When our precious bundle of joy is handed to us the last thing we are expecting is it to scream up to 6 hours a day until it’s little voice is completely hoarse and face is red and angry. New parents often have no idea what to do when they are faced with a baby that just can’t seem to settle despite any efforts.
It’s okay to feel completely helpless when you are faced with a baby which has what is known as “colic.” No one is prepared for such a stressful task to take on. It can create such stress in a couple that it can even lead to separation.
Don’t lose hope, however! No matter what you do there is no magical cure for a colicky baby. The best you can do is try to alleviate their discomfort and minimize the crying. You’ll just have to wait it out until about 3 months when most babies’ colic tends to level off.
Take a look at some of these tricks for colicky babies, and give it a try. You may be surprised that you’ll see a lot less crying almost immediately.
Try pulling your baby into bed with you. You may be surprised to find that he or she will sleep much longer stretches when next to your body. If you are breastfeeding you can easily roll over and breastfeed on your side without having to get up. You can even sleep while they feed.
Many parents are surprised to find that their babies sleep for stretches of up to 4 hours when previously they had only slept 1-2. If your bed isn’t big enough for the whole family to sleep together, consider buying a new mattress that will comfortably accommodate you all.
Wrapping your baby tightly in a blanket comforts them by recreating the sensation of being in the mother’s womb. Often colicky babies are so upset that they start flapping their arms around which only upsets them even more, leading to more screaming.
Wrap them in a swaddle tightly keeping their arms tightly against their sides so that they can’t wiggle out. Consider pairing this with what is called “the 5 S’s.” A combination of swaddling, shushing, putting in a side position, a pacifier, and swinging back and forth.
Most babies don’t like to be put down. They are confused in this new experience and don’t know what the heck is going on, let’s face it. By wearing your baby, aka carrying them in a baby carrier or sling, they have a greater sense of security and are much less inclined to scream.
If they resist at first, don’t despair. Keep trying and stay at it. Sometimes it just takes some getting used to.