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Colic — Notes From The Trenches

By dearcrissy |

On Tuesday, I walked out of Kara’s 1-month check up carrying the dreaded colic handout. You know, the paper that tells you that your baby has this mysterious condition that no one knows how to treat — a condition that pretty much ensures that every member of your family is going to suffer, because your baby is going to scream her head off all night, every night, for WEEKS? That paper.

My son had a touch of colic, so, I know the routine, but with Kara, it is just so much more intense. I mean, whoa. Make it stop, just make the crying stop.

I feel like we’ve already tried all of so-called remedies. I have eliminated the usual suspects from my diet (dairy, caffeine), we’ve tried the gas drops, the swing, rocking, swaying, laying her on her belly across my lap, white noise, etc., etc.

I have to say, colic is about a million times worse when you have other children to take care of. There is no sleeping when the baby sleeps, because you have to care for your other child, and the crying, well, it affects everyone in the home negatively.

Kara’s pediatrician reassured me that we are not doing anything wrong, and that colic is just something we will need to navigate in the best way we can. He also told us that it should be subsiding by 2 months.

To complicate matters, even nursing doesn’t soothe her during the colicky hours. In fact, she screams and fights at the breast like it is causing her major belly pain to eat. Want to talk about feeling like a failure? Yep, it’s pretty bad, especially after not sleeping for days.

Was your baby colicky? HOW did you cope?

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Cry, cry, cry: The (not entirely reassuring) research on colic

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About dearcrissy



Crissy is a blogger and stay at home mom who resides in the Midwest with her two children. She has contributed to Babble, allParenting, BabyCenter and New Parent. In addition to writing, she also adores photography. More of her work can be found on her website, Dear Crissy.

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18 thoughts on “Colic — Notes From The Trenches

  1. Julie says:

    Colic is so hard. My daughter also had it badly. Have you tried using probiotics? Introducing them really helped my daughter. Stay strong. Leave her with someone you know and trust for a few hours if you can so you and your family can have a break.

  2. autoclave says:

    I’m sure you’ve checked for reflux, just in case right? I feel for you, but once ours was on meds, she was so. Much. Better. It can crop up in weird ways too. The eating especially sets off alarm bells. No matter what, good luck!

  3. Marcie @ The Simple Things says:

    I have a 3 week old who is starting to show some colic symptoms…co-sleeping, baby wearing, using a pacifier, swaddling, and gas drops are going to be my plan of attack!

  4. charity says:

    i can totally sympathize! My now 5 month old was a preemie and then got colic oh joy! It was veryy stressful but i can say colic calm and gripe water are amazingg and i would definitely suggest trying those! also swaddling worked for my litttle guy but sometimes i just had to let him cry :/

  5. Myriam says:

    Hi there, I remember especially my first son had bad colics, he would just start screaming out of nowhere.. I used to give him fennel tea which is known to be good for flatulations, also gripe water (I used to check for the one that said no alcohol) it’s very safe and I gave it to all my boys, I actually still do. Also make sure they burp after feedings (sorry I don’t know if there’s a more appropriate expression for “burping” lol) I learnt how to hold them properly, sometimes I would switch from one to three different positions and you’d be surprised how much air they swollow… may God make all of your affairs easy *smile*

  6. marie says:

    Colic calm gripe water. You only use it ad needed it all natural not going to harm baby. Worked great for us on my 3rd child who was my first colic child

  7. Raquelle says:

    I’ve heard of some colicky babies being soothed by the sound of the vacuum cleaner. Try holding the baby in one arm & vacuuming with the other.

  8. April ockerman says:

    My son had it bad starting from 2 weeks all the way until 3 months!! I was surprised I even wanted another child after dealing with that with him. Definitely try to get someone to take the baby and/or other child off your hands so you can get some rest otherwise it does become too much to deal with on your own. I don’t know how I got through it with very little sleep, but I did thankful to friends and family. None of the meds or anything worked for my son either, he just had to outgrow it. I am sorry and totally feel your pain. Will be praying that you have a support system to help ease the Colic burden!!

  9. Joanne Erenberg says:

    I saw these not so long ago and wondered if they worked, my 2nd son had a touch of colic.

  10. Joni Owada says:

    I remember, I remember!!! I went through it once, and holding my baby gently in my arms supporting her head well, (or put her in a sling or carrier) and gently bounce on an exercise ball. This worked almost every time to get her to relax and stop crying!!! Most of the time it put her to sleep. When she was screaming, I would bounce pretty vigerously and then do it more gently as she relaxed…

    Get the book and DVD for Happiest Baby on the block..those ideas really work and for my next baby I used those techniques too along with the exercise ball.

    If you are nursing get a My Brest Friend nursing cushion…those things are amazing and they strap on so they will not fall off and support your back…

    hand in there and love that baby even when she is crying…she will soon feel better and know that you love her…

    Also if you are BFing, watch the things you eat…for one child, I pretty much cut out everything but rice and chicken for a while. Absolutely no milk products…(they can make colic worse) for me, or many veggies also didnt agree with my little one.
    hang in there, this too shall pass!!!

