Sometimes referred to as colic, sometimes referred to as purple crying. Most frequently experienced by parents and caregivers as baffling and frustrating. The baby is fed, burped, bounced, rocked, and dry, yet, they just won’t stop crying. No matter what you do. The feeling of being helpless can be all consuming. But from one parent who has been through it to another who may be experiencing it, it does get better… when though!? When? I wish there were a concrete answer and I wish there was a cure-all. However, there are some things that can help. All babies are different and unique in their own right. Keep in mind that what works for one, may not work for another.
My son came in like a lion. Pregnancy was rough for me, so I was sure that I would have an easy delivery. Well, I was quickly proven wrong. Delivery was rough, so I just knew that my son would be an easy baby and we would adjust seamlessly. Again, I was very, very wrong. The first night we brought our beautiful baby boy home from the hospital, he cried for twelve hours straight, wouldn’t sleep, and wouldn’t eat. The crying continued for a good nine months. I have never felt fear or confusion like that before. I didn’t know what to do. On top of trying to balance life with a new baby, I was now trying to balance life with a seemingly unhappy baby.
Through the months, there were things we did that helped ease some of the crying and helped us catch a bit of a break. Mind you, these are just what worked for us.
A good carrier: We started with a wrap and moved up to a Tula© carrier. This worked so well for us and allowed us a little freedom around the house. I was able to tidy up a bit, wash the dishes, and walk the dog. The feeling of closeness helped comfort my son and block out some of the outside sensory stimulus that could have been overwhelming to him.
An exercise ball: While wearing the carrier, I wasn’t really permitted to sit down. After weeks of trotting up and down the hallways, a friend suggested an exercise ball. This saved my back. My son loved to be held while I bounced, and I loved that I actually got to sit down for a while.
Gripe Water or Gas Drops: We were hesitant to use any medication, so we opted for a natural option. Colic Calm is a safe FDA listed, 100% natural gripe water to help calm colic, gas, and reflux. If you do look into this product, be warned its color is a little alarming, it is very dark black and may affect the color of your child’s stool.
Baltic Amber Jewelry: Amber jewelry is commonly used for teething but is a natural anti-inflammatory and can be helpful for babies who are unidentifiably fussy. Many companies make child friendly amber bracelets, necklaces, or anklets.
Switching Bottles: If you are bottle feeding, consider doing some research to see if trying a different bottle, one that is specifically made to help calm colic, would work for you and your family.
Elimination Diet: If you are breastfeeding, you can again do some research and see if an elimination diet might be something you would like to try. Some children do not respond well to some major allergens. Although allergies are not detected at infancy, milk or gluten in your diet may be too hard on their little bellies.
Whatever you do, just remember that it does get better. As with everything, this too shall pass. You will quickly be on to the next phase. Throughout these trying times, breathe deeply, try your best to stay positive, vent often, and lean on your support system! Hang in there, you’re doing great!