When I was a new mommy, I remember waking up in the middle of the night to the shrillest cry of my baby daughter. Is it the mosquito biting? Not possible, there was a mosquito repellant running 24*7. Is she cold? But she was so snug under her warm blanket. I tried soothing her on the bed for some time but the decibel of her crying kept increasing. Then I tried gently rocking her back and forth. This gave some amount of relief and she stopped crying finally falling asleep. This continued for a week at a stretch after which I decided to visit the doctor because it was the same story almost every night.
Her pediatrician checked her thoroughly and said that for an otherwise healthy baby, sudden bouts of crying might indicate colic. It can happen to any healthy, well-fed baby too, so if your baby is suffering from colic you should not think that your baby might be sick or unhealthy. Here are a few facts you should know about colic:
- Your baby might start experiencing colic around 2 weeks of age and it might continue for 3-4 months before going off on its own.
- Your baby doesn’t get colic only if bottle-fed. A breastfed baby gets colic too.
- Colic is common in babies that go off on its own. However, it will not have any effect on your baby’s health in the future.
Causes of colic
Newborn parents often ask their babies the reason for colic. But there is no one specific reason that contributes to your baby getting colic. However, there are a few theories that doctors explain for colic:
- Gas problem
- Muscle spasm as the digestive system grows
- Hormones causing stomach pain
- Moody baby
- Developing nervous system
- Oversensitivity to light and noise
5 simple tips to soothe your colicky baby:
1. Put her in a ‘colicky’ position
One mistake I used to do until visiting a doctor was I used to try to soothe my baby face up on the bad itself. But that does not help. It actually irritates your baby. Position your baby down with his stomach resting on your forearm and head supported in the palm of your hand. It is important that your baby should feel pressure on the tummy.
2. Rock n roll
Rock your baby to and fro in your arms or take your baby out for a stroll if the weather permits. If you have a baby swing at home, put your baby and cradle him in slight movements.
3. Set on a white noise
A white noise is a persistent sound that is soothing to a bay’s ear and might soothe him. The constant noise might be a little irritating to you but it will make him feel like he’s back in the womb. A running fan sound or sound of a hair drying or a recorded whooshing sound can soothe him.
4. Massage your baby
Have you ever tried soothing your baby’s colic by massaging him? It works wonders and you should try it the next time. Massage his tummy in a firm and steady clockwise motion or bicycle his legs to relieve him of pain. Massaging will help him to expel gas that will soothe him well.
5. Make her burp
As your baby cries, he will gulp in more air that will make him bloated and gassy. Position your baby over your shoulders and make her burp with gentle thumps on the back. Burping also releases gas from the baby’s stomach that will relieve her of the pains.
To manage a colicky baby every night is actually hard on parents, but nevertheless, this is common. There is nothing to panic and try these remedies at home. Take your baby to a doctor if none of this really works and your baby feels a lot of discomforts. The pediatrician will be able to help and guide you better with some pediatric digestive drops if necessary.