Does your baby cry about the same time each day? Nothing you offer provides comfort? This may be because your baby is suffering from colic.
Colic can be defined as persistent crying more than three hours a day, three days a week and more than three weeks in a healthy, well-fed baby. Although this can be a very distressing time for both you and your partner, you’ll find relief in knowing that colic is usually short-lived and in a few weeks, the colic will end.
Two important things to do about your baby’s crying:
- Just to be sure that nothing is physically wrong, have a nurse or doctor take a look at your baby. This will offer you reassurance.
- Take care of yourself! This is important so be sure to get enough rest and make time to relax. For mothers, it’s easy to feel like you have to be ‘superwoman’ and everything you do needs to perfectly go according to plan. This is impossible. It is paramount that you organise your activities to make time for yourself. As the mother, everybody – you, your family and especially baby – suffers if you are feeling stressed.
Try these approaches in any order to see if they provide some sort of relief for your colicky baby. Note that different approaches work for different babies and essentially, if you’re baby is suffering from colic all you can do it wait it out.
- Carry your baby frequently, not only when she starts to cry or fuss. This will allow your baby to feel consoled.
- Check to your baby’s nappy to see if it needs changing.
- If your baby’s last feed was more than two hours ago, or if you sense that she is hungry, offer a feed.
- If you’re baby is not hungry, maybe she just wants to suck. Offer her a dummy or breast. Alternatively, you can encourage self-soothing by helping her find her fingers or thumb to suck.
- Your presence and voice may be soothing. Speak softly or sing to your baby. Playing soft music in the background may soothe.
- Sometimes the movement and closeness to a parent is soothing, gently rocking your baby might soothe her.
- Some babies are bored and need to be stimulated. Other babies may be over-stimulated and need peace and quiet. By trying to figure out what you’re baby needs when he cries or is difficult to console, helps both you and the baby.