know that it won’t last forever and that things will get easier — but it’s been hard.
I have found some positives and am already seeing the colic days getting shorter and less frequent at only two months. I have been doing a lot of trial and error, and there are four things we’re continually doing that have done wonders for reducing the colic and increasing the happy in the house.
1. Changed my diet
I knew that dairy was a potential issue before I even gave birth since my third child reacted badly to it. When I breastfed her, she had one week of colic and I eliminated all dairy (including casein) and within a week she was back to happy. So, when Silver started to act similarly, I got rid of all dairy again in my diet, which wasn’t a lot since I had already anticipated it. I have seen a big difference in his digestion. He seems to deal with a lot less gas, and while a gluten-free vegan diet isn’t always the easiest to manage, it’s a lot easier than the baby gas!
2. Rock-a-bye baby
Silver loves to be moved at all times and I really shouldn’t be too surprised since he was constantly on the move during pregnancy. I would find myself up all night rocking him in my arms and doing embarrassing dance moves while holding him just to help him sleep. Sure that reduced his colic, but man did my legs and arms hurt. For Valentine’s Day this year, my husband surprised me with an amazing glider chair that Silver and I sit in each night when he typically starts his colic stages. We sit and rock in the chair (which my neck muscles thank me for), reduce the noise and light, and I just let him nurse as long as he wants. The calmness and repetitive movements during his most fussy times has made a huge difference.
3. White noise
I don’t know what it is about white noise that seems to calm babies down, but for Silver it has worked wonders. According to About.com, experts say the “irregular humming sound of background noise might be similar to what your baby heard in the womb.” I’m not going to question it too much because all I need to know is — well, it works wonders. Before I found the perfect white noise, I was just using this one particular song on repeat that seemed to calm him down, but to be honest — it drove me a little crazy. Thanks to a friend’s head up, I found the perfect iPhone app that does the best white noise ever: a shush. I’ve been using Baby Shusher (available on iTunes, $4.99) for about a week now and I swear it’s amazing — and easier on my lungs than doing it myself for 45-plus minutes.
4. Increased touch
Silver didn’t get wildly fussy every night. It was often and a lot, but there were some days when I’d notice he just seemed to be happier than typical. On those days when he seemed to be happier, he had a lot of touch — more than the other days. On days when I would carry him in a wrap for hours or when my mom was over to hold him for basically the entire afternoon, he fussed a lot less that evening and just seemed to be a whole lot happier. Since that discovery, I’ve increased how much he’s being held (which was a lot before, but even more now) whether that be in my arms, in a baby carrier or in a family member’s arms, and the constant cuddles and touches has calmed him so much. The key seems to be to do this as often as possible — before he starts fussing — so he doesn’t fuss. According to AskDrSears.com, colic is a “symptom of disorganized biorhythms. During pregnancy, the womb automatically regulates baby’s systems. Birth temporarily disrupts this organization. The more quickly a baby gets outside help with organizing these biorhythms, the more easily she adapts to life outside the womb.” One of the ways to organize the biorhythm is to make the baby feel like they’re back in the womb, and baby-carrying is one way.
:: Did or does your baby have colic? What worked or didn’t work for them? Share in the comments! ::
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Photo credit: © Devan McGuinness
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