I remember it like it was yesterday. Looking down at the face of my baby girl for the first time and feeling so much love and so much joy. I wanted everything for her – all the happiness possible. I had this picture in my mind of smiling and cooing and laughing and snuggling. Of course there was a lot of that. Unfortunately, there was also frustration, tears, and heartbreak. My baby girl had colic and watching her in so much pain was gut-wrenching for me.
My mom told me a story about a visit to the doctor when I was just a month old. She was there to try to find solutions to my constant crying from colic. He offered her some suggestions but then he said, quite frankly, I’m more concerned about you than your baby. He could just see the stress she was under with one look at her!
So, Mom knew just what my daughter and I were going through when she was also colicky. It was torture watching her pull her legs up and yell out in pain. Having a colicky baby is frustrating and exhausting. I’d be in tears, my daughter would be in tears, and I was so thankful to have my Mom around to help us. She taught us a few tricks to help relieve some of the colic symptoms so we could spend more time snuggling and smiling like we should be.
I learned a lot from my mom about calming a baby with colic. Here are some of our top tips:
Swaddling snugly can help to comfort and calm many babies. Perhaps it is because it mimics the coziness they felt in the womb, perhaps the pressure against their little bellies helps to soothe the pain and relieve some of the gas bubbles – whatever it is, there were times with my daughter when it would help her relax and even drift off to sleep for a little while.
Burp baby well –
It took me a while to figure out that my baby needed more burping than some others. My mom’s advice was, even if she doesn’t seem to need to burp, try anyway. I would pat and rub her back, sometimes placing her stomach down on my lap and giving her a gentle back massage. Mom also showed me how to lay my daughter on her back and gently pedal her feet to help release some of her digestive discomfort.
Music or white noise –
I love music and often have it playing in my home. The same was true when my daughter was a baby and I found that various types of music seemed to help comfort her more than others. When she was especially colicky, holding her close while rocking in the rocking chair and singing to her was soothing for both of us. When running a fan during a heat wave, we also discovered that certain types of white noise would help too. You might have to experiment a bit to see which are the best for your baby.
Move around –
Movement is often a great way to help comfort baby. Rocking in a rocking chair, holding baby close and walking around the house, using a baby swing, or the old standard, taking baby for a car ride can all be so helpful.
Try warmth. –
Warmth is soothing. My mom said she used to hold me so that my tummy was right up against her – her body warmth would help to calm my cramps. A warm bath or even a warm washcloth placed on her belly is another good way to help ease baby’s discomfort.
Take a break –
This one is more for you than for baby. Taking care of a colicky baby is exhausting, both physically and emotionally. You need to take some time for yourself. Ultimately it’s best for both of you because baby will pick up on your anxiety. I was lucky. I had my mom at least a few evenings a week. She’d come to my house and I would go have a bubble bath, read a couple chapters of a novel, and just enjoy some quiet for a while, knowing that my daughter was being well cared for. If you don’t have someone else to rely on like that, it’s still ok to put baby down for a bit and take even 5-10 minutes to yourself to have a cup of tea. Put her someplace safe – yes even if she’s crying –
Try Gerber® Soothe products –
Oh Gerber® Soothe, how I wish you had been around when my daughter was a baby! Gerber Soothe products contain L. reuteri, a probiotic that has been clinically shown to reduce crying by up to 50% in colicky babies. How great is that? You can bet that if these had been available back then, we would have tried them. And you can bet that when my daughter has her own baby, I’ll be keeping this product in mind if he or she should develop issues with colic too.
There are two different Gerber Soothe products available, one for breastfed and one for formula fed babies:
- Gerber® Soothe probiotic Colic Drops, with L. reuteri which is a probiotic that is safe for infants and naturally found in breastmilk. It has been clinically shown to reduce crying time in colicky breastfed infants.
- Gerber® Good Start® Soothe infant formula is specially designed to ease excessive crying, colic, fussiness and gas while providing complete nutrition. It is the only formula to contain L. reuteri.
In fact, Gerber is so committed to helping support moms and babies that they have experts (Registered Dietitians, Certified Lactation Consultants, and Certified Baby Sleep Consultants) on hand to answer your questions – just call 1-800-203-4565. You can also learn more about any feeding and colic concerns here. Gerber’s promise is “Less crying for babies, more smiling for all!”