We’d got through the first tricky few weeks… remembering what to do with a newborn, working out a new routine, venturing out with two children for the first time and seeing improvement in Sam’s excessive, painful wind. We breathed a sigh of relief, gave ourselves a pat on the pack at managing to keep our heads above water (and all those other relevant cliches and metaphors)…when BAM… colic struck.
According to the NHS website it’s excessive crying with no obvious cause and is characterised by your baby crying for more than three hours, more than three times a week for more than a week. It can also include them being hard to soothe, windy, red in the face and having clenched fists. (Tick to all!)
Yes it’s common- up to four in 10 babies suffer it, but that’s no consolation when you see them in such discomfort- their little face scrunched in pain, their arched back and experience their non-stop screaming for hours a night.
We were prepared for the night screaming but not that we’d also go through a period that sees Sam crying whenever he’s awake. Aswell as feeling bad for them my husband and I selfishly (and guiltily) feel bad for ourselves, already sleep deprived, anxious and drained from having to keep and entertain a toddler and function in a job.
‘It won’t last forever’ really doesn’t help when you know you’ll spend the next however- many weeks on edge willing it to be over. At the same time you’re conscious you don’t want to wish away those precious new baby weeks.
We took Sam to the GP to rule out anything serious and, luckily, after examining him, she wasn’t concerned but the ‘it’s one of those things’ conclusion left us both relieved and stressed. We wanted a solution, a way out to help all of us.
We threw money at the problem- Infacol, Dentinox, gripe water, a new sling, new bottles. We tried all the massage and manipulation tricks. I spent hours Googling ‘colic’ thinking if I searched hard enough and thought logically then there must be a solution. It soon became clear from forums and advice pages that there’s no magic bullet. What worked for some proved useless for others. The only consensus is that there’s no cure for colic, only things that help ease it. It’s so hard not having control.
We finally tried comfort milk which has less lactose and less of a certain protein in it (and results in delightful army green poo!) We thought we were on to something after a week’s respite but this week saw the screaming and and all-waking-hours crying come back with a vengence.
Like all the other info I found on the internet this post doesn’t offer any solutions. I suppose it’s cathartic for me to write about the challenge because, as you’ll know by now, this blog is not just about the shiny, happy bits of being a mum of little ones! If anything, I hope it just serves to reassure other parents in a similar situation that they’re not alone.
I think I’ve exhausted the advice, hints and tips on helping colic but do let me know if there’s anything that worked for you!