May contain affiliate links
I have mentioned before that I had a baby with colic. My daughter had colic for the first 6 months and it was one of the most trying times in my life. I have never felt so helpless and like I was failing at being a mom. Looking back I realize that there was nothing I could do but try to soothe her. I became an expert on how to soothe a baby with colic. If you are a parent struggling, know that you are not alone and that it will get better. In the meantime, try some of these methods to see if they help both you and your baby.
Swaddling is one of the best ways to soothe any baby. They love being held tight and cozy just like they were in the womb. The best blankets for swaddling are the baby blankets we got from the hospital. Ask the nurse for a few extra to take home with you before you leave. We used these all the time. I also liked using the Halo sleepsacks at night. They made it so she couldn’t squirm and cause the blanket to come undone.
I can’t tell you how much time I spent in the bathroom with my baby. She loved the sound of the exhaust fan in there so I would go in, turn it on, and try to rock her to sleep in the middle of the night. Looking back it sounds funny but I would close the lid and sit down on the toilet rocking her back and forth with the lights off and the fan on. She loved the sound and it was one of the few things that actually worked.
This was one of the things I didn’t register for but really wish I had. My baby loved to be rocked back and forth and loved the constant motion. My arms can only take so much and I have to be able to put her down, so I went and got a baby swing and it was a life saver. I had one that also had a vibrating seat and it had different sounds like heart beat and ocean. She loved it and it was the only place she would actually take a nap. A few nights she would actually sleep in it and I was not about to move her and wake her up, so I ended up sleeping on the couch beside her. If I have another baby, I am going to get the Mamaroo swing. I thought it was too expensive but after a baby with colic, I will pay whatever I need to so I can get some rest. This swing looks amazing and so soothing, I wanted to get in one and take a nap myself!
This was a tip from a friend and I will be forever grateful for it. I thought the vacuum would scare my baby but it was the opposite. As soon as I turned it on, she instantly stopped crying! It was a miracle! We would leave it running for hours but I didn’t want to mess up my vacuum so I actually recorded the sound on my smartphone and played it over and over again for her. I’m sure there are apps for this now but I wasn’t thinking straight ;). This was the method that really worked for us. I would even play the sound when I took her for walks and she started getting fussy.
Colic is basically gas pains so my doctor told me to start giving her some gas drops to help ease her stomach. I used the Little Remedies Gas Drops and they worked pretty well. I gave them to her after each feeding, with the doctor’s OK of course. Make sure it is OK with your doctor before you give them to your baby.
You can try to massage your baby’s stomach to help relieve some of the gas. Just rub in a circular motion and apply some pressure. You can also lay your baby on their back and move their legs in a bicycle motion. This sometimes helps too. Instead of holding your baby on her back, you can lay her stomach on your forearm while their head rests in your hand. Support the rest of their body on your lap, this can help relieve some of the gas pressure, too.
Those are my best tips to soothe a baby with colic. I really hope they can help you and your little one. Know that you are not alone and ask for help when you need it. I wouldn’t wish this situation on my worst enemy. It is so exhausting and you feel so helpless because you can’t do anything to help your child. If you know someone that has a baby with colic, please help them and just take over for an hour or so. That really can make all of the difference for a parent.
As you can see from the picture above, I was so exhausted with my colicky baby. I think I was going on 4 hours of sleep over 3 days! My best advice is to take a break. I had to learn that it was OK to let my baby cry and lay her in the crib for 5 minutes or so while I went outside to just clear my head. This is how baby shaking occurs so please be very aware when you are close to your breaking point and take a step back. Know that it will get better and you can enjoy your baby, you just have to get past this together.