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10 ways to help a Colicky Baby

Having a crying baby for hours on end (possibly even for days) can be scary for a first-time parent. The worst part is the lack of knowledge of the cause and the paranoia in a perfectly good mother can start to settle in. It is a comfort to know that more than 9/10 of the time it is nothing serious and only others symptoms should be considered (like vomiting 5 times a day or poor weight gain). But no mother is going to wait for hours and hours and do nothing about her crying baby. If you feel you have tried everything to calm your baby, consider these few plausible solutions, refer to them like a pilot’s engine’s failure checklist (Wait, that’s not a good example. It is definitely not that intense). If one way doesn’t work, try another. Every baby is different so if running water might not work, maybe a car ride will.

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10 Swaddling 

If ever you have seen a man walk down the street, holding his mother’s hand, you might mutter to yourself, “I bet he’d like to be climb back into the womb.” If you can spot that in a character in a TV show, it can probably spot it in a baby. Of course, it’s not going to happen. What we can do is at least simulate the environment. Pretend to be a straightjacket for your baby, wrap nice and tight around her. You want to be so snug that s/he can’t even really move, almost like if the baby is back in the womb. Clearly, not too tight so that it is uncomfortable or painful, but to discern this is easy.

9 White Noise Trick 

Another way to simulate the environment of the womb would be a soft white noise. In the womb there would always be at least a low constant sound. Sometimes it can be any type of white noise or it can be a specific one that brings your baby back to the nostalgic days of the womb. White noise from an empty radio station can do the trick, but remember to keep it low. If that doesn’t work, turning on the fan, running the dishwasher, vacuuming or even running tap water will make flashback to life in the womb and no longer deep in the war-torn jungles of Vietnam (being outside of the womb for a baby). As long as it is a low-level continuous noise, it might be your trick of minimal effort to reassure your baby that s/he is safe.

8 Pacifier 

It might feel like you are not tending to your baby’s real needs, but a pacifier might solve a lot of issues. babes have a strong sucking instinct. Your baby might not even be crying for food, it might just want to satisfy the natural instinct. Food should always be offered first before offering the pacifier. A pacifier should only be offered if you know for sure your baby is not tired and doesn’t need a nap. The use of a pacifier is also stated to be connected with decrease of risk of sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS) or crib death. Another plus is the fact that use of a pacifier is easier to control then the addiction of the baby’s thumb. Only one of those things you can take away. The pacifier will be able to be used to sooth your baby, and will prove to be a faithful ally to your cause.

7 Shhh...

The response to a colicky baby can be the same as the one you have when someone talks during a movie. of course, you would use a different tone. ‘Shushing the baby’ could technically fall into the category of white noise (especially if you delivery is similar), but defitintely plays a larger role as the bay gets to hear the the parent's voice. The baby will recognize the voice and be reassured and will understand it’s meaning. It might take a lot of shushing, even different types, but it has proven to work for a lot of infants.

6 Driving, going for a walk 

We have all been there; stuck on a problem, getting frustrated over the same situation. You might just want a change of scenery instead of worrying about the same problem. Probably your baby too. S/he might not have an important deadline to meet on Monday morning but babies have problems too(after all, why else would they be crying). Just as getting out a bit can be refreshing for us, so it can for a baby stuck in the house all day. There’s a couple of ways you can try tackling this method. Driving in the car, in a nice big snug baby seat with vibrations all around will probably be an expensive way to re-create the womb but it might just work. You might even fool your baby into thinking that you guys are back in the womb and s/he happened to be able to bring her mother too! A breath of fresh air can be nice too. The different raw foreign noises might serve as a decent distraction to whatever your baby’s problem is. In the swing at the park, or in a baby stroller can might be a nice cradle rocking like motion to put the baby to sleep too. It also works vice-versa. If you and your baby have been outside for quite a bit, it might be time to call it a day. You might realize that your baby is in fact more of an introvert.

5 Baby Massage

For this one, you didn’t even need to push your doctor to give you a prescription for it. You also don’t need to be an expert. Just small firm strokes can be relaxing. A lot of babies enjoy skin-to-skin contact, even proven to help babies cry less. Most likely, your baby didn’t pull a hamstring from the last Squash game, but who says no to a little massage. Just some nice firm pinch of the legs, calves and thighs can be a good way to start. It is also recommended to use a little baby oil. It can go pretty well, just don’t expect your baby to return the favor.

4 Wear your Baby 

We have all seen animal planet videos of a baby gorilla riding the back of her mother, or the kangaroo Joey in her mother’s pouch. If you don’t have a pouch or your baby is not as agile as a simian at the age of three months, you can try ‘wearing’ your baby. For many cultures, the baby would stay close to her mother in a sling like cloth and would be able to stay calm throughout the day. In a nice snug seat, close to her mother, a baby can easily be lulled to sleep by your walking. The best part is, your hands are free.

3 Warm Bath 

Have you ever wrapped yourself in a nice warm blanket cuddled with a good book, or took an extra long warm bath with candlelight. These two scenarios can also sound amazing to a baby. You just don’t need the novel or the nice-smelling candles. When giving a warm bath to your baby, an extra piece of fun and refreshment can be a hand held nozzle to be spraying on its back. The sound can be soothing and so will be the pulsing feel of warm water, just as we enjoy when we take a bath. As for the warm snug feel in a blanket, maybe an extra bottle of warm water wrapped in a towel on her belly can be extra helpful to take care of the tummy if your baby has an upset stomach.

2 Burping, different positions 

Babies hate feeling gloated but not because it makes them feel fat. It is uncomfortable for any age and can happen more often for a baby since once a baby starts crying s/he can gulp big amounts of air. It’s a vicious cycle of crying and more air trapped that never ends well. With the baby’s head over your shoulder, the simplest way can work. If that doesn’t, sometimes just being being on its belly will the necessary difference to alleviate the uncomfort of a burp.

1 Take a breather 

The worst part of the colicky baby is possible toll it takes on the mental health of the parents. It is often the parents belief that their baby is severely sick or they start to believe they are bad parents. This is rarely the case. It’s very important that if you feel you have tried everything, it is time to take a break. Just handing over to the other parent or a family member to give you time to collect your physical and mental strength can make all the difference. Never think it is a form of giving up, do not let it discourage you. A crying baby doesn’t cry forever. And as long you as you try these different attempts, you will be enjoying the time you spend close to the baby.

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