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Tips for surviving colic?

My baby is colicky. I’m stressed, and I don’t even like going out because I’m afraid baby will start crying and not stop. What are your best tips for getting through all of this?


My baby is colicky. I’m stressed, and I don’t even like going out because I’m afraid baby will start crying and not stop. What are your best tips for getting through all of this?

The Bump Expert

Colic is usually defined when a baby cries a minimum of three hours a day, three days a week, during the first three months. Now that’s a lot of crying! And let’s be honest, a lot of stress on mom and dad. In fact, some pediatricians will tell you they can diagnose colic based on the parents -- they're almost always very jumpy and distressed.

Some babies who are very fussy and difficult to control have underlying issues, like a protein allergy or reflux, so you should definitely see the pediatrician to rule out anything like that. Treatment can often help. But if there isn’t a good explanation for baby’s crying, the good news is, most babies grow out of colic by the time they’re three months old.

Use the Four S’s

Babies tend to be soothed by these tactics:

Shushing. Any loud (but not too loud) white noises may remind baby of being in utero and help calm her. Baby sound machines and some baby swings and toys have sounds like rain or thunderstorm that may work. Some parents even use radio static or a hair dryer or vacuum cleaner to make a shushing sound.

Swinging. Some babies really respond to motion. Try a baby swing or taking baby for a car ride if she’s being fussy. Some babies also like vibration sensations, so one of those vibrating seats or bassinets could work too.

Swaddling. Make baby nice and cozy by creating a tight intrauterine-type environment with a snugly wrapped receiving blanket.

Sucking. Baby may likely be calmed by sucking on a pacifier, breastfeeding or gnawing on her own hand.

Have a Bag of Tricks

You might lose your mind if you stay inside with baby all the time, so learn to leave the house -- but not without a bag of tricks to help baby. Whether they’re chimes that hang from her carrier, rattles, pacifiers or portable sound machines, pack things in your bag that soothe her. Knowing you’ve got a stash of weapons to combat colic will make you feel less stressed when you’re out and about.

Seek Out Others Dealing With Colic

Parenting a baby with colic can be very isolating, but remember, this doesn’t just happen to you. Definitely reach out to other parents dealing with this problem. Try meeting other parents on The Bump boards or at local playgroups or parks. Not only can you learn tricks and tips from them, but you can commiserate and support each other along the way.

Try Some New Tactics -- Even If They’re Weird

Parents have used some strange methods to calm their babies, including running an electric drill and carrying an industrial hair dryer everywhere they go. Go ahead and try everything, no matter how weird it is -- as long as baby’s doctor says it’s 100 percent safe, of course. You might have to get over a little embarrassment, but as long as you find something that works, go with it.

Use the Process of Elimination

If baby’s out of control, go through the list of things that could be wrong. Of course, being hungry or tired or needing her diaper changed are high up on the list, but some babies are simply more sensitive than others. Baby could be too hot or too cold -- some get annoyed at something as small as the tag on a onesie. Some simply have different preferences than others and maybe don’t like being swaddled or prefer the lights to be on or off. Test it out, and over time, you’ll learn what your baby tends to prefer. After all, you both are still getting to know each other.

Learn to Put Baby Down

Sometimes you really just need a break -- otherwise you’ll go crazy. And there are going to be times when you feel like nothing you’re doing is working. If you’re starving, you need to take a shower or brush your teeth, or you’re crying, you need to put baby down. Put her in her crib, where she’s safe, and take a break. Don’t feel guilty -- a lot of new moms become so focused on caring for baby that they forget about taking care of themselves, and that’s important. Crying never kills anybody! If you’re on maternity leave and your partner is working, when he comes home, be sure to pass baby to him. Call other friends or family members to help out too -- it's too much pressure to do everything yourself, even if you think you want to.

Be Honest With People

A lot of new parents don’t like to talk about their babies’ colic, because they don’t want to scare people away. But it’s other people who’ll help you through it -- and you have nothing to be embarrassed about! Chances are, your baby’s crying bothers you more than it bothers everyone else. And venting about it will help you release some stress. Plus, you might get more offers for help that way.

Remember that this will be over one day, and you’ll have gotten through it. My son had colic as a baby, and he kicked our butts. Now he’s a spirited, fun-loving kid.

Plus, more from The Bump:

How to Know If Baby's Colicky

Gas Pain in Babies

Reflux in Babies

Dr. Cheryl Wu

Tips for surviving colic?

According to my older relatives, babies with colick tend to respond positively to the following recipe: whiskey, lemon juice, water, and sugar. The measurements are very small, but enough to help baby burp or fart out the stomach ache. It's very similar to a hot-totty, but minus the honey.

heldk |

Tips for surviving colic?

my daughter was colic and she grew out of it when she was 6 months. the way i delt with it was i took ot a step at a time and when she wouldnt stop i would give her a cool bath and rock her and tell my self she will grow out of it. my daughter is one and she is doing great

RobsAngedl09 |

Tips for surviving colic?

