This post is sponsored by Philips Avent.
It was within weeks with my firstborn that I remember walking up and down the hallway of our house in the middle of the night. She would scream and cry for hours on end and nothing seemed to calm her down. As a brand new mom I tried everything that I thought could be wrong. I'd feed her, burp her, change her diaper, nothing worked. She was exhausted from crying and I was exhausted and on the verge of tears with her. I thought it was normal and that babies just kept you up in the middle of the night crying for no apparent reason. It wasn't until our well visit a couple weeks later that the pedicatrician told me she was suffering from colic. While I wasn't exactly sure what colic was, I was on the hunt to find out how I could help make it go away. The long nights of crying were getting the best of me and my daughter.
According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, most often colic means "that the child is unusually sensitive to stimulation or cannot "self-console" or regulate his nervous system." While a lot of times they don't know the exact cause of colic, there are some things that I tried to do to help soothe my daughter during these episodes. The first thing that I did was consult my pediatrician on his best advice and then I asked family and friends for advice on what's worked best for their little ones.
Here's what helped my daughter soothe her colic:
Take a look at what I was eating. Since I was exclusively nursing at the time, my doctor suggested that some of what I was eating could have been affecting my daughter. I elminated acidic foods and dairy out of my diet. It took a couple of weeks, but this did seem to ease some of her pain. When I switched over to bottles, I made sure that the bottle had an anti-colic system so that it helped reduce the amount of air (and therefore the amount of gas) that my daughter was getting when she ate.
The bicycle move. When my daughter had episodes of constant crying, I'd simply lay her on her back and move her legs in a bicycle motion. Our pediatrician said that this helped with the gas in her tummy and sure enough, this helped calm her down. I called it my magic move.
Make sure to burp. While it's always important to burp after every feeding, Dr. Tanya Altmann recommends burping prior to the feeding. "Some babies can be burped before feeding if they seems gassy and fussy prior to the feeding. This can often allow your baby to drink more and sleep more comfortably through the night."
White noise. I didn't invest in a white noise machine until my second daughter was born, but I did know the power of white noise with my oldest. During those times that I couldn't console her, I'd simply take out my vacuum cleaner and turn it on. I'd sit with her on the floor while she was upright in her bouncer and just rock her while listening to the sound of the vacuum.
Rock and swing. I cannot tell you how many times I'd have my daughter in my arms and would walk up and down the hallway in our house. I'd simply rock her back and forth. I'd also get out our baby carrier and wear her while walking up and down the hallway. Having her close to me and the constant motion helped a lot. When I was too tired to stay upright, I'd put her in the swing which helped. Anything that mimicked the way she felt in the womb help.
While these are what helped soothe my daughter, my pediatrician also told me that sometimes you just have to wait it out. As with all things in parenting, time is of the essence.
This post is sponsored by Philips Avent. Their Anti-colic baby bottle has a clinically proven Airflex venting system that is designed to reduce gas and colic. As your baby feeds, the valve integrated into the nipple flexes to allow air into the bottle to prevent vacuum build up and vents it towards the back of the bottle. It keeps air in the bottle and away from baby’s tummy to help reduce gas, spit-up and burping. Philips Avent anti-colic bottle reduces fussing. Babies fed with Philips Avent antli-colic bottles experienced 60% less fussing at night, than babies fed with a leading competitor’s vented bottle.