It can be difficult to have a fussy baby. But it can push you to your limits when your baby just will not stop crying. Colic is a condition characterized by excessive crying in an infant. When all you want is a little peace and a happy (or at least calm) baby, you are willing to take any advice just to get some relief. Don’t just take any advice. Take trusted advice to help soothe your little one when she is more than just fussy. Here are some suggestions you can trust to help you with your colicky baby.
What Is Colic, Anyway?
You may have heard of a fussy baby being called “colicky,” but just being grumpy is not enough. If you have a baby who cries for more than three hours, at least three times a week, for at least three weeks then chances are good your baby has colic. Other signs to look for include bending her arms and legs toward her belly, having a bloated belly and she may tighten her stomach muscles. She may seem to cry for no reason as her diaper is clean and she has been fed. She will probably also go on a torrent at around the same time every day.
How Your Doctor Can Help
Your doctor may want to look into possible causes of her upset like a food allergy, injury, reflux or possible environmental factors that may be causing her discomfort. To help your doctor, keep a log of when she cries, for how long, how often and what she eats, what seems to set her off and what seems to soothe her. Present your log at your baby’s next appointment.
But see the doctor right away if she has a fever, blood in her stool, does not produce enough wet diapers, does not want to be touched or shows any other signs of injury or serious trouble.
Things You Can Try
There are a lot of possible reasons your baby may be unhappy. As long as she does not appear to be in any immediate danger, then there is a list of things you can try to bring you and baby both some much-needed relief while you wait on the next doctor’s appointment. Here are a few.
Different Feeding Methods
She may be uncomfortable if she is ingesting too much air as she eats. To help her out, try feeding her while she is sitting up rather than lying down. Also, if she is bottle fed, try special nipples that are designed to reduce the amount of air she takes in.
Feeding Different Foods
Experts say that food allergies do not cause colic, but they can cause irritation. If you feed your baby formula, try switching to a different brand. If you are breastfeeding, consider what you are eating and try eliminating things from your diet to see if that helps.
If you have ever taken a baby for a car ride, you know how soothing the gentle rhythm of a car ride can be. Small children often fall asleep while in the car. You do not necessarily have to take your baby for a ride in the car, though. Put her in a stroller or just in a front carrier and take a walk. The gentle motion and rhythm of your movement can help to calm her. Having the ever-changing outdoor environment to distract her may also be helpful.
While you may not want a lot of boisterous activity around the baby when you are trying to calm her down, some gentle sound may help her to calm down. Many parents swear by white noise. You can download the sounds of wind, rain or rushing water. Try setting her car seat beside a fan or the dryer. Do not put her on top of the dryer, though, as that can present a falling risk.
Sometimes babies can become overstimulated. In order to help relieve his senses, here are a few more things you might try.
- Try a warm bath or water bottle
- Swaddle snugly in a blanket
- Take him into a darkened room or lower the lights
- Give him a pacifier
- Rub his back or try some other form of infant massage
When you have a colicky baby, it can be very stressful. The good news is that real colic usually does not last beyond the four-month mark. In the meantime, having ways to help your baby through can make you feel a little less helpless and may just comfort your baby, too.