“This too shall pass” is what I have been reminding myself the first 8 weeks of Walker’s life. Colic is no joke and has tested my patience in a way nothing else has in the past. I know that it will pass and that my baby boy will be a sweet, happy little guy soon.
There is no scientific or medical explanation for colic which makes the process even more stressful. I am a type-A person that likes things ‘cut and dry’ and get frustrated when you tell me that there is no right answer or explanation (such is parenthood). So when the doctor told me that Walker had colic and the only advice she could give me was that it usually goes away in 3 months but can last up to 6 (!!!) and to hang in there–I was to say the least a little disheartened.
I went home and immediately started “Dr. Googling” everything and called my sister and MIL for advice as they both had colicky babies. There are a few tips that have helped Walker’s symptoms and the knowledge that I am literally doing everything I can has put me at ease.
Things I am Doing to Help Ease Colic:
Like most parents with colicky babies we went straight to the store and purchased ALL the medications that would help colic. I am talking mylicon, gripe water, probiotics, gas drops and special medicine just for colicky babies. My doctor advised me that over the counter medication does not treat colic, as they don’t know the cause of it, but regardless it made me feel like I was giving him everything that I could to help ease the pain. Interestingly, I hate giving medication to my children but when you see your baby curled up in pain–you do whatever may help! Sorry, I’m not sorry Doc.
Embracing Cuddle Time and Baby Wearing
Embracing the cuddle time is very important during the challenging days of having a colicky baby. Walker needs to be held all.the.time. which can be taxing, but I am trying to embrace it as I know he won’t want to cuddle with me forever (Reid was not a snuggler). Cuddling and being held makes him feel comforted and helps keep him calm. Wearing Walker in the K’Tan keeps him close to me while allowing me to have both arms to get housework done and have more freedom to play with Reid. Colic is a lot easier to handle when Walker feels comforted.
Pacifiers, Pacifiers, Pacifiers!
Thank goodness for the invention of pacifiers! Seriously, the inventor should’ve won all the Noble Peace prizes. With my first baby I was nervous about giving him a pacifier because of the supposed interference with nursing, but having a fussy baby made the introduction of pacifiers a no brainer this go around.
Reid took to a paci almost immediately, so I was worried when Walker was disinterested in taking one. When Walker was 3 weeks old, my dad and Mimi visited and during their whole stay we all tried giving him a pacifier. I purchased probably 7 or 8 different brands and types praying that one would take (side note: someone should really come up with a multi-pack to test all the different brands!). The last day they were in town when we all were accepting the fact that he wasn’t a paci-baby, he took a mini Mam for 10 minutes. It was truly a feeling of parenting success watching him suck on the pacifier!
As time has gone on he has taken it longer and longer. While he is not in love with them, taking it occasionally has been a game changer!
Swaddling is amazing. There are many different swaddling blankets, gowns and sacks that people swear by. Personally, I am not a fan of the swaddling sacks until around 3-4 months. I absolutely love Angel Dear swaddles for newborns. The Angel Dear swaddles are a lot bigger (which makes a HUGE difference) and are ridiculously soft. Reid’s “blankey” is an Angel Dear swaddle we used when he was a baby! Swaddling helps comfort Walker, which makes colic more manageable (even if it is just for a few minutes).
Massage and Bicycling Legs
My sister introduced me to massage and bicycling legs. She swore by these methods with her colicky baby. Whenever Walker seems to have stomach cramps/pain, I massage his belly in a downward motion (putting pressure from the top of his belly to the bottom) and biking his legs back and forth. It really seems to help!
While colic is frustrating and something no-one can plan for, it is important to remember that it is a short period of time. It is a blessing in disguise because when Walker smiles or has a good day I appreciate it so much more. While I am looking forward to the days he has outgrown colic, I also don’t want to miss out on the sweet moments of his first months.