Colic in babies, what I know
First of all Colic sucks the big ones! You have just arrived home from hospital, your days and nights are filled with feeding, nappies, washing and perhaps even managing more than one child and a household. The early days of a newborn don’t come easily for most but you work through it knowing that many people suggest at the six week mark you will start to find your groove. Well with Lady L (bub number 2) it was week 4 when I lost any chance of a groove, a life, a half decent night’s sleep because that’s when I realised that Colic had set in and was turning my chilled out happy bub into a squirming ball of pain from about 6PM through until about 6AM E.V.E.R.Y S.I.N.G.L.E N.I.G.H.T.
I remember calling the maternal health nurse hotline and asking different ladies there what they would suggest, many of the answers I received were “Yes, it’s tough, but it should pass” or “yeah look there really isn’t much you can do besides persevere”. Those sorts of answers to a desperate, sleep deprived mother do nothing for your confidence. So I used my own channels and put the question out on social media and had the most amazing response publicly and privately from mums all around the globe on what to try, knowing that each child is different and a solution for my Lady wouldn’t necessary be the same as another bub. I was honestly willing to try anything so I began ordering all the tonics and solutions known to mankind.
What I did try included:
Colic Calm (awful looking black liquid but certainly seemed effective)
Infacol (a synthetic solution so wasn’t my first preference)
Wilby’s Colic Mix (can be ordered online in Melbourne and seemed as effective as Colic Calm)
Infants friend (seemed a popular choice with Lady L due to taste and offered some relief, was easy to purchase and we are still using it now) Baby probiotic (available at certain chemists; this certainly seemed to help during the thick of it and we only stopped using it whilst we were travelling and couldn’t keep it chilled at all times)
Besides the medications I became a professional burper, I had to hear at least three burps before I would proceed with a feed or even consider putting the little lady down. I lost confidence in others feeding my babe as (understandably) they didn’t feel the desperation required to get more than one burp out of my babe as it wasn’t them up at 3AM pacing around with a baby in pain. I found my babe guzzled on the breast taking in more air and took the bottle better, however gradually that changed so I spent a lot of time experimenting with pumping, bottle feeding, a million different teats and positions for feeding.
I became a huge advocate of baby wearing! I knew keeping my gal upright and close to me gave her comfort, it was the best/only way to get her to sleep and to get wind out of her. We spent 3 weeks walking around London and Italy when she was 4 months old and it was at that time that I finally saw a reduction in settling and burping times.
I became a co-sleeper and I swore I never would but when your babe is in so much pain and discomfort and only sleeps snuggled into your body and holding your finger than what can you do. Honestly for the first 4 months the quickest way to get my girl to sleep was laying face to face holding her hand, her fingers wrapped around my index finger and that’s how I slept (when given the chance).
Bicycle legs, don’t know what the heck I’m talking about? Then google it! We have strong bicycle leg game, I would sit at a cafe, in between feeds with my babe lying on my lap running her legs in a bicycle motion, still to this day the quickest way to get my Lady to sleep is to do bicycle legs and you see her instantly relax and zen out.
If you turn to doctor google (as we all tend to do when awake at 4am and desperate for a minutes rest) you will note similar to the suggestions of the maternal health nurse hotline that colic side effects such as wind, reflux, vomiting and gas (which Lady L showed all four signs) will most commonly disappear at approximately 3-4 months when the gut matures and very little prescribed tonics or medication will actually help. There are far worse cases of Colic lasting up until 24 months and I honestly don’t know how those mummas cope- qudos to them! Either way time isn’t a great answer to a mother in need so we do our best to try every item out there and I’m glad I did. I found a number of the products offered some relief and more importantly by putting the question out to the amazing mums that read my posts I got support and suggestions that I otherwise wouldn’t have had. Mum’s are a wonderful network of knowledge and support and are priceless when you can spend so much time as a new mum home alone (without adult interaction) to have an outlet to discuss what is going on.
So now, my babe is certainly not cured of colic, obviously there is some development of the gut still to go but we are passed that horrible 4.5 months of 1.5hr feeds followed by 3hrs of settling before a 30 min nap and we were back onto the next lengthy feed again. I swear I’ve aged 10 years in the last 7 months, but I love you my Lady L, probably more than ever knowing what we have been through in your short life.