Colic: What it is and what to do
Colicky babies have tummy pains and loud, piercing cries. These cries can last a few minutes or several hours, usually at the same time each day. Sometimes a colicky baby won't stop crying even after you've tried the usual things. It's not your fault, or the baby's fault.
A screaming, colicky baby can make parents feel helpless and angry. Everyone wants a sweet, peaceful baby, not one who won't stop crying no matter what you do.
As hard as it is, try to keep calm. Trying one thing after another to soothe baby may only make matters worse. Pick a few things that seem to work best, and give them a chance.
Get some time away from baby. Others won't mind the crying as much as you do.
Try these ideas:
- Lay baby across your knees; rub or pat her back.
- Rock baby at 60 rocks per minute, a slow adult walk, or use an infant swing. Walk with her tucked under your arm, with your hand under her tummy or hold baby so she can look around to see things.
- Try changing his bath time to evening.
- Give the evening feeding with baby upright, not lying down. Burp him extra-well to get air out of his tummy.
- Offer a pacifier. Sucking helps relax baby's stomach.
- Go for a ride in the car, putting her in a car seat.
- Sing to him or play soft music. Sometimes a vacuum cleaner, fan, or radio tuned to static may help calm him.
Talk to baby's doctor and see what can be done. Sometimes a change in your diet, if you're nursing, or in the baby's formula can help.
Medication can be used as a last resort, but doctors disagree on how well it works.
Try to be patient. Colic goes away, usually by 3 to 4 months of age, and you will discover you have a sweet, peaceful baby after all.