A year ago, MJ and I were in the throes of Sam’s unrelenting colic. And it was horrible.
While we had the run of the mill newborn experience with Will, Sam was a different animal altogether. An angry, howling, strictly nocturnal creature who refused to sleep or go gently into any good night. His colic was intense and nightmarish, and — well, I didn’t deal with it very well.
But that doesn’t mean you need to make the same mistake. Here are some of the tricks of the trade I learned over the years when dealing with a colicky baby.
I naively thought swaddling was just wrapping a blanket around the kid. I was wrong. It’s truly an art form. You have to wrap in a way that stops the baby from being able to wiggle his arms free. They like to feel like they’re in a safe, warm cocoon not all that dissimilar from the womb. Once you perfect the “baby burrito” technique, that’ll help a lot.
6. Shift Your Position
Sometimes the way you like to hold the baby isn’t the way the baby wants to be held. You’ve got to try a whole bunch of different positions and experiment to see which one works the best. A lot of times, putting an arm under Sam’s belly and holding him face down seemed to work. I’m not sure why, but it doesn’t matter. Whatever works.
5. White Noise
Look, I’m not a doctor. I have no idea if this really works or not. But years ago with Will we bought a white noise machine from Brookstone, and it is one of the best purchases we ever made. When Sam was struggling to sleep, we
stole borrowed it from Will and gave it to Sam. We put it on the setting for “fetal heartbeat” (a sound that closely resembles the sound of mom’s heartbeat a baby can hear in the womb) and it did seem to help him relax a little.
Babies have a natural instinct to suck (pun intended). Sucking on a nipple or bottle means comfort for the baby, so when either or those isn’t available, try a pacifier. It’s not only comforting for the kid and will put him at ease, some researchers also believe it cuts down on the risk of SIDS. Unfortunately, Sam was one of the only babies on Earth who refused to take a pacifier!
This one is slightly hypocritical since I hate babywearing and refuse to do it. But nonetheless, a lot of people feel differently and a lot of babies respond very well to it. So if you have a colicky baby who isn’t responding to anything else, try putting him/her in a sling and wearing the baby close for comfort.
When in doubt, burp. Babies who have been crying incessantly have a tendency to gulp down a boatload of air, which can cause a lot of gas and make the crying and discomfort even worse. So burp the kid and get some relief. Normally I like to just throw him up on my shoulder and thump his back a bit, but at other times it’s also good to lay him across my knees or put my arm under his belly and burp him that way. Whatever works best for you.
1. Use Little Remedies Gas Drops & Gripe Water
Sometimes all of the above just aren’t enough. Luckily, that’s where Little Remedies comes in. There are two products we used with Sam that gave him (and us) relief. The first is Little Remedies Gas Drops which help quickly relieve tummy pain from excess gas, while gently easing stomach discomfort and bloating. Like all Little Remedies products, there are no artificial colors or flavors, no alcohol, saccharin, or preservatives. It can even be mixed with 1 ounce of water, formula, or other liquid. The second product is Little Remedies Gripe Water. This was a huge help to us when Sam was colicky, and especially when he couldn’t stop hiccuping after crying so much. It’s very safe and natural — with no alcohol or gluten — and reduces air buildup.
My wife and I are very cognizant of what goes into our kids’ bodies, and we use Little Remedies at every turn because they go by the idea that “less is more,” and none of their products contain artificial flavors, colors, or alcohol.
***Disclaimer: I was compensated by Little Remedies for this post. However, I used their products way before they ever approached me and I stand by their effectiveness and endorse them 100%. Check out their website and Facebook page.