After having such an easy first baby, the hubby and I were quite surprised with little man. I'm NOT saying she is any better than he is, they are just different. The little miss pretty much came out independent. She was sleeping in her crib by herself the second day home, didn't mind being left alone or put down in her pack and play. She knew how to self soothe herself by sucking on her hand. As long as she was fed, clean, and not tired she was all good. She was a good ego boost.
Now the little guy on the other hand is colicky. He humbled me. From my understanding, colic is a combination of a very sensitive baby's inability to self soothe and tummy troubles. He has some bad reflux making his first few weeks very uncomfortable for the both of us. He completely did away with the sequence of crying... A little whimper, the soft cry, the screaming. It went from 0 to 60... quiet to screaming and getting him calm was no easy task. Early evening were the worst! I had no clue how to work through this since our first trip to baby world was such a breeze.
But along the way we figured it out and I thought I would compile and share all the things I learned from others. I hope this post helps you or someone you know conquer colic!
The first helpful tip came from my hubby's co worker. He told him about GRIPE WATER to help soothe those tummy troubles. I have never even heard of this but let me tell you IT IS AMAZING! I know it may not work with every baby but it worked for ours. If I don't give him some before bed I can guarantee a rough night. It helps with those tummy troubles for sure! We've been using it for weeks and we noticed it working the very first night he used it. I also use it during the day when he seems in pain and it works in minutes.
Don't get me wrong, he still cries and fusses, but its not the no one can help me screaming out of control crying all the time. He actually whimpers first. Instead of getting fussy during his alert time I actually get smiles and sometimes even coos. He is so much more content, doesn't cry after spitting up or eating and is a much happier baby. Gripe water is all natural, over the counter, and made of fennel and ginger. I love GRIPE WATER.
Now when I first had my little lady, my friend gave me this book, Happiest Baby on the Block. I kind of went over it but because she was so easy I didn't really read it or use the techniques. She just didn't need it. Thank God I kept it because I for sure needed it with this little guy. I DON'T agree with everything he says in the book, but his technique for soothing colicky babies works! The idea is that babies have a calming reflex that turns off the crying when you apply the 5 S's. The 5 S's: Swaddle, side/stomach position , shhhhhing, rocking, sucking (nursing or pacifier). This combination recreates the womb experience for them instantly calming them. Using this exact sequence with VIGOR [loud shhhing right in his ear and tough pats on the bum] works like a dream when he is super tired in minutes. You can read more about the technique in the book.
This technique has become our bed time routine. By 7:30 p.m. he starts fussing and getting sleepy. He gets his gripe water. I let him cry for a good minute to tire himself a little and then do the 5 S's. It takes minutes and when he's in la-la land I flip him. Works every night like a dream. It use to take longer in the beginning but now he knows the drill. He needed all 5 in that exact order to work. When he is having a rough day, I do this same drill for naps too.
So, if you have a fussy baby invest in a good Swaddle like the Zen Swaddle from Nested Bean. I reviewed it in THIS post. It's our favorite. He loves how comfy it is and I love how easy it is. I can seriously Swaddle him in seconds with this. I use it every night for him and even during the day for naps when he is just too fussy to go down on his own. Bye bye startle reflex.
Now that it's easy to get him to sleep keeping him asleep became the issue. He just couldn't sleep when it was dead silent, at least not until he reached REM. For that, insert white noise. His favorite is the vacuum. If you have a baby like mine, Youtube acutally has videos of a vacuum cleaner sound for babies. Ha! Just search it.
Between the gripe water, the 5 S's from Happiest Baby on the Block, the Swaddle, and Youtube we are a much happier family. I am getting more sleep, he is sleeping four hour stretches now. I am also getting things done during the day now that he can nap peacefully on his own without being carried or rocked. So if you have a colicky baby try these little tips and hopefully they work for you too!
Until next time. Toodles!