When I read my baby books (just two – I’m trying to be one of those laid-back mamas… ha), every time I came to the section on colicky babies, I would stop and pray, “Lord, please don’t let my baby have colic.” I think it was the part where they said the definition of colic was crying for three hours a day at least three days a week.
And what do you know, we are one of the 10% of babies who have colic. And you know what? It stinks. REALLY stinks. But you know what else? We’re getting through it, because just like everything else, you don’t have a choice. Kind of like that prayer I prayed before we got pregnant: “Lord, please don’t let me be one of those girls who gets morning sickness.” Yeah, we all know how that one turned out – six months of eating nothing but baked potatoes and tortilla chips and popping Zofran like the were Skittles.
Sometimes life throws you a curve ball, and you just have to adjust. Which is what we’re doing. We have a wonderfully delightful baby girl about 21 hours a day. She smiles and coos and is just so much fun. But the other three hours that happen every evening where the poor thing screams bloody murder, clinches her little fists and kicks her legs because her little tummy hurts her so badly?
That part really stinks.
I’ll admit – I’ve even shed a few tears along with my little Wrenn – it’s hard to watch your baby hurt, and I have yet to figure out how to tune out the crying. My more tenured mom friends have assured me that at some point you can ignore it – but right now it both grates on my nerves and breaks my heart at the same time.
I just want to make it better, you know?
So, fellow mamas, here’s where we need your help. We are willing to try almost anything to bring Baby Girl some comfort. So far we’ve tried:
1. Mylicon drops
2. Mommy Bliss/Gripe Water drops
3. Tummy massage
4. Baby Probiotics (we’re buying these today, so we’ll let you know if they help)
5. Swinging (sort of kind of occasionally helps a little)
6. Taking her outside (her favorite – but it’s 105 degrees outside so it’s not our best option for the whole three hours – mama gets kind of sweaty)
7. Driving her in the car (people keep suggesting this, but she just screams bloody murder, which just makes mama cry… so not our solution)
The number one thing that seems to soothe her is nursing, which means I typically nurse her off and on all evening – on several occasions she has nursed for 90 minutes straight (which wears this mama out). Her doctor said it was fine because my skinny mini could benefit from a little extra weight. Eventually the nursing makes her fall asleep, which is the only time she feels relief. Which is the point where mama and daddy then breathe a sigh of relief and consider taking up drinking.
I kid. Kind of.
The good news is that she gets so worn out from crying every evening that she sleeps like a CHAMP at night. She has started going six hours from her evening feeding to her first night feeding… and last night we only did one middle-of-the-night feeding. It was like Christmas, New Year’s and the 4th of July all wrapped in one. Wow. Thanks Baby Girl, your mama has missed her sleep! And if I had to choose, I guess sleeping through the night is worth a few hours of incessant crying.
So, fellow mamas who have walked this colicky road before me – do you have any other secrets? And how long did your baby’s colic last? Tell me it stops before they leave for college?
I feel your pain!! 🙂
I can remember it starting just about the time I went back to work, and sometimes (as bad as it sounds) didn’t even want to come home because the evenings just plain sucked! I was already tired from being up all night and figuring out the work routine, so it was so hard! She cried non-stop from the time I walked in the door until she FINALLY would fall asleep! The hubby and I would pass her back and forth and do a lot of “shush-shushing” and sometimes we would one at a time take a break and go into the other room!
Every baby is different and as the doctor told me, there really is nothing that actually works. We did all the things you listed above! I told myself that the gripe water and mylicon drops worked a little bit, and then I’d put her in the swing a lot. I almost think I blocked that memory from my head because I have a hard time thinking back to those days other than I didn’t enjoy them near as much! I think it just magically stopped around 4 months. I know that seems like FOREVER and a day since she’s still so little, but it will go by quickly! And I will pray that she stops quicker! In the meantime, just keep doing what you’re doing and know that it does end.
Oh boy, four months is a long time! And yes, Mr. Right and I definitely take turns so the other can get a break.
Oh so rough! Neither of mine had true colic but both were super fussy in the evenings until 12ish weeks. Both had silent reflux and were on previcad which helped a lot. I also cut out dairy during those early months, which also helped. The only thing besides nursing that would calm them down was bouncing o a yoga ball. Best trick ever. We even took our ball when we went o visit family bc it was that important. We would take turns bouncing with the baby held upright until it was time to eat again or they fell asleep.
