So you have a colicky baby. What to do? It’s stressful enough being a mom running on energy reserves, managing a household and working full time—and on top of this I need to figure out how to help my baby?
Whether you are a first-time mom looking for colicky baby solutions or a mother of three like me, who has wanted to pull her hair out for the past few months…you’ve come to the right place! Baby G, my latest, spent months being fussy, crying constantly, seemed to be inconsolable and had many sleepless nights. I began to think that colic was contagious, because eventually I developed some of the same symptoms!
Here are some tips that worked for me and how I made it through:
Burp it Out • Try burping baby more during and between feedings to help relieve some of the gassy pain he is experiencing. If your baby has colic, he’s not hungry. So don’t overfeed him or it will only make it worse.
White Noise • Making the shhh sound, having baby in the same room as the dryer or dishwasher, or even a vacuum can help baby sleep. A low, constant noise can actually be soothing to him. Yup, I bought a noise machine this time around.
Go for a Ride • When my first child was super fussy we went for a ride. It worked like a charm! The vibrations and sounds were also soothing—for the both of us. Sometimes I made Dad drive and I took a back seat nap.
Back Massage • Placing baby on his/her belly or across your lap and giving them a gentle back rub you can help soothe and relieve some of their gas build-up.
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Swaddle • Wrapping your baby up tight in a blanket is comforting to him. It reminds him of the familiar, warm, comforting womb.
Pacify • Suckling is a natural instinct for babies. In many cases, the use of a pacifier is calming and may help them fall asleep. If your baby is anything like my second child, you might have to buy a few different brands. Always go smaller than the age on the package.
Rock & Roll • Take a long walk in the stroller or just sit in the rocker with baby for as long as your arms will hold. A steady rhythm will be soothing for some much-needed rest.
Warmth • Give him a calm, warm bath. Place a warm washcloth over your baby’s tummy and keep wetting it so it’s constantly warm.
Diet • If you breastfeed, try changing your own diet to help baby. By eliminating foods like dairy products, caffeine, garlic, or spicy foods, you can help relieve some of the fussing and gas baby is experiencing. I went dairy-free and gluten-free for nearly five months and it helped tremendously. If your baby is formula fed, talk to your pediatrician about switching to a different formulation that might be easier to digest.
Keep Calm • If mom is stressed, she is of no good to baby. They feed off our emotions. It’s okay to let baby cry for a few minutes so that you can collect yourself. Put hubby or another family member on the job for a few hours so you can recharge and refuel your energy.
Hire a Sitter • This is no joke. I hired a sitter once in a while to take a much-needed nap so I wouldn’t crash mid-afternoon and I could be alive and present for my other two children.
I assure you that baby colic is temporary and it will pass. As babies grow, their digestive systems develop and symptoms tend to subside.
Colicky babies are stressful, mostly because they tend to bring out all the inadequacies you might feel as a parent and it feeds all those “am I a good enough mom?” and the “I must be doing something wrong” thoughts. But don’t worry; you’re doing fine.