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The Exhausted Mom's Guide to Colic

The Exhausted Mom's Guide to Colic

Colic is one of the most exhausting periods that a new parent will experience.  Not only are you dealing with a newborn, their irregular schedules, and learning one another, but you are dealing with a baby that just won’t stop crying.  You may feel like you are failing as a parent (because you cannot console them), your relationships will very much be tested, and you may struggle with feeling bonded with your baby.  Colic is downright hard! But understanding colic can help you as a new parent to overcome these hurdles and be able to embrace this short phase and help your baby.

What is Colic?

Colic is described as a healthy baby cries regularly for more than 3 hours a day or a prolonged period of time.  Colic does not necessarily start at birth and can present itself around 4-6 weeks of age. Luckily, it generally goes away as quickly as it started between 3-4 months of age.

When you think of all of the crying, it sounds extremely exhausting!  It is, for both parents and the baby. The crying tends to be worse in the evening time but that is not always the case.  Each baby is different and will have different patterns. 

Colic Symptoms

When your baby cries for prolonged periods of time frequently, this can mean you have a colic baby.  Other signs to look for are

  • Crying for no apparent reason (your baby is fed, does not have a soiled diaper, and is at a comfortable temperature).
  • Crying like they are in pain (especially at the same time each day).
  • Crying is triggered by changes in temperature, light, and noise.

Colic Causes

It is not known what causes colic.  Digestive issues are commonly associated with colic but there are also other attributing factors as well.

  • Discomfort or pain from gas
  • An immature digestive system
  • A sensitivity to breastmilk or formula
  • Overstimulation
  • Emotional reactions
  • Sensory sensitivity

Colic Treatment

There is no cure to colic but it will get better!  Usually around 3-4 months of age, your baby will outgrow the colic.  It can literally happen overnight. Though there is not a cure, there are definitely some steps you can take to help soothe your baby.

Colic in Breastfed Babies

There are a couple things to look out for if you are breastfeeding and your baby is colic!

  • Cut dairy out of your diet!  Dairy can be a huge trigger for babies.  It is transferred through the breastmilk and can upset their stomache horribly.  When you cut out dairy, you will want to look at the ingredients list for milk, lactose, whey, and casein.  It can take 2 full weeks to get the dairy out of your system but you should notice a difference within a couple of days.
  • Cut other foods out of your diet.  Cruciferous vegetables can cause gas in your baby.  There may be other triggers as well, like caffeine. Play around with your food and see if there is a correlation.
  • Probiotics are great to promot healthy gut flora.  If your baby is having gut issues, this could help significantly.

Colic in Formula Fed Babies

  • Consult your pediatrician about switching formulas.  Your baby could have a sensitivity to a protein in the formula. 
  • Pace your baby while feeding.  If they eat too quickly it can cause stomach upset.
  • Try an anti-colic bottle.  These bottles help to reduce excess air intake.
  • Change up the position your baby is eating in!  Feeding your baby in an upright position can help to reduce the amount of air bubbles that get trapped.

The Mommy Wrap for Colic

The Mommy Wrap for Colic Babies

Colic is hard.  There is no doubt about it!  The Mommy Wrap was created to help soothe colic so both parents and baby can find some relief.  The Mommy Wrap also is a fantastic was to babywear and also have a free hand to get stuff done.

When you are dealing with a colic baby there is going to be a lot of time spent holding your precious bundle.  The Mommy Wrap assists in keeping your baby upright, close to your body, and also in a warm secure environment (much like the womb).  All of these factors can help soothe your baby. There are so many other benefits to the Mommy Wrap which you can check out here.

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