Becoming a new mom is such an exciting time! You get to bring your bundle of joy home, watch them grow, and learn each other. It is also a huge time of transition. You are lacking sleep, healing from pregnancy and delivery, and adjusting to your new life. A lot of work goes into being this new parent.
Sometime around 4 to 6 weeks (earlier for some) your baby starts crying and just won’t stop. Colic is when a baby cries for a prolonged period of time (over 3 hours) on a regular basis. For many new parents, this cry time happens in the evening but it can occur at any time. There is no known cause of colic but many attribute digestive issues and brain development to be a trigger.
The first thing you will want to do is figure out if something is upsetting their stomach. Their digestive is still very new and is going to be sensitive. If you are breastfeeding, you will want to check to see if you are eating anything that is upsetting their tummy. Cut out dairy (Lactose, Casein, and Whey) if that is in your diet. It can take up to two weeks for it to fully cycle out but you may notice a change in your baby sooner. Caffeine and certain veggies, such as cruciferous, can cause tummy upset as well. Play with your diet a bit.
If your baby is on formula, you might check with your doctor and try a different brand of formula. Babies can be sensitive to certain proteins in the formula. You may also want to try different bottles. Anti-colic bottles help to remove excess air when the baby is feeding. Bottle-fed babies also get less air when they are pace fed, which is when the baby is held in a position and the bottle is held more horizontally.
Babies are born with an immature digestive system. This can mean it is easier for their tummy to get upset. It also means that their body is learning how to breakdown and pass their food. Probiotics help to promote healthy gut flora in babies and can make it easier to breakdown and pass food. It can also help to soothe gassy babies. When you are dealing with a colic baby, tummy issues are a common trigger for the crying.
Naturally, when your baby is crying, they will find comfort in being held. Even with colic and when your baby is inconsolable, holding your baby can provide comfort and sometimes can be the trick to calming them. It can be hard to carry your baby all of the time though! Your arms get tired and there is a good chance that you need to get stuff done around the house and tend to other kiddos. Babywearing frees up your hands and lets you still provide comfort at the same time. Another plus is that babywearing can be considered tummy time too!
There are many methods of babywearing. You can use a traditional baby carrier, a sling, a wrap, and even the Mommy Wrap.
The Mommy Wrap was created by a Mom of three colic babies! She designed it with soothing colic babies in mind. The Mommy Wrap keeps the baby upright, which is great for reflux and aiding digestion in babies, it keeps them close to you, and it even frees up a hand! We know how hard it can be to have a colic baby and having a free hand helps you get everything else done too! The Mommy Wrap can even be paired with a traditional baby carrier to provide extra support and warmth in cooler seasons.
Skin to skin is a truly magical part of motherhood. It promotes bonding, helps maintain your supply if you are breastfeeding, and it can help soothe your colic baby too! When you are doing skin to skin, you can have your baby on their tummy which can assist in soothing any upset. They will also find comfort in being so close to their mom! You can also use the Mommy Wrap for skin to skin. It allows for you to be up and about all while soothing your baby. It also lets you move and bounce, which can be soothing as well.
While your baby was in the womb, they were bounced and moved constantly. They find comfort in that movement. When you have a colic baby, you may find relief by walking with them, bouncing them, or even placing them in the swing! You will likely find that you are doing a lot of this and you can move and get other tasks done by using the Mommy Wrap. Just wear your baby and carry on with your tasks. Bouncing on a yoga ball is a great way to create movement (especially as a tired mom)!
One of the most simple ways to soothe a colic baby is to take them into the fresh air. There is no known cause of colic but overstimulation can be one cause. The lights may be too bright, it may be too cold or hot, there are tons of different smells. It could be anything that is triggering the discomfort. When you take a baby outside, it gives them a change of pace and environment. It allows for them to recollect themselves. When in doubt, go outside! Going outside also gives you a chance to take a breath of fresh air and recollect yourself. Go on a walk, rock on the porch, or simply stand in the fresh air. It can help so much!
One of the most difficult parts of colic is that nothing seems to help. The most important part of coping with colic is providing the most love you possibly can. Colic is rough on both you and your baby. Even if you try everything on this list and the baby doesn’t quit crying, they will receive a form of comfort through your actions. Don’t give up! Be there for them. This is a phase and they will ultimately find the comfort and love of their mother when the colic moves on.
Let us know if there are any main crying points that we may have missed! If you have any great tips on reading crying cues, please let us know below.
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