It's 7pm, and the wailing begins. You're holding your two weeks old baby- suddenly he stiffens his limbs, arches his back, clenches his fists, draws up his flailing limbs against a bloated & tense abdomen, and lets out ear piercing shrieks.
You try to cuddle, but baby stiffens in protest. You try to nurse, but baby arches and pulls away. You rock, sing and ride. The soothing techniques that worked yesterday aren't working today. The intensity of baby's cries mount, your frustration escalates, and you feel helpless in determining the cause of his distress and alleviating your baby's pain. This is the one most difficult chapters in life with your new baby... That's colic.
Tips you should know in order to cope a colic baby:
è Food Sensitivities: Nursing mothers should have noticed a correlation between what they eat and how colicky baby gets, and compiled their own fussy foods list. Suspects include: dairy products, caffeine containing foods and beverages (soft drinks, chocolate, coffee & tea), cruciferous vegetables (cabbage, green peppers, broccoli, cauliflower, brussel sprouts and onions), spicy foods (garlic or curry), wheat and corn.
è Old wives tales have long suspected that some breastfed babies become colicky if their mother drink cow's milk which I totally agreed, That's because potentially allergenic protein called beta-lactoglobulin in cow's milk is transferred to baby through breast milk which upsets the intestines as if the baby had directly ingested the cow's milk.
è Feeding too much, too fast, can increase intestinal gas from the breakdown of excessive lactose, either in mother's milk or in formula. So, feed your baby twice as often and half as much.
è Colic Carries: Football hold, place your baby stomach down along your forearm with his head near the crook of your elbow and his legs straddling your hand. Press your forearm into baby's tense abdomen. Or, try reversing this position so that his cheek lies in the palm of your hand, his abdomen along your forearm and his crotch snuggled into the crook of your elbow.
è When your baby is at the peak of an attack, try these abdominal relaxers: The gas pump, lay baby's face up on your lap with his legs toward you and his head resting on your knees. Pump his legs up and down in bicycling motion while making a few attention getting facial expressions. The colic curls, place baby's head and back against your chest and encircle your arms under his bottom, then curl your arms up. Try reversing this position by placing baby's feet against your chest as you hold him. This way you can maintain eye contact with your baby and entertain him with funny facial expressions.
è Place a warm (not hot) water bottle enclosed in a cloth diaper under baby's tummy so as to further relax a tense tummy, lay baby stomach down on a cushion with his legs dangling over the edge while rubbing her back. Do turn his head to the side so his breathing isn't obstructed.
è A warm bath for two often relaxes both you and your baby. Or, a famous fuss preventer I have used with my babies is a techniques I call the warm fuzzy: while lying on a bed, drape baby tummy to tummy and skin to skin with his ear over your heartbeat. The warmth of your body plus the rise and fall of your chest, is proven fuss buster.
Besides comforting your baby, it's important to comfort yourself too. The key to survive and thrive with colicky baby is to keep working until you find a parenting style that meets the needs of your infant, but at the same time meets your needs and does not exceed your ability to give.
Each day remind yourself that... What your baby needs most is a happy & rested mummy.