Taking care of a newborn baby is exhausting! But if your newborn has colic, you’ve probably reached a new level of exhaustion along with being on the brink of a mental breakdown.
Colic is not only physically demanding for baby and mama, it’s also mentally straining. Hours of crying tends to do that.
If you’re wondering if your baby could have colic… He or she probably does!
The signs of colic are straightforward and easy to recognize. Now the biggest hurdle is finding the right soothing technique to calm your fussy newborn and save your sanity.
I am currently dealing with a colicky baby and it’s harder than I ever imagined!
I always heard other moms describe how horrible their colicky baby was and I’d think to myself, “It can’t possibly be that bad!”
Well… I was wrong! Colic is that bad.
Since dealing with an extra fussy baby, here’s every item I’m utilizing to calm even the worst colic episodes!
Disclosure: Bear in mind that some of the links in this post are affiliate links and if you click on them to make a purchase I will earn a commission. Keep in mind that I link these companies and their products because of their quality and not because of the commission I receive from your purchases. The decision is yours, and whether or not you decide to buy something is completely up to you.
What Is Colic?
Colic is simply excessive crying. You’re baby will cry for hours without an apparent reason. Crying spells will normally start around 2 weeks old and last till 4 months of age.
Every mother on heard would love to find a cure for colic. But that’s hard to do when the cause of colic is unknown.
Many believe that the behavior is related to acid reflux and gastrointestinal issues.
Therefore, it’s important to address these issues with a pediatrician if you believe your baby is having reflux or tummy troubles like excessive gas and constipation.
But both can also be treated with at home remedies.
It’s assumed a baby has colic if he or she cries for 3 hours straight for 3 or more days a week, for at least 3 weeks.
Although colic is extremely frusterating for both you and baby, it is quite common, affecting 1 out of every 5 babies.
Don’t worry, your baby will be fine with no long-term effects!
Some of the common symptoms of colic include:
- Excessive crying for no apparent reason
- Arched back when crying
- Crying normally occurs at the same times a day
- Can be worse at night
- Passes gas frequently
- Straining with a bowl movement
- Excessive spit up after feeding
- Clenched fists
- Flushed or reddened face
- Legs pulled up to stomach when crying
- Appears to be in pain (especially with stomach issues)
Remedies For Colic
So now that you recognize the signs and symptoms of colic, what do you do to stop the crying?
The thing I’ve noticed with having a colicky baby is the longer the baby cries, the hard it will be to calm him/her down.
In other words- Do everything you can to soothe baby quickly before things get out of control!
Of course, that doesn’t always happen!
Since dealing with a colicky baby I’ve used a variety of products and soothing techniques to provide a peaceful environment for baby and I.
The following items are used almost daily to calm my son. Many times when crying is at it’s worse, I use multiple products and soothing techniques to calm him down.
Everything on the list below I consider to be a godsend for my colicky baby!
However, every baby is different and not everything on the list will work for every child.
Calming a colicky baby is all about trial and error.
If one soothing technique or product doesn’t work, move on to the next one and find what calms your baby down the quickest.
1. White Noise Machine
Before my second son was born, I never listened to white noise before, let alone needed to. Now, white noise is playing at least a couple hours a day at my house.
Thankfully, I’ve gotten use to it and consider my white noise machine to be an essential asset to calming my colicky son!
But what is it about white noise that calms a fussy baby? Well, it reminds baby of being in a noisy womb to provide comfort and familiarity.
A white noise machine is perfect for calming excessive crying when all else fails, plus it is great for lulling baby to sleep during naptimes and bed time.
It’s also incredible for blocking out over household noises like a screaming rambunctious toddler.
The only flaw I see in a white noise machine is that some babies do get dependent on it in order to fall asleep.
But playing white noise with every naptime is better than hours of crying!
2. Wearable Blanket
I put this object on the list because many babies are sensitive to temperature. If a baby is feeling too hot or too cold it may only aid to their crying episodes.
My son tends to run on the cold side and like to be bundled with a blanket or fleece pajamas.
A wearable blanket is great for providing warmth to a baby who’s feeling a little cold. This may be just the thing you need to help calm your baby down!
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I’m honestly not a huge fan of swaddling my babies, but since my son has colic I swaddle him almost daily! Swaddles give a baby the sensation of being in the womb.
However, some baby’s actually cry harder after being swaddled because they hate it that much. So far swaddling is working to calm down my son.
