Any mother who has had to deal with that dreaded word knows the pain, both of your child’s and yourself.
While our prayers have appeared to have been answered with our latest child, Zeke, we have had 2 other babies, our first and third, that both suffered from colic. Our first baby’s colic bout lasted total about 6 months and our third’s lasted 10 weeks. (Each baby is different. Colic, on average, lasts about 3 months).
What is Colic?
Per Wikipedia: Colic is a condition in which an otherwise healthy baby cries or screams frequently and, for extended periods, without any discernible reason. The condition typically appears within the first month of life and often disappears, often very suddenly, before the baby is three to four months old, but can last up to 12 months of life.
The sound of our little ones’ colic screams still ring in my head. The nights were sleepless. I cried with each baby as I scoured the internet for answers on how to relieve colic. The amount of money spent trying to “cure” my child, well — uh — it would be embarrassing if I actually totaled it up.
While I didn’t find a cure, I did find relief in reading The Happiest Baby on the Block (referral link). In the book, 5 S’s are identified to help induce a “calming reflex”. We use these even on our non-colic baby.
- Swaddling – Tight swaddling provides the continuous touching and support the fetus experienced while still in Mom’s womb.
- Side/stomach position – You place your baby, while holding her, either on her left side to assist in digestion, or on her stomach to provide reassuring support. Once your baby is happily asleep, you can safely put her in her crib, on her back.
- Shushing Sounds – These sounds imitate the continual whooshing sound made by the blood flowing through arteries near the womb. This white noise can be in the form of a vacuum cleaner, a hair dryer, a fan and so on. The good news is that you can easily save the motors on your household appliances and get a white noise CD which can be played over and over again with no worries.
- Swinging – Newborns are used to the swinging motions that were present when they were still in Mom’s womb. Every step mom took, every movement caused a swinging motion for your baby. After your baby is born, this calming motion, which was so comforting and familiar, is abruptly taken away. Your baby misses the motion and has a difficult time getting used to it not being there. “It’s disorienting and unnatural,” says Karp. Rocking, car rides, and other swinging movements all can help.
- Sucking – “Sucking has its effects deep within the nervous system,” notes Karp, “and triggers the calming reflex and releases natural chemicals within the brain.” This “S” can be accomplished with breast, bottle, pacifier or even a finger.
If Your Baby Had Colic – How Did You Cope?
Related: Our son got over colic — we haven’t