My oldest son was the perfect baby. He woke up at perfect 3 hour intervals, ate quickly, and went back to sleep. He slept through the night at 3 months old. During the day, he would simply lay there looking cute as a button. I thought I was the luckiest mom on earth! Turned out, he was actually a tiny little con man sent to convince me that having another baby would be a piece of cake…
My youngest son was born in May of 2007. I don’t remember much of the year after that. After he arrived, everything became a blur of sleepless nights followed by days of screaming infant. Our house had been invaded by the dreaded COLICKY BABY!!
When colic rears its ugly head, it can turn a time that’s meant to be joyful and full of hope and promise into a nightmare. It can reduce a full grown adult to a crumpled heap of body wracking sobs. I remember sitting on my living room floor crying, wondering what I had done wrong, while my baby boy continued to scream next to me. The answer was…nothing.
All newborns cry and show some fussiness. But when a baby cries for more than 3 hours per day, more than 3 days per week for at least 3 weeks, it is a condition defined as colic. There is no medical reason for colic. There is also no cure. Colic is a waiting game. It can last for 6 weeks or 6 months, and there’s nothing you can do except wait it out.
I was able to find some relief for my little guy…and for myself…through motion. I found that keeping him mobile helped keep him distracted. It didn’t completely stop his crying, but it did help tame it down to mild weeping rather than blood-curdling screams. If you are dealing with a colicky baby, try these four moves to help ease their distress:
When you have a colicky baby, the last thing you want to do is take them anywhere. But you need to get out of the house. Going for a walk is the best way to do that. Getting out into the fresh air will help you feel a little more human after being up all night, and the motion of the stroller will help comfort your baby. If you have an older child that’s willing to come along and sing to their little brother or sister, even better!!
Bob & Weave
This is just your typical baby hip bounce. If you’re a mom, you know exactly what I’m talking about. Holding your baby on your hip, gently bounce up and down while weaving/swaying side to side at the same time.
Car Seat Carrier Swing
Strap your baby securely into their car seat carrier. Holding on to the handle with both hands, gently swing the car seat back and forth. Obviously, you don’t want to get too carried away with this one. After all, your baby is not a kettlebell. But trust me, it works! And your arms will get a good workout at the same time!
Stability Ball Baby Bounce
This is the one that worked the best for my little guy. Sitting on a stability ball, gently bounce up and down while holding onto your baby. The longer you bounce, the more leg workout you’ll get…and hopefully the more peaceful your baby will become.
*It’s estimated that up to 40% of all infants have colic. It usually starts between the 3rd and 6th week after birth and ends by the time the baby is 3 to 4 months old. If the baby is still crying excessively after that, consult your pediatrician as another health problem may be to blame.