Experiencing a colicky baby can be incredibly challenging and stressful for parents. Colic is defined as excessive, inconsolable crying in an otherwise healthy and well-fed infant. It typically starts around two to three weeks of age and can last until around three to four months. It is important to understand that there are resources and steps that can be taken to address your colic baby, and to accept that this is a part of learning more about your baby and yourself. Here are some strategies that may help you cope and create a sense of balance in your life, while experiencing a colicky baby.
Consult a Pediatrician. If you suspect your baby has colic, it’s important to consult a pediatrician to rule out any underlying medical issues and to get their advice on how to manage the colic. This is the first proactive step you can take, so that you gain awareness and prepare.
Establish a routine. Create a realistic routine for your baby. Consistent feeding, sleeping, and playtimes can create a sense of security. You may also want to set a new routine for yourself, as experiencing a colic baby can create new sleep patterns.
Babywearing. Using a baby carrier or wrap can help keep your baby close to you, which may provide comfort and reduce crying. Physical touch between parent and baby is very important to establish early, and will create a grounding force between you and your baby.
White noise or gentle sounds. Some babies find comfort in gentle, rhythmic sounds like white noise or soft music. You can use a white noise machine, a fan, or play calming lullabies.
Gentle Motion. Rocking, swaying, or taking your baby for a walk in a stroller can help soothe them. It is important to remain fully present and aware when introducing your baby to new movements to see what they enjoy and what they don’t.
Burp your baby. Make sure to burp your baby after feeding to minimize discomfort from gas. This eases any pain or discomfort allowing the baby to feel safe and content.
Proper feeding technique. Ensure that your baby is latching well during breastfeeding, or that the bottle nipple is appropriate for their age and flow rate.
Consider Diet. If you are breastfeeding, consider your own diet. Some babies may be sensitive to certain foods that pass through breast milk.
Maintain a Calm Environment. Avoid loud noises and overstimulation, Create a calm, soothing environment for you and your baby.
Take Breaks. Know when you need to take a break. If you are feeling overwhelmed, ask from a partner, family member, therapist, or friend.
Self-care. Take care of yourself physically and emotionally. Schedule rest in your routine, eat well and seek support from your support network.
Stay patient and calm. It’s normal to feel frustrated and overwhelmed when coping with your colic baby. Remember that colic is a phase, and will eventually come to pass.
Join a support group. Connecting with other parents who are going through similar experiences can provide valuable support and understanding.
Consider Professional Help. If you are constantly overwhelmed or finding it really challenging to cope, consider seeking help by booking an appointment with our I Deserve Mental Wellness Services therapists on our website!