Colic. Uh darn that colic. If you have experienced it, I salute you. If you escaped it, I’m jealous and if it’s something you may encounter in the future, good luck!
The NHS describes colic as “the excessive, frequent crying in a baby who appears to be otherwise healthy”
I had heard the word colic banded around, people talking of wind and a lot of crying but I didn’t really take note. It didn’t even cross my mind when pregnant with Evie that she would get it. I just thought I would have a perfect, content and cuddly little newborn like everyone else.
Evie was five days old and boom. Colic payed us a visit. One evening she was so unsettled, she couldn’t get comfortable, we tried holding her in every position, tried the bouncer, swing, play mat, Moses basket, even driving around in the car and nothing would settle her. I started to think we needed to take her to out of hours. I know babies cry but this was ridiculous. Finally at about 12am she drifted off to sleep and peace was restored.
I thought it was an off evening but then the next night came and the same happened. Endless hours of crying and fussiness. I headed to Google as you do and it seemed to be adding up that Evie had colic.
We spoke to our health visitor and she confirmed that it did sound like colic. We tried everything to ease it, Infacol, Gripe water, Colief, cooled boiled water. Nothing seemed to help. It was just a case of riding it out and surviving it the best we could.
I can honestly say the colic days have been my toughest moment in parenting so far. To see your baby so unsettled is not nice and to find no way of comforting them is frustrating. The endless crying gets you down.
It really ruined those first few early weeks for me. At a time when I should be in a blissful bubble (or so people tell you) I was stressed and anxious. I dreaded the dark night coming in as that meant it was time to endure another evening of the dreaded colic. At the time, with Evie being my first baby, I thought it would be like this forever. I honestly thought every evening for the rest of my life would be tainted with an unsettled, unhappy child.of course that’s ridiculous, I knew it was just part of the baby phase but I really could see no end. I wanted to spend the evenings snuggling my newborn baby and cooing at her cuteness.But the evenings were a circus of activities to try and settle E.
Second time around I was prepared. Inevitably Colic found little Rose. Thankfully it wasn’t as severe and I knew that it wouldn’t last forever. I was able to get through it with a much more positive outlook.
My top tips to surviving colic…
1.Lean on support when you can get it. If your other half is with you, take it in turns to try and settle the baby. If you have someone you trust with baby that can come and sit with them for half an hour one evening while you have a bath or just chill out upstairs then I’d definitely grab it.
2.If it gets too much, place baby safely in their Moses basket and walk away to a quieter room and take some deep breaths. The endless crying can really get to you and sometimes you just need a couple of minutes to regain your sanity. As long as they are safe, crying won’t hurt them.
3.Learn baby massage, ask your HV for information or enrol in a local class. They can show you specific massage techniques to help ease the baby’s discomfort and ease colic.
4. Give baby a warm, lavender bath in the evening. Now I don’t think this got rid of the colic but it certainly help to break up the evening. Both of my babies love the bath and a nice relaxing bath helped calm them for half an hour and also set up part of their bedtime routine.
5. Remind yourself it won’t last forever. Get through each evening one at a time and remember you are getting closer to that light at the end of the tunnel!
The worst of Es colic lasted about 3 weeks. I would say she was generally colicky and fussy until she was weaned at 6 months but the first three weeks were really intense. Rosies lasted about two weeks and thankfully now that has passed and her reflux is under control, she is a happy content little squidgy.
For more information and advice on colic, check out the NHS website and talk to your health visitor.