7 Tips to coping with colic


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What no one really prepares you for in your life as a new mommy or daddy is, the C-word. I’m talking about colic.

Our story

I didn’t even know what was going on when my daughter started crying hysterically from colic in her 2nd week. I had never even heard this type of agonized crying. It was just horrible. She would cry unconsolably for about 3 hours on end every day and sometimes at night as well.

I remember one night my boyfriend had gotten so frustrated he punched a whole in the wall! After that we took turns holding her while she was crying to maintain our sanity. We would use earplugs to prevent our hearing from being damaged. I’m not joking. It was that bad. There will be people who say they don’t remember it being so bad with their children. I always thought to myself: “the crying must have been so bad it damaged their memory…” Others will tell you to just wait it out! WAIT IT OUT?! I would have loved to see them try!

I couldn’t stand idly by, watching my daughter scream out in pain hysterically. I was absolutely desperate to ease her pain and stop the crying. I tried every trick in the book and then some. Obviously every baby is different, but here are some things that actually worked for my daughter. Hope this will save someone else’s sanity as well!

How to combat colic:

arounded_corners1.  Lefax. One of our family members is a german microbiologist, specializing in “the colon region” (no joke). She tipped us off on this magical potion. It’s a German homeopathic remedie filled with all sorts of herbs. Although I wasn’t particularly keen on experimenting with medication on my 2-week-old, if a product is permitted to enter the German market (for babies) it has passed the most rigorous of testing in the world, plus my doctor said it was safe as well. So I decided to give it a shot. And low and behold, after the first time we used this, my daughter stopped crying. It was heaven. We ordered it from this German website.

rounded_cornersa2. Gina Ford. One of my colleagues had a baby that slept through within 3 weeks. She told me her secret was the Contented Baby schedule prescribed by Gina Ford. I was very skeptical at first, but after reading a sentence that said “None of the baby’s on Gina Ford’s strict schedule had colic”, I was sold. I started following the schedule she prescribed to a T. It was exhausting, and after two days of not sleeping at all I was ready to give up. My boyfriend took over for two days and than on day 5, my daughter had adjusted to Gina’s schedule. I stuck to it, and after 4 weeks she slept from 11 pm to 7 am and the colic stopped. I’m still not sure wether this was because we started using Lefax, or if it was Gina’s schedule, but just to be safe we kept on doing both.  A lot of people are very skeptical about Gina’s methods because it requires a LOT of discipline on mom and dad’s part during the first couple of days, and sometimes it requires some tough love which was not my fortay! But I can honestly say, we are still following (a light version of) Gina’s schedule 11 months later and our daughter now sleeps from 8 pm to 7.30 am!

rounded_cornersb3. Swaddling. In the book; Survivors Guide To Colic, I had read that: “A comprehensive review of all the scientific studies on swaddling published in 2007 concluded that in general swaddled babies arouse less and sleep longer.” And Gina had also told me I had to swaddle my baby, so I obeyed and started swaddling. It looks strangely similar to a straightjacket, so I wasn’t very keen on the swaddle, but it did seem to help my daughter sleep through the night a lot easier.  The theory behind the swaddle is that it creates a snug “womb-like” environment for your baby.

4. Warm bath. The combination of warm water, the sound of the water trickling in the bathtub and hearing mom or dads heartbeat helped to calm my agonized babe down.

5. Womb sounds. To trick my babe into thinking she had floated back into the womb, I would throw in some womb sounds on top of the swaddling :) The video in this link has 30 mins of womb sounds and I think out of the 1.2 million views I probably accounted for 1 million. The thought of having made her way back to the 5-star-resort in my belly seemed to really cheer her up and relieve some of her colic pain.

6. Go for a ride. Obviously this is not a viable long term solution to the colic problem, but for short term relief (which I know can be vital sometimes), it works like a charm.

 

rounded_corners7. The magic toaster. My babe somehow loved staring at our toaster. Pretty crazy, I know. But when something makes the crying stop (albeit temporarily) you just go with it. No questions asked. Maybe it was something to do with her own reflection staring back at her, or maybe it was the buttons that looked magical… It made her forget about the excruciating colic pain she as in for a bit, which made it worth standing next to the toaster whilst doing the belly hold for me every now and again :)


What didn’t work (for me):

  • People telling you to wait it out. This made me so mad and even more frustrated than I already was.
  • We had tried Infacol, which seemed to make matters even worse. Plus, it smelled terrible.
  • I drank liters of fennel tea, which didn’t really do anything apart from making me have to pee a lot.
  • I had stopped eating/drinking dairy products altogether (including chocolate!). This was a huge sacrifice for me, and it didn’t yield any visible result in terms of reducing baby’s colic cramps.

Hope this helps at least one parent out there cope with colic!


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