Truly it does get better. Before you know it she will be able to put herself to sleep and will have an early bedtime so you can have your evenings back!
Parker had silent reflux and had a really hard time with fussiness and just super uncomfortable when he ate. He would arch his back and turn red. We would push him around the house in the stroller (sometimes all night long in 30 minute shifts) just to get him to sleep. Saved some gas money! haha We did bicycle legs which helped a lot. Mylicon drops religiously. Lots of swinging! Tummy massage. Being upright really helped his tummy, so after he ate he was upright. I had a whole routine to get him to fall asleep. I would have to hold him upright and walk around with him for probably 30 minutes then slowly ease him into a horizontal position. If he ate and then moved around a lot he would lose it, so tried to have him not be that active right after he ate. And no tummy time right after he ate. The crying it out thing and self soothing really didn’t work so well for him because he would just throw up everywhere. So I held him upright a lot when he slept. We did the 5 S’s from the happiest baby book. Those were genius. They really seemed to help a lot! Sounds like you’ve pretty much tried what we tried.
Honestly, so much of that time was a blur. It was such survival mode, and I don’t think I remember a lot of it! haha
He was a little different because his reflux got worse from 6 months to a year, so for us that was the hardest point. That’s rare though. I want to say 3-4 months is normal for them to outgrow it? I really don’t know.
I feel for you!! I know it’s not easy! As a mom you feel like your job is to fix it and it was really hard not being able to fix it and make him more comfortable. It does go by so fast! I hated that he was growing up so fast but it was nice that he was growing out of some of these things fast! 🙂
This was a good refresher for me! You really do forget a lot of the hard stuff! 🙂
Bethe, we used Colic Calm for All three kids. Rhys had colic but the twins didn’t but it would work well for acid reflux, which is what Samuel had and Meghan had a lactose issue her first month of life so it helped with that as well. It is a miracle syrum and I recommend it to all new Moms in need. It is all natural. I will warn you that it is black in color due to the charcoal in it but it has no taste at all and never made either of my children cringe when taking it. I attached a link to the product website. Good luck! It really does “switch off” like a light switch around 12 weeks!!
Oh Bethe! You make me laugh and relive so many wonderful moments I had with my “little” when she was tiny. I swear by the swing (would only work for about 30 minutes at a time though, but hey 30 minutes of sleep for me was like pure gold). Also I cut out all dairy and anything that would cause the normal adult to be gassy (ie broccoli, beans, and some fruits). For Jewel it lasted only 3 weeks so maybe that technically isn’t colic but it sure felt like it to me. I sure do hope and pray it ends soon for you. One things for sure there aren’t any colicky kindergarteners so I think you’re good on that part. You can play around with your diet and see which foods help her. You should see a difference almost immediately if its helping. Praying for you and sweet Wrenn.
Sweet mommy! There is a reward in heaven for your 90-minute nursing marathons! Have you tried eliminating dairy?
Hey Bethe, I am so sorry for the frustration. Take heart, it will pass. Adelaide suffered from colic from about 2 weeks until 9 weeks. She still had trouble off and on after that, but it definitely improved at 9 weeks.
I found Dr. Karp’s “Happiest Baby on the Block” book very helpful (although at this point I would totally buy the dvd and not the book, no time for reading!) It talks about the five S’s Swaddle, swing, sucking, shhhh, and side laying (not for sleeping, only when trying to calm).
It didn’t work 100% of the time, but it definitely improved the situation. I literally bought the shhhhhing app for my iphone that just repeated “shhhhh shhhhhh” because I got so light headed from all of the shhshing!!! (yeah, I know that’s not really a word… but you get the idea).
Keep in mind, it is tough, I understand. It will pass. I promise you I had quite a few meltdowns between the hours of 5pm-8pm for a couple of weeks there… but things improved.
Many a prayers sent your way.
So sorry to hear your struggles. Sounds like you’ve got a great perspective so far. Our “colic” baby really had GI issues not diagnosed until 14 mos. – but many of the methods mentioned were our only comfort..Didn’t know about “happiest baby…” book, but we naturally shhh’d our hearts out – worked quite well. We also used a lot of white noise from audio system. Not good for an audio sensitive parent, but the “static” and holding her with a swinging motion were most often calmed our baby. Just keep searching for what calms Wrenn. We always said love and prayers were the answer… but perseverance and humor are high on the list.