Dealing With Colic- Tips and Tricks

When you’re expecting a baby, you know it’s not going to be easy once they arrive. Chances are you’ve mentally prepared yourself for the sleepless nights, the perpetual feeding and changing cycle and having much less time to yourself than you once did. But something you might not have considered or prepared yourself for at all is colic- and it can be a really difficult thing to deal with. Colic is classed as excessive crying and fussing in babies that isn’t related to any kind of illness or health condition- officially colic is defined as more than three hours a day on three days of the week. However, for many parents with babies that have colic it can be a lot more than that, and can last for huge chunks of the day or night. When its your first baby especially it can leave you wondering if you’re doing something wrong, but for any parent listening to their baby’s pained cries it can have you panicking that it’s related to an underlying health condition. It’s really important to have your baby checked out by a midwife or doctor to rule out any other causes, but if it is colic, here’s what you need to know. 

What is colic?

The cause of colic is actually unknown, but it’s thought to stem from pain in the tummy and digestive tract. In some cases, babies can have a milk protein allergy which causes discomfort and switching them to a different milk (or avoiding dairy in your own diet if you’re breastfeeding) can help. But in other cases, we just aren’t sure, as the baby is otherwise in good health. It’s thought that some babies can be more sensitive to the sensations and pains in their body, and can generally be more sensitive to the world around them.

When will it resolve?

This can vary depending on the baby, which isn’t what you want to hear as a new parent going through this. However, in almost all cases colic has resolved by four months of age, but most find things improve drastically at around the 12 week mark. This can feel like a really long time when you’re in the thick of it, but know that these intense crying periods wont last forever. 

What can you do?

Once you’ve ruled out a medical issue and it has been confirmed that changing milk or dietary changes need to be made if you’re breastfeeding, one thing you can look into is pediatric chiropractic care. Here, trained professionals make very gentle adjustments that can help with pains and improve digestion- lots of parents swear by it. There are medications you can try which can help with colic for some babies- Infacol for example you add to their milk and it helps the bubbles in their tummy come up rather than being stuck and causing pain. Gentle motion, while noise and swaddling are other comfort techniques which can help some babies. 

If you’re dealing with a colicky baby, be kind to yourself. It can be more challenging than you ever realised, and leave you feeling helpless at a time when you’re already vulnerable as a new parent. But speak to your baby’s GP, consider private treatments and look into different medications as these can all help. And know that it wont last forever and you will come out the other side with a much happier baby!

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Jodi Carlson is a mother of 2 children, wife, and a full time product owner at a large Insurance company. She is a mom just trying to juggle a full-time job with a family life. She shares countless tips and tricks of things she has experienced first hand with her kids. As she continues to guide and teach them to become caring, sensible and responsible human beings, all while working a full time job, maintaining a home and some how still allowing for some personal time and growth. Are you a Girl Scout Leader? Along with Mom Connecting Moms, she shares her 25+ years of Girl Scout experience over at Leader Connecting Leaders , there she shares ideas and resources to help leaders who are inspiring girl leaders of tomorrow plan their troop meetings. Check out Leader Connecting Leaders .