Any parent with a baby suffering from colic knows how upsetting it is for their baby to be crying in such discomfort and feeling so helpless that they can’t do anything for them to ease their pain. It’s no surprise that when it’s gone on for so long, parents become desperate, seeking any kind of remedy from old wives’ tales to online forum recommendations to cope with a colicky baby. Here are some of the methods we’ve heard and read about when it comes to coping with colic.
What is colic?
Colic is a condition that can affect one in five babies and is thought to cause a sharp pain in the abdomen from wind or an obstruction in the intestines. When babies suffer from this it can result in hours of crying, and your baby might also clench their fists, arch their back while crying or try and bring their knees to their tummy.
Long term effects
When a baby is afflicted with colic, periods of crying can go on for hours, which is upsetting and distressing to both parent and baby. The crying releases stress hormones and adrenaline into the baby’s system, which isn’t good for them long term, so naturally, you’ll want to settle your baby as quickly as possible. It can also be extremely draining for parents – your baby can cry continually, making it impossible for you to rest, which is exhausting.
Old Wives' tales for treating colic
Well-meaning advice from relatives, friends and other mums has a range of success and practicality. Here are some of the talked about tips for treating colic:
- Feeding your baby upright to minimise how much air they swallow
- Holding your baby over your shoulder
- Burping them throughout and after a feed
- Taking them out in the car (something about the vibration of the car engine running can be soothing)
- If you’re breastfeeding, cutting out known allergens in your diet like dairy, wheat, caffeine and spicy foods
- Skin-to-skin contact and swaddling
- Rocking them gently – this gentle movement is known to be very soothing for babies
New ideas for coping with colic
A lot of the advice above has been proven to work, but let’s face it, it isn’t always practical to apply if you’re a busy mum of more than one, or if you have things to do around the house. That’s why the Babocush Comfort Cushion is such an innovative design – it incorporates the best advice from all these old wives’ tales into a product that many parents have had amazing success with and then shared how it worked miracles for their colicky baby. So how does it do this exactly?
- The Babocush Cushion holds your baby in the ideal way that mimics the ‘over the shoulder’ position.
- They are safely and securely swaddled in the Babocush with a soft 5 point quilted harness.
- There is a vibration and heartbeat setting which you can turn on and off and which mimics your heartbeat and the car engine running, which babies find very soothing.
- Securing your babocush cushion on top of a rocker or swing combines the best of both worlds. The gentle rocking motion provides soothing movement, just like if you were gently rocking your baby back and forth in your arms, which can help settle and relax your baby while they rest on their tummy.
When to Seek Medical Advice
As parents, it's essential to stay vigilant and watch for any unusual or concerning symptoms in our little ones. If your baby exhibits any of the following signs, it is crucial to seek medical help without delay:
- Weak, high-pitched, or continuous cry: If your baby's cry sounds weak, unusually high-pitched, or goes on incessantly, it could indicate an underlying medical issue that requires attention.
- Floppy appearance when picked up: If your baby feels unusually limp or lacks muscle tone when you lift them, it may suggest a problem that needs medical evaluation.
- Difficulty with feeding: If your baby is refusing to feed or is having significant difficulties during feeding, it is important to consult a healthcare professional to rule out any underlying causes.
- Vomiting green fluid: Green vomit can be a sign of a digestive problem or an obstruction in the intestines. Seeking immediate medical attention is crucial in such cases.
- Blood in their stool: The presence of blood in your baby's stool should never be ignored and should be evaluated by a healthcare provider promptly.
- Fever: If your baby is under three months old and has a fever of 38°C or above, or if they are three to six months old with a fever of 39°C or above, it is important to seek medical advice.
- Bulging fontanelle: The soft spot on top of your baby's head should be relatively flat. If you notice it bulging, it may be a sign of increased pressure within the skull, requiring medical attention.
- Seizure: If your baby experiences a seizure, characterized by uncontrolled movements or unusual behaviors, it is a medical emergency, and immediate help should be sought.
- Skin color changes: If your baby turns blue, blotchy, or very pale, it could be indicative of a serious underlying condition, and medical assistance should be sought immediately.
- Breathing difficulties: Rapid breathing, grunting while breathing, or any other respiratory distress should not be ignored, as it may indicate a respiratory problem that requires medical intervention.
Keeping Yourself Calm Through Excessive Crying
Dealing with a baby who cries inconsolably can be extremely challenging and emotionally draining. It is essential to remember that your baby's colic is not your fault, and you are not a bad parent for struggling to soothe them. Here are some strategies to help you stay calm during these moments:
- Seek support: Reach out to loved ones, friends, or support groups to share your feelings and experiences. Sometimes, just talking to someone who understands can provide much-needed solace.
- Take breaks: If you feel overwhelmed, it is okay to take a short break. Place your baby in a safe environment, such as their crib, and give yourself a few moments to collect your thoughts and relax.
- Self-care: Prioritize self-care to reduce stress. Take time to engage in activities you enjoy, practice deep breathing exercises, or consider trying meditation apps that offer guided relaxation techniques.
- Reach out for help: Don't hesitate to seek assistance when needed. Organizations like the NCT (National Childbirth Trust) offer helplines where experienced professionals can provide support and advice to parents dealing with excessive crying.
While some crying is a normal part of a baby's development, it is important to recognize the signs that warrant seeking medical advice. By being aware of these symptoms and taking appropriate action, you can ensure the well-being of your baby. Additionally, practising self-care and seeking support from loved ones and professionals can help you stay calm and resilient during challenging moments. Why not take a look at our video and see the Babocush in action? If you have any questions about how the Babocush Cushion could help your colicky baby, just ask – we’ve got first-hand experience and know how reassuring it can be to talk to parents who have gone through the same problems. Remember, you are doing your best, and reaching out for help is a sign of strength and love for your child.