Colic is a misnomer – meaning it’s a word whose meaning is misleading or wrong. Colic means abdominal discomfort when in fact the prolonged crying many babies experience has very little to do with the tummy and digestive ailments.
With this in mind, what are the 5 steps every mom needs to know to manage colic?
- Sleep resets your baby’s clock and is the best preventative measure – watch your babies awake time during the day. Colic is classic in 2-12 week old babies and little ones of this age need to sleep every 50 – 80 minutes. Take note of the time your baby wakes and plan her next sleep for an hour later. By limiting her wake time, she won’t become over stimulated and fractious in the evening.
- Create a bedtime plan for the evening – an hour before her bedtime, have a calming bath or just top and tail her in the dark. From that time onwards, don’t leave the bedroom – keep her in a dim room with little stimulation.
- After the last feed of the day, swaddle her, only burp her for 5 minutes (so as to not over handle her at a time of day when she is already over stimulated), then place her in her crib to sleep.
- If she fusses, offer one more small feed (one breast) – we call this a cluster feed. Make sure she is snugly swaddled, briefly burp her again and lay her down.
- If she fusses – sit with her, with your hand still or patting her so that she falls asleep with help. If she does not settle in this manner within 5 minutes, place her in a sling and pace the passage. As long as she is contained and not being stimualted, she will settle.