Colic can be difficult to manage when a baby’s excessive bouts of inconsolable crying are combined with exhausted parents. Unfortunately, there is no definitive cause of colic, nor is there a perfect cure, either. However, colic generally only lasts until around three to five months of age. Here are a few tips for surviving colic with your infant.
Go to a doctor.
Colic isn’t the only reason babies cry. There could be an intestinal obstruction or other things that are causing your baby distress and discomfort. Going to a doctor may not solve much if the problem is colic, but it can at least give you the peace of mind that there isn’t something more serious going on. Your doctor may also be able to suggest options you haven’t tried.
Try different diets.
Although there is mixed research regarding changing your baby’s diet to fix colic, it is possible that a mild allergy to the ingredients of formula or breast milk may be irritating your baby. Additionally, trying different bottle and nipple combinations may ease symptoms as well.
Use different soothing options.
Instead of sticking to a pattern, try different options for soothing your baby. Swaddling, or wrapping the infant up snuggly in a blanket that holds them comfortably in a soft cocoon, can sometimes relieve otherwise inconsolable infants.
Different holding positions may also ease symptoms. Try keeping your baby more upright against your shoulder, on their belly across your knees, or even going for a ride in the car seat for the soothing movement of the car.
Experiment with white noise.
Constant, soothing background noise may help. The dryer in the next room, a CD of ocean sounds, and whirring fan or ticking clock may work. Lullabies are a good stand-by to attempt as well. The trick is to find something that soothes and distracts, so your baby can focus on something besides the need to cry.
Take a break when necessary.
If you feel like you’re going out of your mind, step away. It doesn’t make you a bad parent. You’re human. Find a trusted friend or loved one you can call when it gets too difficult, whether just to listen while you talk or to babysit for a few hours. A support group for parents—with or without colicky babies—can be immensely helpful as well.