If you buy through our links we may receive a commission at no expense to you. Please see our Ethics page.
Swaddling, Burping, White Noise, Movement, Burping are age old methods to help a colicy baby
For many parents, dealing with a colicky baby can be exhausting and emotionally draining.
I have supported many parents through this challenging stage yet it was still difficult for me when I went through it with my first baby.
The constant crying and lack of sleep can take a toll on the entire family.
However, understanding colic and using some proven techniques can significantly ease your baby’s discomfort and help them sleep better. In this article, we’ll explore colic in depth and provide tips on helping your colic baby sleep.
Also Read: Benefits of Co Sleeping
What Is Colic?
Colic is a term used to describe severe, often fluctuating pain in the abdomen that is caused by the spasmodic contraction of the intestines. In infants, it’s defined as inconsolable crying for more than three hours a day, three days a week for three weeks or longer, without an apparent reason.
Does My Baby Have Colic?
It’s vital to distinguish between normal crying and colic. If your baby:
Cries at the same time every day, especially late afternoon or evening.
Has episodes of crying that suddenly start and stop.
Seems to experience bloating, a tight belly, or has a clenched fist during episodes2.
They might be experiencing colic.
Also Read: Baby Sleeps With Head Tilted Back
What Causes Colic?
The exact cause of colic remains a mystery, but several factors might contribute:
Digestive System Immaturity: The baby’s digestive system is still developing and might be sensitive to breast milk or formula.
Overstimulation: Overwhelming environments in the first few weeks of life.
Hormonal Changes: Leading to stomach cramps or fussiness.
Food allergies or sensitivities3.
How Can I Help My Colic Baby Sleep?
Also Read: Baby Sleeping Sitting Up Folded in Half
Helping a colic baby sleep can be challenging but not impossible. Here are some tried-and-true techniques:
Swaddling: A snug wrap can provide comfort. Make sure its is not too tight around the hips. Read our tips on how to swaddle safely and correctly.
White Noise: Sounds like a running fan or water can soothe some babies. You can also buy white noise machines which are a far more practical solution.
Movement: Rocking, swinging motions that mimic being inside the womb. Baby Slings can be a great way to so this with a newborn baby. Although you are desperate now to make the crying stop, be careful not to introduce sleep habits that might stick and be difficult to break, going out in the car, or stroller every time your baby needs to nap could lead you into a difficult habit later down the road. It’s not safe for your baby to sleep in a car seat as they shouldn’t be in one for more than two hours as it can lead to overheating and suffocation. This is the same for baby bouncers. If you are laying your baby down to sleep make sure the environment is safe.
Burping: Ensuring your baby is burped properly after feeds can reduce gas.
Take Breaks for yourself, ask for support, listen to soothing music or a podcast or audible book, to help you stay calm.
Be Confident that you are doing all you can. Take Short A Course to understand your baby’s sleep better!
Do Colic Babies Refuse To Sleep?
Colic babies do not necessarily refuse to sleep. However, their discomfort might make it harder for them to stay asleep for extended periods. The intense crying episodes can disrupt sleep patterns.
What Makes Colic Worse At Night?
Several theories suggest why colic may be worse at night:
Accumulated sensory experiences throughout the day.
Parents’ own stress or anxiety levels might be higher at night.
Babies’ developing digestive systems might process feeds slower during night time hours.
How to Get Rid Of Colic In Babies Fast
While there’s no one-size-fits-all solution, here are some potential methods to alleviate colic quickly:
Dietary Changes: If breastfeeding, mothers can try eliminating certain foods. For formula-fed babies, a switch might be beneficial.
Massage: Gentle tummy massages can help.
Warm Bath: Warm water can soothe a baby’s tummy.
Consultation: Always consult with a pediatrician about potential remedies or medications.
In conclusion, while colic can be tough on both babies and parents, understanding its nuances and applying effective techniques can significantly improve the situation. Always remember to consult medical professionals for tailored advice.
It’s always important to check with your own pediatritian for health advice for your baby. However, If you would like to read more in depth on this issue here are our references.