Is Your Baby Crying Excessively? How to support your baby with colic.

Is your baby crying for hours late in the day? Do they seem healthy and happy, but as the ‘witching hour’ begins, nothing seems to calm or soothe them? If so, you might be dealing with colic.

Colic is characterised by spells of excessive crying for long periods, specifically more than 3 hours a day, more than 3 days a week, and for more than 3 weeks at a time. Research indicates that colic affects 10-40% of healthy infants and often starts around two to four weeks of age, peaking at six to ten weeks.

What Are the Symptoms of Colic?

Colic is not a diagnosis but rather a description of symptoms, which can include:

  • Intense, high-pitched, and inconsolable crying in the late afternoon and evening.
  • Bloating.
  • Drawing legs up and stiffening of the legs.
  • Passing gas.
  • Going red in the face.

Why Does Colic Happen?

There is no specific cause of colic, and it remains largely unknown why it occurs. However, some speculate that several factors might contribute, including:

  • An immature digestive system.
  • Imbalance of the bacteria in the gut.
  • Milk allergies and intolerances.
  • Overfeeding.
  • Incorrect feeding techniques, whether bottle or breast.
  • Family stress and anxiety.
  • Overstimulation or overtiredness.

What Can You Do?

If your baby is struggling, it’s important to reach out and ensure there isn’t an underlying cause for their discomfort. Identifying the root cause can help you to support your baby better.

Here are some tips that may help:

Ensure Your Baby Isn’t Overtired

Newborns can only stay awake for short periods. Reduce stimulation in the afternoon and watch for early signs of tiredness. Shortening wake windows may help.

Check Feeding Techniques

Even if your baby appears to be feeding well, there might be underlying difficulties that aren’t immediately noticeable. In such cases, seeking feeding advice that is straightforward to follow can be immensely helpful.

If you suspect that your baby has a milk intolerance or allergy, it is crucial to seek medical advice promptly. Early consultation with a healthcare professional can ensure proper diagnosis and management, providing relief and preventing potential complications.

Use Soothing Techniques

  • Swaddling or wearing your baby in a sling can mimic the womb environment and help relax them.
  • Holding your baby on their side or in the ‘tiger in the tree’ position can comfort them if they have tummy pains.
  • Sucking is a powerful calming tool. Breastfeeding or using a dummy can help soothe your baby.
  • Skin-to-skin contact, or a bath may also comfort them.

Seek Help

Lowering your stress levels will help your baby. Don’t hesitate to ask friends, family, or babysitters for assistance if you need a break. If all else fails, take your baby for a walk; it can be beneficial for both of you.

You Are Not Alone

Having a baby with colic can make you feel helpless and overwhelmed, but these feelings are normal and don’t make you a bad parent. This period is challenging, but following your instincts and seeking support can make a difference. Comfort, hold, bounce, and feed your baby whenever they need it, and don’t be afraid to reach out for help.

If you need support, I provide personalised one-on-one assistance to help identify why your baby is uncomfortable and crying. I will be with you every step of the way, offering guidance and support for both you and your baby.

Please reach out for a free chat where we can discuss your situation and determine if I am the right person to help you during this overwhelming time. Remember, we aren’t meant to do this alone.

Reach out today and let’s work together to bring comfort to you and your baby.

Jo-Anne Dietrich
Happy Nights Infant Sleep Consultant
Certified Infant Sleep Specialist, and Potty Training Consultant
NNEB National Nursery Nurse, Nanny (CACHE Early Years Diploma), Maternity Nurse,
International Association of Child Sleep Consultant Member

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