Saturday, August 22, 2015

11 Ways to Calm Colic (from a Mom who knows Firsthand)

Colic. Fussy baby. Crying all the time. Needy baby. Spoiled baby. WHATEVER you want to call it, if you have a baby who is fussy A LOT then you know how hard it is. I, with a 4 month old who has been described as all of the above, am speaking from experience here. It is not fun. But, from what I read anyway, it goes away. Hopefully by the time she is 18 years old. Lord, help me.

I actually hate the term "colicky." It doesn't really tell you WHAT the problem is. Just that there is one and that is supposedly goes away. I'm a problem solver. If there is a problem, I want to solve it. (Check out my hook while the DJ revolves it)... Really, from all that I have read and heard, the best "cure" for colic is time - which is the hard part. Because let me tell you, these months have been long and frustrating, and I'm only assuming that there are more months to come. Here are some tips that I have gathered in my desperate search for relief from the colicky baby.



1. Get a village. You know that saying "it takes a village".... well, a village is invaluable when you have a fussy baby. A village hasn't been with your baby all day and night, so they can take your baby (even when he/she isn't fussy) to give you a break for a little bit.

2. Find other parents who understand how frustrating it is. This is not the time to talk to people who have "easy babies." Talking to parents who have easy babies will just frustrate you further and cause more stress when your baby will not. stop. crying. Talk to the parents who have dealt with it first hand. They might have some tricks of the trade for you, or at least be able to share war stories.

3. Try to find a problem (if there is one). I truly believe that colic at least is "born" from an issue of some sort. For my baby, she has a milk allergy. So, it took nursing, then switching to formula, and then switching formulas 3 times until I felt like she at least wasn't actively hurting. Other common issues that cause tummy issues for babies are gas, reflux, and lip/tongue ties. There are a ton of ways to treat these, and I am no pediatrician, so definitely consult with one of them before self-diagnosing your crying cherub. But for us, we tried gentle formula, formula for milk protein allergy, formula for lactose sensitivity, gas drops (in every damn bottle or we'd have an issue) and reflux medication (which didn't really seem to make a difference). Every baby has their own required concoction.

4. Find a soother for the baby. This could be a pacifier (mine could give a ____ about one of those unfortunately), a swing (my SAVIOR because my baby loves hers), or being worn in a sling/carrier. I've heard of babies who soothed to the sound of the vacuum cleaner or a hair dryer. Maybe going on a drive in the car seat. I have definitely had days where the only thing that keeps her from actively crying is being carried around all day, which is not easy with other children around and when she doesn't really like to be put in a carrier.

5. Create a routine. For me, a schedule has been pretty key to my personal sanity. Our "schedule" isn't the same each day, because it kind of is determined by how well she slept the night before and when she wakes up, but I can pretty much count on one 2-3 hour nap either in the morning at around 9 or in the early afternoon at around 12 noon. And bed time is as close to 8 pm as humanly possible.

6. Get medicated. Not the baby, but you. You might not require this as a parent, but let me tell you, after hanging out with a crying baby for days upon days upon days..... it kind of (completely) started to mess with my head. A crying baby can literally drive you crazy. Maybe not crazy crazy, but full of anxiety and nerves. If this sounds like something you are dealing with, talk to your doctor.

7. Get OUT of the house. I know the feeling of feeling paralyzed, like you can't move or do anything because nothing will get the baby to stop crying. And there is nothing worse than being out (say, at the grocery store) with a wailing baby in your buggy. But just get out of the house anyway. With the baby. When s-h-i-t hits the fan, head home. But getting out might help you feel a little less stir crazy and desperate. 

8. Get a babysitter. For me, the best time to get a babysitter has been whenever I knew that the baby would be asleep at least most of the time we would be gone. But getting out and not having to cart kids around with you is super important for your mental state. Not only for the parents of a colicky baby, but for parents period. So, go find you a babysitter!

9. Research home remedies. This is to your own discretion. I've read of tea drinks to give a baby, but I never was brave enough to give my baby anything other than formula.

10. Research essential oils. My cousin Skye swears by her essential oils! We were at a family reunion and my baby was doing her fussy baby thing. Skye busts out some lavendar essential oil and puts it on her feet. She even put some on me. I swear it helped calm the situation.

11. Visit a baby chiropractor. Again, to your own discretion. I also didn't do this because I won't even take myself to a chiropractor, much less my new little baby. But I do know some people who swear by it. I'm just providing options here.

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