Hanna Sissala, the founder of Lullame, has written this blog post.
Life with a baby who won’t stop crying isn’t always easy. When my daughter had baby colic, I was usually stressed, worried, tired, and desperate. I thought if there was something wrong with my baby, and at the same time I hoped that I could be at least once early in bed. I tried all the tricks in order to soothe my fussy baby.
At the same time some of the people who are close to me and acquaintances became skeptical, “Won’t your baby stop crying, when you change the diaper?” or, “Here your baby isn’t fussy at all”. “Babies cry a lot” said they in the child health clinic. “Try to hang in there!” was a common phrase. In retrospect, I would do some things maybe otherwise. Here I gathered some tips how I survived the baby colic.
” It is my fault”
Wrong. You may think that you do something wrong if the baby won’t stop crying. Other parents can also make you feel that you’re not good enough, usually they are the parents who haven’t had a fussy baby. “Our baby sleeps fine, when I change the diaper/ I try to maintain the regular circadian rhythm/ I feed the baby every three hours” et cetera…
These comments are nonsense. If you have no experience with the baby colic, you don’t know what you’re talking about. However, it is good to see a doctor in order to check that your baby don’t have some disease for example flatulence, reflux or some allergies. In addition, it is important to put the baby to sleep immediately you notice some signs of tiredness. Therefore, the baby does not become over-tired. Along with these things above and normal care, there is not much you can do. No one can choose whether the baby cries a lot or not.
” Try to hang in there”
You heard that phrase often from the child health clinic and your acquaintances. Especially with your first child, you may easily think that you must just hang in there.
However, after two babies and two different experiences I disagree. I know that it isn’t always easy to ask for help particularly if you are tired and you have no gumption. Asking for help is definitely worth it. Suffering do not make any mom or dad better.
Call grandparents and friends. Ask everyone for one night to help with the baby. In case someone is wondering the need of help, they are going to figure it out when holding a fussy baby for one night.
Thinking that you don’t do it for yourself but for the baby, can make it easier for you to ask for a helping hand. Child health clinic has given a rule of thumb how long the baby’s closest one can be away. It is baby’s age plus 2 hours. A few hours break won’t harm the baby but will have a huge impact for moms’ or dads’ who struggles with baby colic.
Paying for a few hours for a nanny isn’t much if it helps you to feel better and thus helps you to build a close connection with your baby. Continuous crying isn’t normal, and no one should manage that on its own.
In difficult situations families have a statutory right to get temporary help from municipalities. You can get more information on this matter from the social services and health care division of your own municipality.
” Don’t jiggle your baby/ don’t lull the baby to sleep on your lap. Later it’s hard to get rid of that habit.”
These principles seem to be valid and work fine for a normal, calm baby. At that point when the baby is fussy and won’t stop crying, and it takes 1-7 hours to get the baby to sleep, you should forget the common manners. I have met parents, who are standing still with a colicky baby, who won’t stop crying, and the parents are wondering how on earth this advice will work for our fussy baby.
Well I have good news for you: you don’t have to make these advises work. If your baby won’t stop crying, you can soothe him/her the way that works best. The most important thing is the wellbeing of the entire family. Nobody will think that they won’t change the baby’s diapers, because later it could be hard to get rid of that habit, right?
Actually, many babies with colic are starting to sleep normal, when they don’t have the initial problems anymore. If the baby has sleeping habits that you want to change, you can do it later when the fussy phase is over. After the colic, you can easier create a regular daily rhythm for your baby. Most of the babies have the capability to fall asleep on their own by the age of 6 months and if necessary the baby can start sleep training.
” The best way to soothe the baby is the one that works” said Liisa Niskanen who is a sleep consultant and a friend of mine.
” Reflexology / Gas drops / baby massage for colic”
Unfortunately, there is no treatment for colic. Some of the families think that alternative treatments are helping them, yet it won’t remove the baby colic.
Sometimes you can trick a fussy crying baby by combining a movement, calming and buzzing sound, swaddle and sucking a pacifier. Baby’s brains can’t deal with many simultaneous stimulations and the baby may concentrate on feeling the movement and the pacifier, and at the same time forgetting to cry. Combining a limited space, movement and a sound also reminds the baby of the familiar and safe world in the womb. There the baby slept while the mom was moving and, all the time, there was a sound similar to vacuum cleaner.
You can find more tips for better sleep and other baby smelling information from our blog! There will be a new post every Tuesday!
Do you have some experience with baby colic? Please share your experiences and thoughts in the comments below!