Four of my babies had colic so I've garnered some wisdom over the years about what to do. Here are some do's and don't's I've learned:
- DO: Take your child to the doctor. He/she may have physical issues that are causing discomfort. My babies had acid reflux. This is VERY common. The medicine for it doesn't hurt babies, so even if your babies aren't spitting up a lot (mine didn't), it's worth a try. See if your doctor will let you do a trial run with the medicine.
- DON'T: Try and handle it all by yourself all the time. Get help. Family members and friends can help you take breaks from the constant crying.
- DO: Let your husband help. A lot. Ask for it. Don't wait for him to offer. And don't criticize his efforts. Let him do it his way. It's important not to criticize him if you want his help in the future.
- DON'T: Let yourself reach the breaking point. If you feel yourself getting angry, call someone right away. If no one is available, put the baby in a safe place, like his crib, and let him cry, while you get a short break. Turn on the television or put in soothing music to help you calm down, or take a short bath. Praying helps too.
- DO: Try many different tactics. Baby slings are great and help you get more done.
- DON'T: Feel like you have to hold the baby 24 hours/day. If you need to let them cry for a bit while you eat your dinner, it's okay.
- DO: Try gas medicine for babies. Many times that helps.
- DO: Try baby massage to get gas bubbles moving. Try lots of things: baths, swaddling, burping, rocking, singing, stroking their forehead, driving in the car, vibrating chair, swing, or gently walking and bouncing (never shaking).
- DO: Plan ahead. If you know there is a fussy time, get dinner made and a nap in for yourself before it happens. Make extra portions of dinner to freeze for later. Crockpots are a lifesaver.
- DON'T: Be afraid to hire a babysitter to give yourself a break. Also accept meals from friends who offer.
- DO: Go on dates with your husband. Colic is hard on a relationship. You need to give each other some time.
- DO: Buy earplugs. Trust me if you are holding a crying baby a lot, this will save your sanity. You can still feel good about comforting the baby, but it won't grate on your nerves so much.
- DON'T: Listen to criticism from other people. Grandmothers used to stop me at the store and tell me to feed my baby more so he wouldn't cry. I just ignored what they said, told them my baby had colic, and kept shopping. Nobody knows what your personal struggle is, so they do not have the right to criticize. Don't worry about what other people think, and don't let them tell you it's your fault. It's not. Colicky babies just cry a lot, and you are doing your best, so don't listen to their negativity.
- DO: Know that it will end sooner than you think. I promise. Usually at around 2 1/2 months and sometimes sooner. It won't last forever!