I have a big brother, and two big sisters. We all suffered with colic as babies. But what exactly is colic, and how can you ease it? It is especially tricky to pinpoint as it usually happens with very young babies, and there are a dozen other reasons why your baby may be crying.
The NHS says that ‘Colic is the name for excessive, frequent crying in a baby who appears to be otherwise healthy.’ The site also says that up to one in five babies suffer, and colic seems to begin when a baby is a few weeks old, and ends by the time the baby is four months old – six at the latest. We all showed symptoms earlier though – just be aware that if your baby is younger and showing any of the symptoms it could be colic. It sounds like such a short time – a few months, but for Mummy’s (and Daddy’s) it can seem never ending – at a time when they are exhausted and adjusting to having a tiny new person in their lives.
My siblings and I all suffered in very similar ways. Classic symptoms which we had were:
Unconsolably crying for hours, especially in the early evening.
Drawing our knees up to our tummies when crying.
Arching our backs when crying.
Crying when passing wind.
Mummy tried everything to soothe us – were we hungry? Thirsty? Were our nappies clean and dry? Were we tired? Cold? If you think your baby is suffering, make sure you check all these things too.
Mummy found certain things to help us when we suffered:
Giving us a little boiled, cooled to just warm, water.
Gently rocking us, either in her arms, or I had a rather cool baby swing.
Laying me on my tummy across her knees whilst sitting down.
Laying me on my back and gently massaging my tummy.
Using a product like Infacol Wind Drops – which are oral drops.
Giving me a warm bath.
Mummy also looked at alternative treatments such as Cranio Sacral Therapy – where a qualified practitioner gently massages my skull.
It can be very upsetting to see us like this – and it seems like we are very distressed, but as long as we are gaining weight and feeding normally colic is not actually harmful to us. Of course, if you are worried at all, at any time, you must seek advice from your health visitor or Doctor.
It is very important that you remember that colic is no ones fault. It is not due to anything you are doing or not doing, and your baby will come through it very soon. Truth is (we think) no-one really knows what causes it, and why it happens when it does. The good news is there is more support out there now – there was very little when Mummy had my biggest sister twenty years ago. If you want more information, or support, have a look online where various sites offer lots of advice and help.
Make sure you Mummy’s get the support you need, and reach out if you need to.
Have any of your baby’s suffered with colic?