Parents guide to surviving colic

A year ago, I was a month into life as a new mum, and living in the hellish world of colic.

I remember watching the clock as the minutes drew closer to 4pm, when dusk would fall and hell would begin. Continuous red faced, fist clenched screaming for up to 12 hours at a time.

I will always be thankful that our colic experience was short lived compared to others. I can see how colic would effect your mental health and relationships, it was so much tougher than I ever imagined it would be.

So this post is just about our experiences and what we tried to give it the old heave ho. I’m obviously no expert, I have zero medical knowledge and this post is not a ‘how to cure colic’. It’s me passing on what worked for us, from one mum to another.

What is colic?

My mum had always said I was a ‘colicky’ baby. I’d heard friends talk about horrendous ’bouts of colic’ and noticed their exhausted pain, but I didn’t realise that it’s simply ‘continuous crying for no reason’.

The NHS class colic as crying for at LEAST 3 hours a day, 3 days a week for at least one week. Which is for no obvious reason and the baby cannot be soothed.

Older members of the family noticed Aces cry as a ‘colic cry’ (I don’t know exactly what that means.. 🤷🏼‍♀️) from about 3 weeks of age. In fear, I disagreed for as long as I could, until I knew deep down they were right.

Why does a baby get colic?

Many believe it’s trapped wind or simply a babies immature digestive systems, and I really agree with this way of thinking.

The reason I believe colic is ‘wind’ related, is because Aces bouts really calmed down after his second (yes SECOND!) tongue tie division.

A lactation consultant noticed he couldn’t make a seal around a bottle, therefore, he was taking in air with every feed, which would cause wind in his tummy that he couldn’t expel.

Once this was rectified, bye bye colic.

Obviously, non tongue tied babies can always get colic. But this seemed to be the reason in our case.

How to relieve colic

Are you ready for the extensive list of things we tried…. my purse still weeps at the thought of this time

  • Anti Colic Bottles
  • Every brand has an anti-colic bottle these days. We began with Dr Browns, just like all my friends. But slowly introduced Tommee Tippee, MAM, NUK and traditional style bottles with a long teat.
  • Honest opinion… he had colic with them all but it calmed down when we used the Dr Browns bottle with a NUK teat. So we continued with this combo, and would do so with future babies too.
  • Colic drops
  • There’s loads on the market and we tried them all. Infacol was our go to- the bigger the bottle the better. Giving a dose before every single feed.
  • Top tip– make sure you give it 20 mins before the feed. Which is tricky when feeding on demand, but we did notice this did make more of a difference than giving immediately before. They are definitely worth a go and not too bad on the old purse strings.
  • Lactose drops
  • So these work on the digestive issues rather than the wind ones. They break down the lactose enzymes in formula (and breast milk)
  • Add a few drops to formula milk thirty minutes before the feed is due or spoon feed it before a breast feed.
  • Honestly? I don’t think these helped us at all and they are super pricey!!!! Maybe try as a last resort!
  • Anti- Colic formula
  • Available in all brands of baby formula and readily available in the supermarket. But, my lactation consultant was outraged that we’d tried Ace on it. His bowel movements changed dramatically which she said proved it didn’t agree with him at all.
  • But I have friends who have sworn by it.
  • Final verdict- Go with your gut mamas.
  • Gripe Water
  • Years ago people swore by this stuff- mainly because it included alcohol so just knocked the poor kids out for the night.

    Now the herbal water blend is used to aid digestion and ease colic symptoms.

    We used to give Ace a little after every bottle.

    We didn’t notice any improvement. But it looked and tasted like sambuca!!

  • Homeopathic Weleda Chamomilla Granules

  • These were a GAME CHANGER. A homeopathic product available online, it didn’t prevent colic but massively eased the systems.
  • You mix a little boiled but cooled water with a scoop of crystals and feed during a colic bout. Ace instantly relaxed, stopped crying and managed to get some sleep whilst the crystals eased the symptoms.
  • The only downside is that the effects doesn’t last too long, and we did give a few doses a night, and by god it helped. I couldn’t do colic without it.
  • Baby Massage
  • Advice number one- book a baby massage course whilst pregnant for soon after babies born. The only massage course I could join started when Ace was 3 months old and by then I’d already You Tube’d every colic massage in the book.
  • It definitely helps to relax baby and strengthen the bond, but I would love to do a course with a newborn not a wriggling explorer.
  • Final Thoughts? Get booked on one and maybe colic tricks will be an added bonus.
  • Cranial Osteopathy
  • I’m sure you weren’t expecting this on the list. But I think this also contributed to our disappearing colic.
  • Blue Skies Ahead on the Wirral offer CFT ( Craniosacral Fascial Therapy) which releases tightness and strain in the babies body. It’s believed that often this strain effects feeding, sleeping and digestion amongst other things.
  • We first visited when Ace was about 3 weeks old, but if we have another, we’ll start within the first week of babies life.
  • I’m not going to chant on about CFT but I do believe this had a massive input into our colic hell being cut short and Ace sleeping for solid blocks from one month old.
  • Final thoughts– if there is someone local to you, it’s worth a go. It’s holistic, reasonable and you’ve got nothing to lose.
  • So there we have it!

  • The other things we found massively helped were- supporting one another by taking the night in shifts so the other can sleep, speaking to friends (or online friends!) open and honestly who’d already been through it and well, a large glass of wine.
  • It’s a bloody hard couple of weeks (or months) but I promise you. It doesn’t last forever.
  • Sian x

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