Things to remember when surviving colic

My first 2 babies were colicky. It was hell. Pure hell. Here are a few things that may be helpful:

  1. If you are losing your mind, it will come back. Itʼs ok.
  2. The baby may be screaming like crazy but he/she is safe. Do whatever you need to do to keep it that way. The human nervous system can only take so much high frequency and high volume sound. Sometimes the best choice means putting the baby down safely and walking away for a moment. Itʼs ok.
  3. If you and your baby are crying at the same time, itʼs ok.
  4. If you have a partner, they may not be perfect, none of them are. They may not do things exactly the way you would, but they can help. Let them.
  5. Going outside often works better than anything. Put that baby in a carrier and walk. Donʼt worry about waking up the neighbors.
  6. Change of scenery is good. I became good friends with the grocer, I was the only one in the store wearing a screaming infant while browsing the bulk whole grains section. Itʼs ok.
  7. Try eliminating all dairy for 3 weeks. I know it sounds ridiculous and impossible but I speak both as a nutritionist and as a mother. My irst two babies were colicky. They screamed for up to eight hours straight, daily for months. I tried going off dairy but never absolutely and totally for more than a few days. When I was pregnant with our 3rd, we were dreading it. I went off all dairy the minute I went into labor. We waited for her to start crying, but she never did. When she was 2 months old, I put a little milk in my tea, like maybe an ounce. She screamed for hours that night. In my experience as a nutritionist, I have found 3 weeks to be the amount of time it takes to get a real assessment but usually by two weeks you can tell its helping. Try going off all dairy for 3 weeks. Trust me I learned this one the hard way. If you are feeding formula, try changing the formula. If none of this works, at least you will know you tried. It still will not last forever. Itʼs ok.
  8. Look at and talk to your baby. Even when you are feeling overwhelmed and losing your mind, if you can stay calm, you can be supportive and nurturing. Trust me, mothers fake it all the time. Itʼs ok.
  9. Protect your back. Use pillows to support your arm for breastfeeding, even if you think you donʼt need it. Take care of yourself. Itʼs ok.
  10. Drink more water. Drink water every hour. You have time to drink water even while the baby is screaming. Itʼs ok.
  11. Wearing your baby can calm both you and your baby. You can move around and get things done while still being attentive and feeling close. Wearing the baby inward so you are tummy to tummy can be a good way to maintain constant gentle abdominal pressure on the baby, which is also helpful . I prefer a wrap for wearing newborns. It supports my back as well as keeping the baby safe and secure. When positioning the baby in the wrap, pay attention that his/her head isnʼt hyperextended forward, as this can be dangerous. If wearing your baby doesn’t work, itʼs still ok.
  12. We used to rest the baby carrier on top of the yoga ball and bounce, sometimes that worked really well. (Baby fully buckled in and someone still holding the carrier). This way if they fall asleep you can put the baby and carrier down and have a cup of tea.
  13. Speaking of tea, herbal teas like this postpartum formula can really help keep the stress hormones from taking over. Iʼm a big fan of this one because it worked for me within minutes, and because it is made by beautiful wonderful friends.

Amazingly enough, mothers, fathers and babies survive colic all the time. It will not last forever. Your child will not be walking down the wedding aisle screaming bloody murder.

You are doing great. Itʼs ok.