I know a lot of us want to do it all ourselves so that we don't feel like a failure. My daughter had major colic crying 5+ hours straight every night. This went on for a month and a half. I had to throw my hands up and ask for help. It is stressful and can really tear you up emotionally and mentally. Please ask for help if you need it. You deserve a break too.

sunny503 |

Tips for surviving colic?

My son just started being colicky he is 4 wks old and has responded amazingly to a few simple switches. We change to Dr. Brown bottles, started using Gerber Good Start Soothe (Soothe is probiotic and for colic), and we keep gripe water from little remedies. Our side by side swing also amazing for when he is upset

dragossoul84 |

Tips for surviving colic?

If you are bottle feeding, I suggest Dr. Brown's Bottles. I have 2 children and neither had colic. I would also strongly suggest taking your baby to see a chiropractor. They do not adjust them like an adult. The adjustment is subtle using a pen like tool. My daugther never had another ear infection and my son is rarely if ever ill. The alignment of spine helps the CNS to work at its optimal level therefore allowing our immune system to work at its best. Just a suggestion...but check it out!

cadenlaney |

Tips for surviving colic?

My daughter had wild colic from day 5 until 3 months when I found a list of these foods to eliminate. dairy esp milk, wheat, seafood, tree nuts ie almonds and pecans etc.,soy tomato, and beef. I took them all out of my diet and within 24 hours noticed a difference abig differnce!. I gave it a week to let her get some rest and me too from all the crying and then addedd foods back one at a time every 3-4 days. Turns out for us it was the tree nuts, milk and beef. If I ate these things and then nursed she would colic again. If I removed these foods it would go away again in 12-24 hours.To this day if she eats almonds she gets crabby and an upset stomach and she is three years old..

cassieway |

Tips for surviving colic?

My son started to be colicky at about 6 weeks, he is 14 weeks now and is still colicky but we have found a couple things that help. Swaddling him up, holding him tight, patting his back and sit and bounce on an exercise ball really helps. We also have started using Hyland's Colic Tablets which have seemed to help. It calms his stomach so he can sleep. Sometimes it is rough and like others have said, it's hard to even leave the house because he just cries. If you start to feel like you're losing your nerve hand the baby off to your husband or someone else who can help. Leave the baby home and leave for an hour or two. It really helps to separate yourself for a bit.

lyssjackson |

Tips for surviving colic?

Both of my babies were colic. For my second baby I was able to calm her down by using a vacuum or hair dryer, washing machine etc. I found a great app that helped while were on the go or traveling overnight After 3 months things did get a lot better! I know it dosen't feel like that now but it will happen soon. hang in there!

Couture_designs |

Tips for surviving colic?

Great NYT article yesterday! Dr. Oz recommends Advocare's probiotic. I've been on it for a couple of years now and my husband just started. I break a capsule into his smoothie each morning, and he is loving it. One more thing...when they had to put my 4 month old on antibiotics last year, they recommended adding a probiotic to his bottle once a day. Turns out, Advocare was my pediatrician's probiotic of choice! This is the video from Dr. Oz: and this site should link you to where you can buy them

ebbarobb |

Tips for surviving colic?

My daughter had colic for a good 4-5 months. It was terrible. And seriously, I hate saying this, but its the truth. My husband video taped her one bad day and just replayed it a few weeks ago (she is 19 months old now) and I flipped out. Colic is not fun. The only reason why she slept through the night was because she literally passed out from all the screaming. We tried all the bouncing and patting and belly rubs and bicycle kicks...nothing worked. It was terrible. BUT what DID work for us is Colic Calm. At the time, we could only find it online or at CVS pharmacies. It is $20-25 but sooooo worth every penny. SHe was like night and day. Her pediatrician had her on liquid Zantac at about 5 months old (we had switched peds due to moving). That really helped too. But for almost instant relief.. try colic calm. You can even youtube it and see how it works. Just beware, it does stain. So make sure your little one is wearing a bib- even a good 15 minutes after because his/her drool will be black. I wish you luck. Just hang in there, it will be over before you know it and you will be able to bond with your little one. :0)

mfestante |

Tips for surviving colic?

I discovered this baby bouncer that works wonders: My husband and I had previously been taking our daughter for car rides in the evenings because it calmed her down. This bouncer has a "car ride" setting that has the same calming effect without the hassle of strapping into car seats during a crying fit :).

samax713 |

Tips for surviving colic?

I have a 6 week old son and he is colicky. I was driving me nuts. He'll start crying about 4 pm and wouldn't stop for hours. I used several of the tips above combined. I invested in a cradle n swing because it was comfortable like a bassinet. It has the white noise and different swing levels and swing options (forward/back or side to side). I swaddled him, placed a pacifier in his mouth, put him in the swing, crank up the white noise and choose a swing speed that got him to shush. It worked! He is sleeping through the night...only waking up for feedings. Thank God. I do feel guilty about him sleeping in a swing instead of the crib but my peace of mind kicks in and I get over the guilt.

Donnahnr |