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If Colic Doesn't Kill You, It Makes You Stronger

Photograph by Twenty20

My son is five weeks old. He has colic—a mild version, in comparison to things I've read. But still, I'm at my wit's end. Because that's what colic does to you. It makes you question everything you know. Colic makes you feel like a failure. Worst of all, it leaves you tired … very, very tired. The only ray of hope I see is the knowledge that colic passes eventually. Therefore, I'm holding on to that. Tightly.

By definition, "Colic is a condition where there are repeated bouts of excessive crying in a baby who is otherwise healthy. The definition doctors use is: a baby crying for more than three hours a day, for more than three days a week, for at least one week."

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Until colic says "goodbye" I'm calling on my repertoire of baby-soothing skills, forcing my friends to spill their wisdom, and even emailing my midwife for her take on what to do. Now I'm no medical professional, but here are some things that help me survive.

Before the crying starts, consider these things …

  • If baby is breastfeeding, is something Mom is eating bothering Baby's tummy? Take a peek at these colic-causing foods and start a food diary.
  • Consider a muscle allergy test with a nautropath for specific nutritional and allergy advice.
  • Buy Colic Calm, a homeopathic supplement, and preventatively give your baby a dose before their usual fit begins.
  • Visit a pediatric chiropractor and see them regularly.

Bottom line: You have to wait out colic. There really isn't a fix.

When you're in the midst of a crying episode …

  • Wear your baby in a wrap, ring sling or soft-structured carrier.
  • Try skin-to-skin snuggling.
  • Take a bath together.
  • Swaddle.
  • Hold baby in the football position so pressure is applied to their tummy.
  • Breathe deep! Babies will often mimic you and in the least, you'll calm yourself!
  • Find a peaceful noise—sound machine, bathroom fan, etc.
  • Go outside. Changing the environment and temperature can help.
  • Alternate caregivers. Be sure to give yourself a break. The nonstop crying and seeing your baby upset wears on you. Plan ahead and know who your colic teammates will be.

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Bottom line: You have to wait out colic. There really isn't a fix. Frustrating, I know. But, if you're sure all is well with your little one, with no food intolerance or other health issues playing in to things, it's just a waiting game. Gear up and be brave!

At the end of the day, if colic doesn't kill you, it makes you stronger! And that, my friends, is what I need to get screen-printed on a shirt ASAP.

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