What Is Colic, Anyway? Facts & Help for Fussy Babies
Prince George had it. Brad and Angelina’s twins had it. There’s a decent chance that your little bundle might have it, too. Unfortunately we’re not talking about chubby cheeks (although they all had those, too!)—we’re talking about colic, aka many new moms’ arch-nemesis. But what is colic, and what can you do to soothe it?
All babies cry, but if your wee one seems to cry a lot more than other newborns, you may have a colicky one on your hands. Colic is defined as crying for more than three hours a day, more than three days out of the week, for non-medical reasons. Roughly one out of five babies (that’s 20 percent) suffer from this heartbreakingly chronic crying, and it’s usually hits fever pitch about four to six weeks after birth.
One thing about colic that’s a little tricky (besides the agony you’ll feel hearing your little one be so upset!) is figuring out what causes it. Since it’s not caused by medical complications, it’s very difficult to pinpoint the reason why your baby might be colicky, but I want to assure you that it’s not because you’re not doing your best as a mom. I understand that you might doubt yourself or wonder what you’ve done wrong, but this is just a common phase that many newborns go through. The best thing you can do is to take your new baby to the doctor to rule out any other issues that could be causing the tears.
To soothe your fussy colicky babe, try holding her or rocking her, laying her down face-up on your lap and pumping her legs to help get rid of gas, and then of course, the old standby—singing soothing songs. If you want to go a step further, you can follow the advice of many experts who advise giving your infant drops of a probiotic called Lactobacillus reuteri. Some studies show that it may calm colic in babies already suffering from it, and that it could even prevent colic in little ones before it happens in the first place.
The rainbow at the end of the storm is that colic doesn’t last forever. In fact, in most babies, symptoms start to go away by 6 weeks, and should typically be gone entirely by 12 weeks. If your tiny one isn’t better by then, take her back to the doctor to make sure there isn’t something more serious going on.
In the meantime, you will get through this, as so many of us have. You’re stronger and better at this than you know.