Your little bundle of joy has finally arrived! You can’t wait to get your sweet baby home and rock them, play with them, snuggle them, and watch them drift to sleep for hours at a time.
Then reality bitch slaps you in the face.
A week or so in that sweet baby is crying ALL the time. Loudly. You don’t know what to do. It seems like nothing helps. Some parents, like Andrew and I, believed this is normal behavior for a baby. Babies cry right?
Yes and no.
If your baby seems to cry more often than being calm during their waking hours… you may have a colicky one on your hands. Colic is defined as a baby who cries for at least 3 hours a day at least 3 days a week. They say around 3-4 months is when they start to grow out of it, but it can last up to a year.
My poor Abby seems to cry all the time. Right before she turned 3 months, we came to the conclusion that something has to be going on. It is incredibly difficult to deal with a colicky baby. I give major props to any parent who has been through the experience Andrew and I are currently going through. It sucks. You expect your baby will cry, but you also expect to be able to enjoy your baby… which is hard to do when all you’re trying to do is console them. On top of that, you feel like the shittiest parent in the world because you just don’t know how to help them. Especially when they do the scream-cry. Good lord. As a parent you think your child must be in pain with that kind of cry and what a piece of crap you are for not being able to make them feel better.
I guarantee, your child is not in pain. From what I’m told (because I thankfully have not yet experienced my baby being in true pain), a pain cry is whole different kind of cry. You’ll know. Your baby is confused and when they don’t know what’s going on- they’re going to cry because they simply don’t know how else to express it. OR, they have gas, or hungry or any of the other NORMAL baby stuff.
So, what can you do? How do you keep yourself from going bat-shit crazy?
1. Take breaks. If you’re home by yourself and your baby is screaming with no end in sight, put your baby down in their crib, swing, wherever they can’t possibly get hurt, take your ass outside, sit down, let out a FML sigh, and breathe.
2. Do the shushing sound in their ear, as loud as they’re crying. It’s a form of white noise but it also supposedly reminds them of the womb. I have personally found that doing this calms Abby down at least half the time.
3. Gas drops. Sometimes your baby might just be having some gas that is making them feel like crap. For this, you can use regular gas drops or gripe water. Andrew and I love gripe water. For us, the gas drops didn’t work- for some, it saves them from insanity.
4. Binky them. This reason is why we love gripe water. The dosage for gripe water is something like a tablespoon at a time. It was rare we gave her a dose. When Abby won’t stop crying we take her pacifier, dip it in the gripe water, and then put it in her mouth. This gives her something else to focus on and often gives her that time to calm down.
5. Support. Hopefully you have people in your life such as the baby’s father, your parents, siblings, people that you trust to help you through this difficult period. Thankfully, I have not only Andrew, but an awesome mom who has come out just about every week since Abby was born and has taken her off our hands so we can go to dinner, get some sleep etc. It has truly helped me from reserving a room at the psych ward. If you are doing this completely by yourself- hang in there, remember that this will pass. You’ll be in my prayers.
6. White noise. Thanks to one of my amazing best friends, I found out Abby likes white noise. One day when my sweet little girl was having a small episode she let me put Abby in her daughter’s swing and she then went and got her hair dryer, turned it on and put it underneath the swing. Abby went in and out of sleep and didn’t make a sound for an hour and a half. HALLELUIAH! So, after we discovered this, my sister went on YouTube and found 8-12 HOURS of vacuum cleaner sounds. Literally, search vacuum cleaner sound and the videos will come up. This has lulled my baby to sleep numerous times. It works perfectly if you have a game system or blu ray player that connects to your wifi because then you can have the white noise come through your tv so it’s nice and loud. By loud, I mean as about as loud as they’re crying- don’t blow their eardrums out.
7. Swing. If you don’t have a baby swing. Get one. Immediately. Our baby swing has been a life saver. When she is fussy and I know she needs to sleep but keeps fighting it, I put her in her swing with a nice soft blanket, put her binky in her mouth, turn on white noise if necessary, and off to sleepy land she goes.
8. The car. Abby loves the car most of the time. A definite go-to if your baby is inconsolable and you just can’t take it anymore.
9. It’s possible your child may have a hard time digesting your milk or formula. I, just today, purchased Colief Infant Drops. Colief is a natural substance the contains the lactase enzyme to help them digest their food. Besides Abby’s crying, she also spits up A LOT. Her pediatrician has put her on nutramigen formula and has told me to completely stop breastfeeding. This is not what I wanted to hear. He also put her on zantac to help with her little tummy. But then I found out I can do something as simple (and natural) as giving her an enzyme to help her digest and I can still give her my milk. I will be sure to update how the Colief works out. So far just from using it today, Abby has spit up less and cried less. Again, halleluiah.
Colief.com if you would like to see if this can help your baby.
10. See a chiropractor. Seriously. Especially if you have had a c-section. My mom discovered the her chiropractor also adjusts babies and her Dr. told her to bring Abby in on one of her appointments and she would look at her. She is wonderful and I truly believe she can help Abby. Chiropractors work with the nervous system- the nervous system can cause a lot of problems if there are nerves that aren’t working like they should. I highly suggest talking with one about your child’s colic and see what they can offer you. It wouldn’t hurt. P.S. Abby’s chiropractor is the one who told us about the Colief Infant Drops.
11. I suggest reading a book called The Wonder Weeks. There is also an app for it. The Wonder Weeks describes the “leaps” or growth spurts your baby will go through in their first 18 months of life and how you can help them through it. It gives you time frames of when they may be fussy or crying and why. I have not made it all the way through yet, but so far it’s a very interesting read. It helps you understand at least a little what your baby is going through.
That’s all I have for now. I am taking this one step at a time and learning more everyday. I truly hope this helped all you exhausted new parents out there, and maybe even made you laugh a little too 🙂
- Now I Lay Me Down to Sleep (oliviawestblog.wordpress.com)
- Help! My baby has colic! (lchaimmassage.wordpress.com)
- Giveaway: Colief Infant Drops (confessionsofapsychotichousewife.com)