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What Really Causes Colic and 4 Ways to Help Your Baby

First, Colic is NOT just...

  • gas

  • allergies

  • seen in babies born premature

  • caused by the parents not knowing how to comfort

  • cured by something from your Pediatrician

Colic IS...

  • something that babies DO, rather than something they HAVE.

  • another word for "extreme fussiness".

  • manageable with techniques but may not truly get better until after your baby is 3-4 months old.


Imagine living in a world that is simple:

  • dark

  • same constant "shhhhh" sound

  • (what the blood rushing around your placenta sounded like!)

  • snug and cozy with few options of what to do or see

  • with every need being met


Then suddenly, you are overwhelmed with different sights, sounds, feelings, and needs!



Babies with mild temperaments and self soothing abilities will be able to adjust this extreme change easier than those without.


What does this really mean in relation to Colic?

I think Dr. Harvey Karp explained it best when he wrote, "Babies with easy temperaments and great state control can handle the amazing new world around them. But infants with challenging temperaments and poor self-calming ability get pushed into colic by too much excitement, too much stillness, and too little womb rhythms" (Happiest Baby on the Block)

Simply put, some babies just struggle with all the new changes the outside world brings!



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First, keep in mind that there is no cure for Colic. It's not even a medical condition! It's just a term used for extreme fussiness often defined by babies who are otherwise healthy but cry for more than 3 hours per day for more than 3 days in a row for more than 3 weeks. Whether your child technically meets this criteria for Colic or not, here are some strategies to try to help reduce the amount of crying and fussiness.


4 Ways to Help Your Baby


1. Sooth your baby by making it FEEL like the womb.

Use a snug swaddle for all sleep times

  • use a rocking and jiggling motion while holding them

  • Try different positions like on your shoulder, on their side, etc.

2. Sooth your baby by making it SOUND like the womb.

  • Use a loud, constant "shhhhh" sound in their ear.

  • Use a white noise machine during all sleep times.

3. Reduce stimulation

  • Do skin to skin often. Angle so they just can see you.

  • Keep sleep environments simple. Just dark with white noise.

  • This means no night lights, music playing, mobiles, or stars moving around on the ceiling.

4. Give yourself breaks away and remind yourself that you are doing an amazing job!

  • Plan breaks away from your duties as a parent to destress.

  • Know that no matter what you do, your baby is still going to cry and fuss sometimes and that's okay.

If you would like to learn more about how to help improve your infant's sleep, download Night & Naps Sleep Guide: The First 3 Months!


*Some of these links are Affiliate Links!

Sources:

Karp, Harvey. The Happiest Baby on the Block; Fully Revised and Updated Second Edition: The New Way to Calm Crying and Help Your Newborn Baby Sleep Longer. 2nd Revised, Updated ed., Bantam, 2015.

M.D., Weissbluth Marc. Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child, 4th Edition: A Step-by-Step Program for a Good Night’s Sleep. 4th ed., Ballantine Books, 2015.


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