Soothe a Baby Who Has Colic

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Crying is a natural occurrence with a newborn, but what do you do when you have a baby that cries nonstop? Chances are you may have a baby with colic. A mystery to the medical community, colic strikes newborns and causes them to cry almost 24 hours a day for up to three months, then just stops without rhyme or reason. What do you do for those three months to keep your sanity? Read on...

Swaddle your baby. She won't like the process, but the result is amazing. All of the following steps work better on a swaddled baby!
Try a baby swing. Often, the motion will soothe your shrieking baby and get them to fall asleep.
Take them for a car ride. Bundle them up and often within 10 minutes in the car, cries are quieted.
Put baby on top of the washing machine on spin cycle or on top of the dryer. Have the baby in the car seat or a baby bouncer. The vibrations are calming to a baby.
Turn on the vacuum cleaner! It sounds odd, but boy, does it work. Just set the baby in the bassinet or car seat and let him become fascinated at a sound louder than him.
Lay the baby on his stomach across your knees (remember to support the head). Jiggle your feet up and down and pat softly. This vibration can be very soothing.
Lie on your back in a quiet, dark place. Hold the baby firmly on your chest with his head over your heart. Raising your knees with your feet flat on a solid surface, rock yourself, calming the infant.
Once swaddled, turn baby on her side and jiggle her. Shush her loudly - make sure she can hear you over her own screaming. Think about how loud the vacuum cleaner is...that's the kind of volume it might take to first get her attention.
Provide something soothing to suck. When baby begins to calm down, give her something to suck on (pacifier or your finger). Gradually reduce the jiggling and shushing as she calms.

Invest in a sound machine that mimics a mother's heart beat inside the womb. This can be a lifesaver for both parent and child.
A comfortable rocking chair is indispensable for a parent with a fussy baby.
If you have work to do, yet your baby is screaming, try using a baby sling or carrier that holds the baby close to your body, yet leaves both hands free.
Rent/Buy the video or book "The Happiest Baby On the Block." It's a miracle.
Try bringing your baby over near a running faucet - the sound is very soothing.
Experts think that colic may be caused by reflux - ask your doctor about medicine to help.
Adverse reactions to milk or soy can mimic colic, so if you are giving your baby formula that is milk-based, you may want to try soy-based for a week to see if that helps (or vice-versa.)

Constant cries can be a sign of something more severe. If the baby screams in a extremely high pitch, and is inconsolable, call your doctor's office. Always check with your pediatrician for the best in health care of your little one.
Don't leave your baby on a washing machine unattended.


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