Thankfully, my kids didn’t have colic, defined as a healthy baby who cries for more than three hours each day, more than three days a week for at least three weeks.
But we all know someone who has lived with a colicky baby. And we feel for them. Because it’s one thing to comfort a crying infant. It’s another thing to comfort an infant who cries for three hours straight.
Got colic? If your baby cries for three or more hours each day, three or more days per week for at least three weeks—you do. Here are two techniques that can help. After readers asked about ways to combat colic, I did a little research. Colic typically starts about three-to-six weeks after birth and ends by the time the baby is three-to-four months old. Opinions vary as to the prevalence: Some doctors say colic affects only five percent of babies, while others estimate more than 40 percent. And they also disagree about the cause: Some say colic is linked to gas, others say there’s no link whatsoever.
But although experts can’t come to a consensus, moms agree that these two strategies of preventing and lessening the symptoms of colic seem to work:
1. After feeding, burp frequently. Put the baby on your shoulder to burp—if that doesn’t work, sit her in your lap, hold her jaw with one hand and pat her back with the other, then rock her forwards and back. Don’t stop until something comes out.
2. Swaddle! I discovered the life-saving Dr. Harvey Karp and his “Happiest Baby on the Block” DVD and book series after raising two very poor sleepers; thanks to his soothing techniques my third baby slept through the night almost immediately. Named by Scholastic Parent & Child magazine second only to moms themselves on the 10 Most Influential People in Family Life 2010 list, Dr. Karp pretty much introduced the concept of swaddling to modern American parenting.
Now, I could give you a step-by-step on swaddling, but if a picture tells a thousand words, a video tells a thousand, right? The best way to learn how to do it is to watch swaddling in action, through the downloadable The Happiest Baby On The Block video, The Happiest Baby on the Block DVD or, in a pinch, this photo gallery from BabyCenter.
Finally, if you’re bottle feeding, take a look at the research from Born Free, which spearheaded the BPA-free bottle movement and is now leading an ongoing initiative to educate parents about colic. To celebrate March Colic Awareness Month (who knew?), Born Free let me handpick my favorite products to create the ultimate Colic-Free Baby Shower Gift for TWO lucky Mommy Greenest readers!
Each gift contains a flame-retardant free Born Free Bliss Nursing Pillow and Quilted Cover, as well as a three-pack of Large Muslin Blankets, perfect for swaddling, and tallies up at nearly $140. Want to win it? Enter below!