  11. kim m says:

    Our daughter had ‘colic’ from around 6 weeks until 11/12 weeks (when it slowly went away and stopped). Ours lasted from around 6 until midnight. She also fussed at the breast and fought it like it was painful. Unlike most people I actually preferred to do it all by myself. My husband was working nights and I found it more difficult the nights he was home. For me I needed to know that I was personally doing everything possible to make it better and it just made it worse for me when someone else tried to help. And in a weird way it was easier knowing it was just me because I couldn’t look at someone else and blame them for not fixing it – lol!

    My tricks (although I needed new ones every few days) included:
    - While using our wrap/carrier – walking up and down stairs, squats, bouncing on an exercise ball, pacing the hall, dancing
    - Singing
    - Massage and tracing I L U on her stomach with my palm (which helps relieve gas). I have tried this on myself and it actually works really well.
    - And my ultimate life saver… the bath tub… I would fill the tub and we would both get in with the water as deep as possible and nice and warm. She calmed down immediately and would nurse really well (which made me feel better knowing she at least had a full tummy). I had nights where I would stay in for an hour or more adding more hot water as needed. The down fall is that she often started crying as soon as we got out but it was at least a break. I realize that is would be extremely difficult to find the time to do when you have other children but it was my only sure fire way to get some calm for both of us and the strength/perspective to get through the last bit. I would suggest getting diaper, pj’s etc. all ready so you can quickly transition out of the tub.

    Most of all, and as hard as it is to believe right now, it does end. All of a sudden one night it just won’t be that bad and then another night it will be gone. My daughter has the most fantastic and feisty personality now so if colic was the road we had to walk to get here then I’m ok with that.

    Good luck and hugs to you!

  12. ChiMomWriter says:

    My daughter was colicky. She had terrible reflux, but that wasn’t diagnosed until later. Check on that because meds made such a huge difference (and I was beside myself about giving such a young one meds, but even if you have to go that route, they’re not on it for good).

    The Miracle Blanket was the best bet for us to get any sleep – It gave us the tightest swaddle, especially across her belly and she couldn’t get out of it.

    Ultimately, our daughter would ONLY sleep on her belly. (No one yell at me – We tried EVERYTHING ELSE for two months, and our pediatrician was involved.)

    Get breaks when you can and don’t feel guilty for it. Let friends come by in the evening and hold the baby during a rough patch – They get to go home after. You need the break.

    Along the lines of vacuums, I’ve heard of people downloading the sound of hairdryers.

    All so random, I know, but I also know with colic, you’ll try anything!

  13. Connie says:

    Seriously – co-sleeping, co-sleeping, co-sleeping! Saved my sanity! I refused to do it with my first daughter until I happened to fall asleep with her while nursing when she was 3 months. I was shocked that I actually slept!! We only co-slept part of the night though. I would put her in her bassinet at bedtime and when she woke up in the middle of the night, around 3am/4am I changed her diaper and it was then that I brought her into bed for the remainder of the night. She nursed and we both slept! Once she stopped waking up at night, she stayed in her crib and no more co-sleeping. My second daughter was born just 3 months ago and what a difference! Been using this half-night co-sleeping arrangement and I couldn’t be happier. I sleep, I’m refreshed – I’m a SAHM with a 2 year old to take care of – I can’t be sleep deprived! I also have my 3 month old in a sling (Ergo is amazing) most of the day and that helps too… I know it took me some time to get comfortable with the idea, but ultimately I found this works for me and my family. I found these articles helpful in making sure we co-slept the safest way possible:

    You’re doing great! Hope you’re able to get some rest soon! Good luck! :)

  14. Maribel says:

    I think that the gripe water & Dr. Brown bottles have helped 80%. Is not as bad. My daughter have 3 weeks and it used to be hell to see her go through that. Staying burping her loonger as well. I hope this helps!!! Stay strong, when you think that you can take it anymore take a breake. Remember that is not there fault, they depend on us :(

  15. Amanda says:

    We used Biogaia probiotic drops for infants. It seemed to help. It is expensive, but worth it for us.

  16. Lauren says:

    I second what Kim M said. Every single thing she said was part of my daily routine dealing with my daughter who has juuuuuust turned the corner thankfully. We had little to no luck with any (and every) kind of gripe water, colic calm, etc, but actually saw enormous progress within 3 days of dosing her daily with biogaia baby probiotic baby drops. They are over the counter, but behind the pharmacy counter at walgreens because they need to be refrigerated. Talk to you doc and see if they are right for your girl, and in the meantime, get bouncing, squatting, etc. Peace to you and your family. Millions of mamas are waiting to welcome y’all to the other side!

  17. Katrina says:

    have you tried cutting soy out of your diet?

  18. Samantha Hartley says:

    So I know you got a lot of responses to this post as well as the one on the crying all night. But from reading that post and this one…I think that you should look into trying to get her to eat longer on one breast. I had some of the same trouble with one of my twins. I was going crazy trying to find some way to help him. I finally read in a breastfeeding book about foremilk and hindmilk. Check out ‘The Womanly Art of Breastfeeing’ pages 485 & 486.

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