When Amelia was born I was such a worry wort, I still am but I'm much more relaxed this time round. I would instantly be there if she cried, I would pick her up and comfort her and rightly so, who wouldn't want to if your baby is crying? But there are many different types of cries which need a different response as they all mean something different. They may let out a hungry cry, cry of pain or distress, an angry cry or even a tired cry. but you need to know which one is which so you can differentiate between them and find out how to soothe your baby.
I've learnt that it is okay to leave your baby to cry, obviously if they are crying to point that they are being sick then that's a different story all together but Harry will usually cry for a few minutes then fall to sleep and is such a placid baby. With Amelia she could cry for hours if I let her but eventually I always gave in and went to pick her up to comfort and feed her. She would cry constantly unless she was feeding, sleeping or in the car.
Colic affects up to 1 in 5 newborn babies which can be a very stressful time for new parents especially as there are no obvious physical signs of anything being wrong. It will usually begin within the first few weeks of life, but often stops around four to six months. In most cases the intense crying occurs in the late afternoon and early evening.
If your baby suffers from colic or simply won't settle, take a look at our 10 tips that might just help:
1. Swaddling may not only help your colicky baby get to sleep, but there's a good chance it will help them stay asleep too! Sometimes a baby's own movements can wake them up so by swaddling them they are kept wrapped up and unlikely to wake themselves up by a twitch. Swaddling also replicates the feeling that your baby would have had in the womb which will help calm them.
2. I swear by White Noise and have used it with both of my children to help soothe them and also keep them asleep! By blocking out other sounds you are more likely to keep your baby asleep for longer. The noise is similar to that of being in the womb so it helps settle them.
3. Use a dummy or soother if you don't already as the sucking may help calm them. Sucking is a natural reflex and mimics that of feeding which always calms them down. If you don't have one to hand then try letting your baby suck on your finger by gently putting it in their mouth.
4. Homeopathic remedies such as Nelsons Colica Colic Granules. If your baby suffers from colic I'd highly recommend picking up some Nelsons Colica® Colic Granules which are great for reliving colic in babies over one month of age. They are a homeopathic medicinal product used within the homeopathic tradition for the symptomatic relief of colic in babies over one month of age. Nelsons Colica Colic Granules contains a unique formulation of 30c potencies of natural Citrullus colocynthis and Dioscorea villosa.
5. Anti-colic bottles such as Dr Browns's are known to help with colic in younger babies and also help with trapped wind. The bottle is also great for breastfed babies as the bottle contains a patented vent system which provides vacumm-free feeding by reducing the amount of air bubbles in the milk. The bottle collar captures the air and directs it through to the other end of the bottle via the tube allowing your baby to feed without taking the gulps of air which result in wind and colic issues.
6. Babywear. If you need to get things done and your baby won't let you put them down try a sling or baby carrier. Being in the upright position and being close to you will help soothe them, especially as you'll be moving around the house.
7. Take them for a ride in the car as the noise, movement and vibration can help to soothe them. If you can't go out in the car then try rocking them in their car seat or putting them in their pushchair and moving it around the house.
8. A warm bath and baby massage may also work for your baby. Find out if there is a baby massage class near you as they specialise in special routines for colicky babies and focus on the stomach area. Once you've learnt the correct way to do it you can then do this at home after a warm bath.
9. Try a different position when your baby is upset to see if they seem to prefer one position over another. Sometimes your baby may be uncomfortable lying on their back so try laying them down across your lap to comfort them or cradle them in your arms.
10. Hold your baby close to you so they can hear your heartbeat. If they are a newborn then this will help soothe them as it will remind them of being in the womb and by being able to smell you this may also help.
Don't forget it's okay to put your baby down and step out of the room if it's getting too much for you - just remember to make sure your baby is in a safe place first. Take a breather and return to try something else.
Do you have any tips which helped to soothe your baby? I'd love to know!
* This post is written in collaboration with Nelsons. For details on how I work with brands take a look at my work with me page.
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