With new parents, the question of how to soothe a colicky baby comes up a lot! When the baby is colicky, a good night’s sleep or a long nap are usually not in the cards. Colic is used to describe babies who are overly fussy, seemingly miserable and cry inconsolably for long bouts of time without stopping. It typically starts at three weeks old and can last until the baby is about four months old.
What’s the Cause of Colic?
The truth is, we don’t really know what causes colic and why some babies get it and others don’t. Pediatricians used to think that colicky crying and fussiness was caused by gas pains, but the new thinking is reverse. Now pediatricians believe that all of the crying, which causes babies to swallow air, leads to gas building up in the stomach, not the other way around.
Here, our tips on how to soothe a colicky baby.
Use a Carrier: Walk around with baby in the front position of a carrier. Take a walk around your neighborhood or even around the house if the weather doesn’t permit.
Swaddle Up: Tightly wrapping a baby, burrito-style, is one of the top ways to soothe a colicky baby. Couple the swaddling with some some light rocking and most babies will quickly calm down.
Re-Create the Womb: The first months after baby arrives are often referred to as the “fourth trimester.” This is because baby are still very much adjusting to life outside the womb. To help them cope with their new world, parents can re-create a womb-like environment for their newborns, which will also help soothe a colicky baby. The DockATot Deluxe was created specifically to mimic the womb. It recreates the womb experience for babies by giving them a safe, snug and deliciously comfortable spot to rest and snooze. DockATot also has the perfect micro-climate, meaning the temperature is just right for babies. Playing white noise for the baby can also help re-create the womb for them. When in utero, baby got used to hearing all sorts of loud noises inside your body (it’s louder than a vacuum cleaner in there!), so complete silence to a baby can actually be bothersome.
Pedal Baby’s Legs: Since gas still may be a cause of colic, pedaling baby’s legs is thought to help them release gas.
Put Baby in Motion: Sometimes just putting the baby in their car seat and going for a drive will help ease colic. If you’re an urban dweller, going on a long stroller walk could also do the trick.
Breathe Deeply: If nothing seems to be working, take a deep breath. Don’t blame yourself. If the crying gets to be too much, take some time to yourself. Ask a friend or your spouse to take over for an hour while you go take a walk, have a cup of tea or take a nap yourself.
DockATot Founder and mom-of-two Lisa Furuland
created the DockATot, baby lounger, available at dockatot.com,
when her first child was born