If your newborn cried for more than 3 hours, more than 3 days for more than 3 weeks then your pediatrician was likely to hold colic responsible.
While it can be comforting to know why your little one is in such distress, the diagnosis of colic still leaves much to be explained since there is no one proven cause of colic. Without knowing what is causing the problem, it can be quite difficult to prevent and stop. Thankfully, babies diagnosed with colic are otherwise considered to be healthy, thriving infants.
Unfortunately, colic outbursts typically occur in the late afternoon or early evening when you’re already tired from a full day and ready to relax at home with your family. Any parent who has experienced colic with a newborn can attest that fits of colic are likely to wear out both the child and parents. Dealing with colic in a state of exhaustion tends to make the whole situation even more challenging for parents. Needless to say when your little bundle of joy is no longer joyful, but rather is wailing uncontrollably, the only thing you care about is finding a way to make it stop and make it stop sooner rather than later.
It takes little more than a quick Google search to find an endless list of colic remedies from gripe water and probiotic drops to infant massage and swaddling techniques being are touted by parenting experts. To a new parent, it can seem that there are as many suggested remedies for colic as there are colicky babies. So what is an exhausted and overwhelmed new parent to do?
The good news is that it’s quite possible that something as simple as babywearing can bring your colicky baby woes to an end. Plenty of babywearing parents feel that simply wearing your child close to you is enough to stop the seemingly endless battle with colic.
So what exactly is it about babywearing that helps to stop colic?
Babies who are worn in slings and carriers tend to cry less than those who aren’t worn. Some experts believe that colicky babies crave more contact and that holding, snuggling and wearing them often can satisfy this need. When your baby in nestled comfortably in a carrier he or she is less likely to become stressed from overstimulation. A carrier creates an environment that is similar to the womb – baby is warm, safe and feels the gentle movement of being carried which is soothing to infants. Additionally, being carried in an upright position and gentle jostling of movement is said to promote better digestion and reduce gas that is often associated with colic.
While my husband and I couldn’t be positive that wearing our daughter would prevent or stop her from being colicky, we were certainly willing to give it a try, and we hoped that it would do the trick. Plus, we were both interested in the extra snuggling time that it gave each of us with her each. It also gave me a chance to get other things done at the same time, which was great for me because I am a really big multitasker and am almost always doing at least two things at once. Needless to say, as long as we wore her in a sling or wrap for a few hours each evening she was as happy, smiley baby.
If you’ve already noticed a pattern to your baby’s colic outbursts, try to begin wearing him or her in a sling, wrap or soft carrier before the usual time to attempt to prevent excessive crying and overstimulation. It’s also a good idea to limit visitors and keep the lights and noises low during this time of the day. It worked for our family and hopefully it will do the same for yours.
How did you make it through your newborn’s stint with colic? Did a sling do the trick? Or do you have a secret remedy of your own?