(Remember that once a baby can roll over, swaddling needs to be discontinued).
Since many doctors alike believe colic may be contributed to digestive issues, probiotics may help your little one have less crying episodes.
Probiotics will help you baby’s tummy issues by introducing good bacteria into his/her digestive system.
Balancing bacteria in the gut can help alleviate issues like constipation and excessive gas.
There are two ways baby can receive probiotics:
- Probiotic Supplement Drops
- Formula with added probiotics
I’m currently using Mommy’s Bliss Baby Probiotic Drops.
5. Breast Like Pacifiers
Some babies simply hate pacifiers. No matter what you do he/she wont’ keep it in their mouth. Unfortunately, my son is one of these babies!
I went through multiple brands and different kind of pacifiers trying to find one he would suck on for more than two seconds.
Thank God I found the Tommee Tippee Closer To Nature Soother.
This pacifier is more of a breast like shape and is the only binky my son will take!
6. Gripe Water
There’s a never ending argument when it comes to gripe water. Some mothers believe grip water is highly effective for easing fussiness, while others believe it’s simply sugar water for babies.
Honestly, it all depends on your baby. I believe some babies respond better to this natural remedy compared to others.
Gripe water is an all natural remedy for fussiness, colic, gas and hiccups that consists of sodium bicarbonate and a variety of hers such as fennel, chamomile, ginger, licorice and more. The ingredients depend on the brand you’re buying.
When it comes to calming colic, gripe water is worth a try to see if it helps.
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7. Anti-Colic Bottles
If your baby is formula fed or you pump breast milk to put into a bottle (like me) than you need anti-colic bottles!
I can’t image having regular bottles without some sort of venti-air system. The gas and fussiness would be so much worse in both my boys.
While these bottles may not work with every baby to prevent colic, they do drastically reduce the amount of air that baby would normally suck in with a regular bottle.
Swaying and rocking a baby mimics the movement he/she felt in the womb and provides comfort and security.
With my first son I didn’t really use the baby swing I was gifted. But then again, my first son didn’t have colic.
Now with my second, I’ve found a baby swing to be a lifesaver! One of the best ways to soothe a colicky baby is by rocking or swaying.
However, you can only rock and sway a baby so long in your arms. Especially if a colicky baby prefers you to stand and walk while rocking.
By the time you set your baby down you arm is almost numb and your lower back is throbbing.
A baby swing makes it much easier on you to calm your baby’s colic.
This one doesn’t always work for my son. There’s times when he’s too worked up that doing skin-to-skin with him doesn’t help at all!
But some babies need that extra closeness to help calm them.
The next time your child is in the middle of a crying spell, simply lay baby directly on your bare chest.
Another option for increased closeness to help colic is to baby wear with a baby chest carrier.
10. Bath Time With Lavender
When all else fails… Try bath time with a calming lavender scented baby soap followed by lavender scented lotion!
Lavender is able to help adults and babies alike when it comes to anxiety, tension, stress, sleep and irritability.
All things that a colicky baby needs help with.
While you could make it a routine to do a lavender scented bath at night, I find doing it during a crying episode tends to help the most.
Not only does my son calm down in a warm bath, but he also get’s really tired afterwards.
11. Yoga Ball
A yoga ball is so versatile! Not only can you use it to alleviate pain during pregnancy and labor, but you can continue to use it for calming a fussy newborn.
Instead of walking around the house rocking your baby, try bouncing on a yoga ball!
Your arms will still become sore from holding your baby, but bouncing does make calming colic a little more fun!
You can sway your hips back and forth to create a rocking motion as well.
You never know how bad something can be until you experience it yourself! I always thought colic wasn’t such a big deal.
If my children had it then I could deal with it. It can’t be that bad right?!
I was so delusional!
Colic is miserable for both mama and baby. There are times when I feel like pulling my own hair out when my son become inconsolable and the crying/screaming has gone on for hours.
To calm his colic I use the sound machine, swaddle and rocking (in my arms) combination. This tends to work the best for him.
But I’ve used all the 11 options above!
If you’re dealing with a colicky baby… Hang in there mama! Take a few deep breaths and remember that colic doesn’t last forever.
It’s usually over with by 4 months old.
It’s just hard when you’re in the thick of it.
Give the above 11 options a try and figure out what works best for calming your baby!