Meg, please help. My little 9 week old has reflux which is under control but now also has terrible colic. He used to scream for 2 hours every night but for the past 2 days, he refuses day time naps. By the evening he is inconsolable. I’m exhausted and so is he. I have tried everything: calm environment, dummy, swaddling, a warm bath…every thing… I’m at a loss.
Meg Faure answers:
That is so tough! You are having a difficult time.
Firstly, on a medical or organic level, have him checked by your doctor – specifically for milk intolerances (limit dairy from your diet if he is breastfed) and also try probiotics – they do sometimes really help.
Secondly, it is useful to understand colic in the context of over stimulation – please read this article.
Then, you mention all the right things but here’s a little more guidance on them to improve their effectiveness:
- Calm environment: Don’t bath him in the evening. Limit stimulation after 5pm and for 15 minutes before each day sleep.
- Dummy: Persist with sucking – it helps a lot if you have a very irritable baby.
- Swaddling: Swaddling needs to be very tight and containing – otherwise if won’t make a difference.
- White noise: White noise can also help him to sleep better.
Day sleeps are, as you mention, linked to evening colic. If a baby has no day sleeps, the evening colic can be severe. So watch his awake times and try to settle him by 45 minutes so he sleeps after an hour of awake time. Don’t worry if you have to use sensory strategies such as rocking or holding – he is still very little.
Finally, know that this stage does pass. If he is not much more settled by 12-14 weeks, do Your Sensory Baby Quiz and seek advice from an OT.