Crying: 5 step colic solution – as a new parent you probably didn’t hesitate to click on an article about what plagues so many newborns (and new parents) in the early days…colic. Seemingly endless bouts of crying from your inconsolable brand new baby can make you trigger feelings of frustration, overwhelm, panic and just plain defeat. But there’s good news…keep reading to find out more about the dreaded colic and what you can do about it.
What is colic?
Colic is a misnomer – meaning it’s a word that’s meaning is misleading or wrong. From a medial perspective, colic means “abdominal discomfort.” It’s easy to accept colic for it’s clinical meaning when unhappy babies are pulling up their legs and showing signs of discomfort in their immature little digestive system. But prolonged crying in most babies actually has very little to do with the tummy and digestive ailments. Colic – in most babies- is a result of being overstimulated throughout the day. When their sensory systems are overloaded, babies struggle to settle to sleep – when it’s actually all they want to do.
The 5 step colic solution
With this in mind, these are the 5 steps every parent needs to know to manage colic:
Step #1: Sleep
Sleep resets your baby’s clock and is the best preventative measure. Watch your baby’s awake time during the day. Colic is classic in 2-12 week old babies and little ones of this age need to sleep every 50 – 80 minutes. Take note of the time your baby wakes and plan their next sleep for an hour later. By limiting their wake time, they won’t become over stimulated and fractious in the evening.
Step #2: Stick to a bedtime routine
Create a plan for bedtime in the evening. The idea is to settle and calm your little one before the overtiredness sets in and the crying begins.
An hour before their bedtime, have a calming bath or just top and tail them in low lighting. From that time onwards, don’t leave the bedroom – keep them in a dim room with little stimulation.
Step #3: Swaddle
After the last feed of the day, swaddle your baby. Only burp them for 5 minutes (so as to not over handle them at a time of day when they are already over stimulated). Once swaddled, place them in their crib to sleep.
Step #4: Cluster feed
If your little one fusses, offer one more small feed (one breast) – we call this a cluster feed. Make sure they are snugly swaddled, briefly burp them again and lay them down.
Step #5: Mimic the womb world
If your little one continues to fuss, sit with them, with your hand still or patting them so that they fall asleep with help. If they don’t settle like this within 5 minutes, put your baby in a sling and pace the passage. As long as they are contained and not being stimulated, they will settle.
For more help with your baby’s ideal routine, download Parent Sense – the all in one baby app that takes the guesswork out of parenting.