Is your baby's crying keeping both of you awake at night? Would you like to find out how you can soothe your colicky baby so both of you can get a goodnight's rest? If you want to take steps towards quieting and calming your baby, try this battle plan to soothe the symptoms:
1. Check to see if your baby is hungry
First of all you should check to see if your baby is hungry. To do this with young babies simply place you finger under their chin and if it tries to suck or move toward it then it means that your baby is hungry.
2. Walk with your baby
Walk with your baby or sit in a rocking chair. The continuous movement will soothe your baby. However, be sure to place your baby's head close to your chest so that it can hear your heartbeat.
3. Burping while feeding
Try burping your baby more frequently during feeding.
4. Know that a colic attack is coming and be prepared for it
When dealing with a colicky baby it is best to plan ahead. For example, if your baby usually has colic attacks in the afternoon / evening then you should do most of your household chores in the morning. Make sure that if your baby has been awake for most of the morning that he / she gets a nap in the afternoon and you take one with them. A nap can actually reduce the frequency of the colic attacks and how long they last.
5. Play music
Play music like classical or slow music as some babies respond better to sound and will find it soothing.
6. Stop the Crying as soon as possible
Using a pacifier may help stop your baby crying however, if this does not work a small bottle of sugar water helps calm and relax the baby.
Stopping your baby's crying spells as quickly and calmly as possible can significantly shorten the episodes of colic.
Place your baby across your lap while he / she lies on his / her belly and rub his / her back. This will help get rid of air in your baby's stomach and prevent gas.
8. Neck nestling – Dad's are fantastic at this!
This is when the baby snuggles his / her head into the space that is located between the jaw and chest of the parent. Your jawbone drapes gently over the baby's head and your voice box presses against its' head. Small babies hear not only with their ears but also the vibrations that go through their skull. If you sing something monotonous like a lullaby it will help your baby to drift off to sleep. This technique works best with dad's because they have a lower pitch and higher vibration from their voice.
9. A special favourite – especially good for dad's as well!
This is a good technique for dad's to do. What you have to do is drape your bare skinned but diapered baby over your bare chest. Make sure that your baby's ear is over your heartbeat. The rhythm of your heart combined with the rhythm of your chest moving as you are breathing and a bit of rhythmic patting on your baby's back will usually soothe both of you.
10. Use motion
Some babies prefer to be still when calmed down whereas, others like the use of motion to be soothed. Motion swings set at approximately 60 beats per minute is an excellent device to be used for those types of babies. The constant motion is great for relaxing the baby. However, you should bear in mind that for some babies this may not work as the swing only provides a back and forth motion.
A vibrating bouncer is another excellent tool to use to calm down your colicky baby. The vibration and rhythmic sound coming from this device will soothe your baby.
Caring for a colicky baby can be extremely stressful and frustrating at times but, remember it's not your fault. Also, bear in mind that you need to take care of yourself as well. You can not be very soothing to your baby if you are all tense and stressed. You need to try to relax and remember that your baby will outgrow this phase. In addition, keep in mind that if you need to take a break from your baby's crying then do so, there is nothing wrong with that. Family and relatives are often understanding and happy to take care of your baby when you need some time out for yourself, even if your baby is crying. If there is no one around it's OK to put your baby in the crib, let him / her cry and take a break before trying to make another attempt.
Do not fear or worry too much if your child has colic as your baby will outgrow it. However, do consult your doctor if your baby screams constantly or if your baby's colic attacks are accompanied with excessive vomiting, diarrhea and constipation. These symptoms may indicate a more serious problem.