Parenting, mercy, what a challenge! Do you have a newborn baby? Will the baby crying ever stop? If that baby doesn’t stop crying, I don’t know what I’m going to do!!!!
What is colic and what does a colicky baby do? According to the Mayo Clinic, “Colic is a frustrating condition marked by predictable periods of significant distress in an otherwise well-fed, healthy baby. Babies with colic often cry more than three hours a day, three days a week, for three weeks or longer.” If you don’t get it, please practice some empathy with that new mommy and daddy because this precious newborn is still just as “perfect” as yours. As one of my favorite people has said, “there are no perfect parents, and you’re not going to be the first.”
The Mayo Clinic tells us that there is no way to soothe your colicky baby. Well, doctors don’t know everything. They still don’t know what causes colic. Perhaps it’s less about soothing your baby and more about making you stronger. Let’s find out!
P.S. Dearest new mommy, according to kidshealth.org, 40% of newborns are colicky babies. So guess what? You’re not alone. All that baby crying will stop. That’s wonderful news! Reach out to another mommy to talk to about it because odds are she’s managing the stress too. Now, not only are you humble enough to seek comfort, you’re also a leader. You rock!
1. Utilize your options.
Are you a mommy or daddy that reads books on parenting pre-pregnancy? If so, what does it have to say on this issue? Chances are it is addressed. Good sleepers are not born ready to conform to your schedule. So, you may need to help that beautiful child along. You can follow advice offered in the book, or you can call a friend for advice. If you talk with your mom regularly, she might be a great place to start.
2. Recognize that this is just a parenting milestone.
Are you a single, working mommy? Oh, my heart aches for you, and at the same time you are just as much the miracle your child is. This crying stuff may be nothing to you, but I suspect it’s driving you crazy even though you’ve already been through a lot. This may be that first parenting milestone that you have to overcome.
3. Walk and rock.
Turn on some music, put your earbuds in, and find some soothing music. Now, pick up those baby blues or caramel browns and slowly walk or rock your baby to sleep.
4. Find some swings or go for a drive.
I always enjoyed swinging as a baby and even still today. It is a resting exercise. Maybe it’s the rhythm to it or maybe it throws your equilibrium off enough to make you sleep? I couldn’t find any research about the why, but it seems to help babies fall asleep. Also, going for a drive with your baby may help. I’ve heard stories from friends that said this was the only way they could get their children to go to sleep early on. So, hopefully a short drive will help you—just be sure to buckle up!
5. Focus on the positive. :)
According to kidshealth.org, “Colicky babies have a healthy sucking reflex and a good appetite and are otherwise healthy and growing well.” Also, “Colicky babies may spit up from time to time just as non-colicky babies do.” Finally, “colicky babies typically have normal stools (poop). If your baby has diarrhea or blood in the stool, call your doctor.”
6. Use more music therapy.
Sometimes, turning on some music will help your baby sleep. Some children need extra stimulation. It doesn’t mean there is anything wrong with them; remember, you are just trying to get past this parenting milestone.
7. Consult a professional dietitian or nutritionist.
Mommy, if you’re like me you want to know if there is anything you can do personally to make things easier. Research shows that diet may play a role in this. If you breastfeed, consult a dietitian. They know more about nutrition than your doctor. Tis true!
8. Make sure you’re not forgetting anything.
According to emedicine.medscape, an inexperienced parent may forget to burp your baby enough. It seems simple enough, but with the amount of new crazy going on in your life, perfect peace isn’t going to happen overnight.
9. Check the baby’s hair.
What if something else is wrong? Check to make sure there isn’t hair in your child’s eye or eyes. It could be your hair or their own.
10. Take a break.
Do you have a friend? Ask them to take babysit for a couple hours. Does grandma or grandpa live nearby? This is a great chance to patch up that relationship if necessary, and if that’s not necessary, your family will see and be empathetic to what you are going through. They will be supportive.
I know. I know. Maybe this is your last resort, but whoever you pray to, ask for some grace and mercy and for some love and some hope. Hold onto grace.
12. Address your introversion.
There are tons of articles on lifehack.org about how bright introverts are. It’s true—we are. It’s important, however, for us to work our way out of our comfort zone. The same goes for you extroverts. You can help guide us in the right direction. Find a parental support group. They can be found in your community. Call around. There are mommies’ mornings out and other programs that will help you with your mental stability. If you work, that may be your sanctuary. Don’t feel bad about working; you’re getting the job done. Keep at it!
13. Ask your partner for help.
If you’re raising your child with a partner, kudos. Make sure to ask your partner to step up and help out.
14. Work together.
Parents, it’s time for you two to realize you are a team and that your world has radically changed. Chances are, you’ve already realized that, but maybe this is happening so that you can put that teamwork into action.
15. Remember that this is only temporary.
Babies crying like this will end with patience, but it’s got to be overwhelming when all your emotions are in a state of flux. You probably just want to walk out the door. That’s not an option in this case. Maybe seeing a counselor makes sense?
16. Try turning out the lights.
Going back to kidshealth.org, “some babies need decreased stimulation. Babies 2 months and younger may do well swaddled in a darkened room.”
17. Adjust your diet.
You know the cliche “you are what you eat.” Well, your baby is profoundly affected by what you eat. If you are breastfeeding and if you are using supplements with your baby, you may need to alter the program. Cut out dairy and/or soy.
18. Be patient—it’s probably just a phase.
For some kids, this is simply a phase of growth. It may help to generate more structure in his or her life.
19. Don’t blame yourself or your child.
Don’t forget: it’s not your fault and it’s not your baby’s fault. It just is. You are so loved, and the support you need is out there.
20. Research the issue.
Whatever you do, take some form of action. Most importantly, however: make sure your mental health is in good condition. If you’re not in good health, how can you expect your baby to be?