Colic sucks. It REALLY sucks. Nothing in the world can prepare you for colic.
Colic isn’t just crying. It’s not a parent not knowing what to do. One of the WORST things that someone can say is “all babies cry”. I’ve had that said to me. I was told I was overreacting. I was told to “get over it”. I’m no longer friends with those people. Not. Even. Sorry.
We knew our son was going to be a handful when I was still pregnant. When I was 33 weeks pregnant, one of my high-risk ultrasounds showed that I had oligohydramnios, or low amniotic fluid. In addition, my son was measuring very small. I had a repeat ultrasound at 35 weeks and the high-risk OB said he was small for gestational age (SGA). My oligohydramnios had worsened, and they felt the best option was to deliver. I was already a scheduled c-section because he was breech and refused to turn. My section was moved up to 37 weeks, the minimum for being considered “full term”.
When he was born it was very clear he had a set of lungs. As a NICU nurse, I’ve attended dozens of deliveries. My son’s cry…oh my word. LOUD. I sent him to the nursery each night so I could rest, and he was the ONLY baby that needed to be held or put in a rocker crib. The clues were all there. He was going to be a tough baby.
When we brought him home we discovered that he was allergic to sleep. I remember thinking that all moms who said their baby slept through the night were liars.
Around two weeks is when the colic started. He wasn’t just crying because he was a newborn. He was COLICKY. Crying for hours, inconsolable, worse at night. I posted on Facebook mom groups asking for help. I googled. A LOT. I went on Pinterest. We saw the pediatrician. We eventually found a few things that helped. Just a little. That little bit of help went a LONG way in surviving the #ColicStorm.
6 Tips to Calm a Colic Baby
- Rock ‘n Play. Yes, I know this was since recalled. But it literally SAVED us so I have to mention it. It also was the most popular item for babies at the time. My son HATED his swing and bouncy seat. I had never even heard of the Rock ‘n Play until a friend mentioned it to me. From the first moment I put him in it, he slept. That night we had 4 hours of uninterrupted sleep. After 2 weeks of not sleeping longer than 30-minute stretches, 4 hours was MAGICAL. It kept him slightly inclined, it rocked, vibrated, had music. He was snuggled in this little rocket ship of peace.
- Dr. Brown’s bottles. These were not the ones I registered for. They were recommended to me by another mom. The only bad reviews were about the number of parts each bottle had. Honestly, it really wasn’t a big deal. Just some extra parts. THOSE BOTTLES WORKED. They helped reduce the amount of air bubbles so he wouldn’t get gassy. Gas is one possible theory for colic.
- Gerber Soothe Probiotic Colic Drops. Again, going back to the theory that colic may be caused by gas. These weren’t magic drops that made it all go away, but they certainly helped.
- Ergo carrier. Colic babies want to be held. I called my son my velco baby. He always wanted to be attached to me. The first carrier I had failed me. He didn’t seem secure in it and my back hurt. I have scoliosis, so back comfort is needed. The Ergo carrier was MAGIC. I could wear him for hours and still be comfortable. He would snuggle in and be perfectly happy, and I could actually get some stuff done around the house.
- Happiest Baby on the Block by Harvey Karp, M.D.. I bought the book, although you can probably Google it to find out the steps. The 5 S’s: swaddle, side lying, shush, swing, suck. Combing all 5 together worked. Actually worked. I really recommend buying the book and reading it through for all the tips.
- Get out of the house! Being stuck inside with a crying baby all day will make your insanity worse. My son loved going on walks, whether he was in his Ergo or his stroller. As a December baby in Pennsylvania, it was cold. We had a pretty harsh winter that year, but he loved the cold air. We’d be all bundled up walking outside or just walking the mall.
I also cannot stress enough to find other moms going through it for support. A few other moms in my groups on Facebook had colicky babies. We’d laugh at the ridiculous things we did to try and soothe our babies. One mom said her daughter would only stop crying with the hairdryer running. For my son, it was holding him in the kitchen with the oven exhaust fan running. It doesn’t matter how ridiculous it is. Once you find what works, it’s not silly anymore. I'm pretty sure my kitchen floor has permanent indents of my feet from standing there for hours on end.
Despite thinking my son would go to college still colicky, he did outgrow it. He was about 12 weeks old when the crying became less and less. He's now 5 and is the most loving, silly little boy. He's also still allergic to sleep. PLEASE. SEND. WINE.
What helped you get through the #ColicStorm?