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Is your newborn crying constantly and you can’t seem to figure out what’s wrong?
She might have colic.
A newborn with colic will push you beyond your limits. She will make you question your ability to be a good mother. The constant crying and fussiness can make the newborn period miserable for everyone around.
We went through it with our girl twin, Kendall and I can honestly say I would never wish the crap on anyone!
From about six weeks to thirteen weeks Kendall cried nonstop from about 4pm to midnight.
Every. Single. Night.
The hardest part? It’s normal! Colic is something that a large sum of newborns experience and pretty much all you can do is find ways to comfort baby in the mean time.
When I was first reading about colic and I found out it was essentially something we would just have to wait for her to grow out of I was so upset. Here I was, as a new mom of twins, and one of them needed constant attention for a great deal of the day.
What about Caeden? If I have to soothe Kendall all night long, is he going to not like me? Or how would our bond develop??
But Kendall’s colic didn’t leave me much time to sit and worry about the bonding time I was lacking with Caeden.
Colic basically took over our lives for those first three months between trying to find new ways to soothe Kendall and figuring out ways to handle the crying ourselves.
As hard as those three months of colic were- we did learn a lot. Baby wise and family wise.
And it did end. Right after they were three months old the colic disappeared.
I cannot begin to explain the warmth I felt in my heart that first night. I swaddled Kendall, cuddled her and she fell right asleep in my arms. No crying- nothing at all. I slept with her all night that night and from there on the colic was gone.
The next day she started smiling and even gave out her first little chuckle. I fell in love with her all over again that day!
What I am getting at is that colic will end, it’ll just take a whole lotta patience, coffee, and late nights with your SO.
Lets get into what colic is, and then tips for how to survive it.
***First, a disclaimer. I am NOT a doctor by any means! I am simply a momma who went through the troubles of a colic-y baby and am sharing what I learned with you. I advise to reach out to a medical professional if you have any doubts about your baby!***
What is colic?
According to BabyCenter, colic is described as when “Your baby is … younger than 5 months old and cries for more than three hours in a row on three or more days a week for at least three weeks”.
I know, that is a lot of threes! Often times colic begins around 2-3 weeks and then will end around 12-16 weeks. Kendall’s colic began later because she was born early. So the weeks don’t necessarily line up, but that is just one joy of having a preemie!
Colic-y babies tend to go through the crying spells in the afternoon/night and the cries should sound different than a normal hungry, wet or tired cry. With Kendall, the cries were more like screams. That is how we knew something was up. As with the fact that she was fed, changed and nothing else was seemingly wrong.
It is often advised to reach out to your pediatrician if you suspect your child might have colic. Just so that they can make sure nothing bigger is going on, and that baby is okay. Just uncomfortable. We ended up reaching out I think after night three of the crying. Once we were able to make sure she was eating, peeing and pooping just fine.
How to Survive a Colic-y Baby
There are two parts to this; the baby part, and the YOU part.
Let’s start with baby!
A colic-y baby will show signs of gassiness. And often times- those same treatments for gas will help a colic-y baby!
Then when it comes to actually dealing with the excessive crying- follow these tips;
Make sure to swaddle baby TIGHT for bed.
We loved these SwaddleMe swaddles. You can get them SUPER tight and the velcro holds really well. When you wash them, make sure the velcro flaps are closed over the fabric or all of your clothes will become stuck together!
If you need to get things done, wear baby in a carrier.
I enjoy this simple (and inexpensive) baby carrier by Infantino. It has great safety ratings and I think it is very comfortable to wear! Having Kendall close to my chest while I moved around helped calm her down. Colic-y babies like motion.
Go for a car ride
Getting going might be rough, but once you’re flying down the highway or back roads baby should fall asleep. This one helped me with my mom guilt a lot. My husband would take Kendall out for a drive and I would have some time to cuddle and care for Caeden.
Dance with baby
Just another form of motion- any kind of motion. Dance around, hop around, carry on your hip, just do something!
Turn the shower on
Something that helps a lot of colic-y babies is the sound and steam of a hot shower. Even just sitting in a warm tub with the faucet on can help! I put two and two together and grabbed our vibrating bouncer (like this one), strapped Kendall into it in the bathroom and took a nice hot shower. That is often how I got my showers in! I would even leave the door open and pull Caeden’s Rock N Play to the door so I could watch him while he slept at the same time!
Make friends with the Rock N Play
If you haven’t caught on by now, Rock N Play’s were my saving grace for the first six months of the twins lives! I suggest them to all new mommas. ESPECIALLY new mommas with colic-y babies! Swaddle baby tight, and use your foot to rock them in the Rock N Play. Seriously, they are what I owe my little bit of sanity to from those first months!
Invest in a GREAT swing
Sometimes Kendall needed more than just my rocking, or I couldn’t sit around to rock her. This swing seriously put her to sleep in FIVE MINUTES on the mid-high setting. It is bulky, expensive, and takes up space. But I wouldn’t have done it any other way. I also had this smaller one for upstairs and tighter spaces than the living room. The motion of the swing helped Kendall fall asleep and then STAY asleep.
If you want some more ideas on the topic of crying babies- check out my post here about getting your baby to stop crying!
I want to assure you that you ARE a great mom and you ARE doing your best.
Colic is rough. You might feel like you aren’t doing everything you can or that you are the wrong mom for your baby- but neither of those are true.
Colic is just something your baby will have to grow out of and you will get through this.
If you need some extra help getting through the sleepless nights that lie ahead; make sure to grab a copy of my free twin momma essentials e-book. It is filled with printables to keep track of your baby so that your mind can rest.
Check them out here!
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But what else can you do for yourself?
Sometimes the crying will just get to you. It is going to happen and that is O.K. Walk away before you lose it. When baby is that little, they can’t crawl or roll around. Strap them into their swing and go outside for a minute. You are NOT a bad parent for needing a breather. Colic-y crying is HARD. Drink your coffee, beer or wine outside. Come back inside when you are done.
Ask for help
If you haven’t been one to ask for help before, become one. Be vulnerable and ask for help. You have so many friends and family just waiting for you to call and ask. That is all you have to do! At least one person is going to be able to help. If you have to go to them- just DO IT. Pack up the Rock N Play’s and head out. That extra hand and ear to talk to is so worth putting your pride aside.
Love and believe in yourself
My last tip for you is to stop worrying and believe that you ARE doing the right things for your baby. It might not feel like it with all of the crying and fussiness; but it is just a phase. They will grow out of it and things will get a little easier! Soon enough you’ll be able to start sleep training and then you will get some well deserved SLEEP!
Have any other questions that I haven’t answered? Leave a comment below or message me on Instagram! I would love to chat!