For us, battling against colic was a futile endeavor, but there were a few ways to get some control of the situation. These 5 coping mechanisms occupied my all day, everyday for Charlie’s first 3 months on this planet. To quote my doctor, “you are one of the lucky families to have a baby with colic 24 hours a day.” He didn’t actually have colic 24 hours a day, but he did sometimes have it up to 15 hours a day, almost every day.
2 Solutions for momentary calm:
My first plan of attack everyday was to take Charlie outside when the inconsolable crying started. The second he hit the fresh air he would stop crying. Of course, he would start crying again the second we went back inside.
Another defense from the constant crying, was to run a bath for Charlie. The second he hit the water he would stop crying. Often times the crying would start again the second I took him out of the water, but those few minutes were like precious vacations from the hell that was colic.
My favorite activity during his colic phase was to get in the bath, bring him in with me and breast feed him while I got some much-needed R & R. He was so happy and calm in the bath and I actually got a moment to relax as well.
3 Solutions that might end up in a sleeping baby:
I think I owe my sanity to the creators of the Ergo. I would wear Charlie in the Ergo all day long with the infant insert. I don’t know if it was my heartbeat, the warmth of being close to me, the movement or all three, but the Ergo almost always induced sleep. ”Nap when the baby is napping” is advice that was lost upon me because if I stopped moving, he would wake up.
Charlie couldn’t cope with his arms and legs free. We had to double swaddle him so he wouldn’t break free of its constraints. Once we got the swaddle on nice and tight he might calm down a bit. Our trick was a double layer swaddle. The first layer was an actual swaddle blanket. Then we would wrap him up in a velcro swaddle. This assured that he wouldn’t break free. It sounds archaic, but he really did love it.
Once he was swaddled, it was time to bounce. We must have bounced on the birthing ball for hours at a time. In times of desperation we would also put him in the car seat and go for a drive. Sometimes I would have to drive for 2 or more hours to get him to fall asleep. Once he fell asleep I would put the car seat in the crib because transferring him from the car seat to the crib was impossible. The times when we did try the transfer, he would wake up, cry and the whole soothing process would start over again.
I have heard from other moms with colicky babies that some of these options worked for them as well. For Charlie, we would often times have to combine one or more of these coping mechanisms in order to calm him down. Sometimes it would calm him for minutes, other times it created the perfect recipe for a longer stretch of calm.