4 Tips To Calm Baby Colics

That word.. it’s something not many mamas are concerned about until they are in the thick of it. Your sweet baby is inconsolable and your melting down alongside her, waiting for your partner to return home from work to offer some sort of reprieve. Nothing you are doing is working, and you are convinced something must be wrong so you take her in to her doctor to be assessed. Thank goodness, she is perfectly healthy, but still won’t stop crying. The doctor calls it “colic” and reassures you that she will grow out of it.
You feel relief that nothing is physically the matter, but also really stressed that you can’t make your baby calm.

Baby Colic: What is it?

Colic is defined as episodes of crying for more than three hours a day, for more than three days a week, for three weeks in an otherwise healthy infant.
There are many theories on colic, what it is and what causes it and the truth is- no one really knows. Baby’s grow and can’t tell us what they were crying about.
Some say it is an underdeveloped nervous system, overstimulation, or gas. What helps one baby may not work for another. It is important to have your baby’s feeding assessed by a health professional to ensure there is not an underlying feeding issue like a tongue tie that is affecting her latch, undersupply or oversupply.

There are many tricks and tips than can help parents navigate through colic, here are a few:

Be mindful of the time

Newborn babies up till about 10 weeks can only be awake 45 minutes- 1 hour before they need to sleep again. This includes feeding time. A newborn who has been awake much longer than this will cry. This can be why crying often occurs in the evening. Long periods without sleep throughout the day can lead to an inconsolable baby come evening.

Feed your baby

Like mentioned above, colic can strike in the evening. This is a common time for new babies to want to feed… and feed and feed. If feeding quiets your baby, let her do so. You may nurse or bottle feed her on and off for hours straight throughout the evening, but it may be what she needs and will prevent the painful crying.

White noise

Newborns like the sound of white noise (think the sound of the radio off station)- it mimics the sounds they heard in utero and research suggests it may help calm an overstimulated baby. Be mindful of your baby’s ears. Make sure you place the white noise at least one metre from your baby’s head and turn it up no louder than 50 decibels.

Motion

Especially in the evening, motion is soothing to new babies and helps them settle into sleep. Try putting your baby skin to skin in a carrier and gently swaying back and forth. Or safely bounce on an exercise ball, supporting your baby’s head. The fluid up and down motion calms a fussy baby (and you catch a workout!).

Colic peaks around 6-8 weeks of age. Time slows when you are dealing with it, and make sure you ask for help. It is a stressful time and sharing the duties with your partner can help. Take a shower, go for a walk, take a moment to yourself. It feels hard to leave, but even 5 minutes to reset can help you cope when you return.