Moving from a house to an apartment was a major adjustment. I was discussing all of the differences with a friend of mine who is thinking about making the same switch, and she inquired whether or not people have complained about Fox when he cries. It hit me like a ton of bricks: Fox doesn’t cry anymore. Heavy emphasis on anymore.
Don’t get me wrong, he has his quirks. He’s in a shrieking phase that he thinks is super hilarious, but we can curb that with a “no” or two.
The reason why this question had such an impact on me? Fox was a colicky baby who cried 18-20 hours of each day for the first 7.5 months of his life. He rarely slept and when he was awake he was miserable. The worst part for me was seeing him smiling through his cries — he wanted so badly to be happy but he just didn’t feel well.
So, are you reading about my experience and wondering if your child’s cries could be colic related? Colic is generally defined as when a healthy baby cries for more than 3 hours a day, at least 3 days a week, for over 3 weeks, usually beginning in the first few weeks of life. Fox began crying at 2 weeks old every day around 5 p.m. until 10 p.m. and it quickly escalated after that. It’s common for the increased crying to begin in the evening and at night.
It’s crazy how easy it is to forget something as traumatic as colic is for parents and babies, so when I see parents who have crying babies that don’t seem to be soothed by anything I always try to give them a warm smile and offer a few bits of advice.
Here are a six things that helped Fox when we were dealing with colic.
Light + Sound Machine
Fox has a turtle that creates the illusion of waves on the ceiling and emits peaceful beach noises. He would get distracted by the lights and dozed off shortly after. If you’ve tried a sound machine and were unsuccessful, give this a shot! He hated white noise, but ate the seagull noises right up.
Another visual Fox would stop in awe over: palm trees. The swaying of the greenery was distracting and, if we were lucky, we’d catch a glimpse of a hummingbird.
Swaddle at an Incline
This boy loved to be wrapped tightly. What helped the most was putting him in his baby swing at an incline.
Mommy + Daddy Refresh
Babies can sense your emotions, so when I was feeling especially exasperated I would hand Fox off to Tyler to breathe for a moment when he got home from work. I’d usually put together pieces of a jigsaw puzzle and flip on reruns of The Office until I felt refreshed. When I’d take Fox back he seemed to feel more relaxed as well.
Fox was a big fan of a few baby yoga moves that seemed to get things moving internally for him. Gently lifting his little legs to his chest and moving in small circular motions seemed to help the most.
Work on the Inside Out
Because colic is determined by a certain type of bacteria, probiotics are a great way to curb the negative effects. We started using Gerber® Good Start® Infant formula and Gerber® Soothe probiotic colic drops around 3 months into his episodes. The main pull for us was the Lactobacillu reuteri which has been clinically shown in multiple studies to reduce crying time in colicky infants. We had the most success when using both products together, but the probiotic colic drops were especially helpful to slip in Fox’s diaper bag when on the go.
If you’re experiencing this then please know you are not alone. Fox’s colic not only affected him, but it did a number on my confidence as a new mom. It may be heartbreaking now, but colic does not last forever and you’ll get through it!