Infant Tips

Finding the Calm in Colic

Taking Care of Yourself During Your Baby’s Colic

As the crying of colic filled my days, I knew it was critical to find a way to hold myself together. I was physically and mentally exhausted, but still needed to be available for my baby.

You may be at a similar point, and know what I’m talking about. But rest assured that the dark days won’t last. Relish the moments when your baby is cheerful, as they’ll help you make it through the tough times. Colic ends. It may be impossible to believe while you’re experiencing it, but it does—eventually—end. And taking care of yourself while it’s happening is important.

Here are some ways to get through the colic and feel empowered.
  • Take it one day at a time. Don’t focus on anything but today.
  • Schedule the colic into your life. I knew my son was going to start crying at about five o’clock. I planned my day with this in mind—making sure that dinner was ready, healthy snacks were close at hand (to energize me through the night), and everything was in order.
  • Tell yourself you’re a great parent. People are going to tell you babies just cry, and they’re going to offer advice that won’t work. Know that you ARE doing a great job and this is as hard as it gets. Be sure to repeat this mantra every day.
  • Put your baby down for a few minutes. It’s okay if he cries some. Put him down where he’s safe and walk away. Go to the next room and take a minute to breathe, drink some water, and recharge.
  • Go for a walk with your baby. Even if it’s just a short walk to the end of your block, it’s getting you out of the house. The motion of the stroller or the carrier may calm him, and the exercise will help you minimize the stress and tension.
  • Listen to music. With my second child I became attached to music. I put on my ear buds and danced with her, bounced with her, sang to her.
  • Vacuum. My husband will tell you that having a colicky baby kept our house tidy. I vacuumed for hours. I put him in a carrier and together we vacuumed. The sound seemed to soothe us both.
  • Ask for help. Let your partner or a friend take a turn with your baby. Go for a walk, go shopping, work out, read at the library. Schedule a date night with your husband and stick to it. Some time off will help you relax. Trust that your baby will be all right with others.
  • Find other people who have gone through colic. They—more than anyone—will understand what you’re going through. Sometimes it helps just to have someone say, “I know…” and know that they really get it. And you just may have an opportunity to return the favor someday when they need someone to reach out to.
It’s going to pass soon, however you must remember it’s important to take care of both your baby and yourself. When colic does end, your baby is going to be so happy, and motherhood will become the journey you envisioned!

What have you done to take care of yourself during the stages of colic?

Your Comments

Comments
Tariq
Whoa, We see this all day everyday. My last clniet just came in with that complaint.Signs MAY OR MAY NOT be, vomiting, spitting up, rashes, or skin breakouts, eczema. However, b/c most babies do one or all of the above, it is not necessarily a symptom of an allergy .And if allergies do occur, many grow out of it by the time they are as young as 6 months to as long as 7 years old (per research). A true milk allergy or even lactose intolerance is diagnosed with tests and examinations which are NOT DONE on infants. Many doctors will just switch formulas (which I hate) until they find the right one can you say: An expensive headache?MOST doctors will diagnose either one based on trial and error and response to the different formulas which is funny because I have had babies on Alimentum (for milk protein allergies-which is something in its true form ..MANY USUALLY DO NOT grow out of) with the above diagnosis, only to have them a 1 year gobbling down milk like a pro with no problems!Its trial and error, because allergy tests are not usually done on infants .I would breastfeed if you can because allergies to the breastmilk is rare .If the baby is allergic to certain foods mom eats, and breaks out from the breastmilk, mom can just eliminate those foods ..Best of luck and blessings to you.
7/1/2012 11:10:21 PM

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Dr. Greene

Dr. Greene is a practicing pediatrician, author, speaker, children’s health advocate, and father of four.

Dr. Levine

Dr. Alanna Levine is a New York based pediatrician and a mom of two children.