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.

How to Travel by Plane with an Infant or Toddler

The following suggestions will hopefully make traveling with an infant or toddler under the age of 2 a bit easier. Traveling by plane with your little one can be especially stressful if you are not comfortable with flying yourself. Getting away should be a stress reliever and the grandparents may really want to see their precious grand-baby before he grows up/ Go ahead and take that flight. People do it everyday.
Do not feel obligated to purchase a seat for your child. Children under two fly free or for a nominal fee when you hold them on your lap. Unlike a car, your lap is safe & comforting to your child.
Purchase a giant diaper bag, lap children are not entitled to a piece of luggage, only a diaper bag.
Plan to breastfeed if you can. Attendants do not warm bottles or formula.
Consider dressing your child in a once piece footed pajama. It's comfortable, less items to loose, and if a child decides to kick the seat in front he can't kick as hard as with shoes.
Pack your diaper bag with a change of clothes or two, diapers, toys (stickers, crayons & paper for toddlers), baby wipes, changing pad, snacks, juice, and spoons & baby food if necessary.
Considering buying some new toys to surprise your child, they will keep his or her attention longer. You may choose to hold onto these toys until well into the flight, when your child gets antsy or to distract from a temper tantrum. If the flight goes well, save the toys for the flight home.
Surprise your child with a piece of candy or treat you have refused in the past. Tiny lollipops are a good choice as the sucking can help with ear pressure.
Bring earplugs. Not for you or your baby, for the people around you. If your child cries uncontrollably, you can show your concern by handing your neighbors an inexpensive pair of foam earplugs with a kind smile.
Remember you cannot bring liquids, even water, through security on US flights. You must declare baby food, formula & medicines. You may purchase items like bottles of water, after clearing security.
Arrive early at your gate. Ask the attendant for a "Gate Check Tag" for your stroller. They will stow your stroller with the luggage in the belly of the plane, but bring it to you when you exit it the plane, so you don't have to carry your child to baggage claim.
While you are at the gate, ask the attendant if they will board families with small children first. This is usually a common practice, but not always. You can relax a bit if the answer is yes.
Serve your toddler juice or water by bringing a "reuse or toss" cup with lid & straw. Attendants will provide drinks on most flights, but they do not provide straws or lids. You could have a spill that wets you, him or the stranger next to him when he accidently bumps his tray-table. Consider picking up a cup, straw & lid from a concession stand before boarding your flight in a pinch.
Bring a blanket to cover your baby, but as soon as you sit down in your seat, request extra pillows & blankets. Pillows are not items you will want to pack, as they are bulky. If you don't like the idea of your child's face on the airline pillow, cover it with your blanket from home. Your arms will need extra cushioning, if your child takes a long nap and you can't move.
Do not try to carry everything on board you will possibly need. You cannot quickly or easily get to things under your seat or in the over-head. They will go unused and be a useless burden to carry. Think minimalist.
Travel during nap time. Some children fall asleep in a plane, no different than while riding in a car.

Be prepared to remove a sleeping baby from the stroller to pass through security. Strollers must be x-rayed without babies.
Use a baby carrier like a Baby Bjorn or Snuggly, so you have your hands free to carry your luggage.
Nurse or bottle feed the baby during take-off and landing. This helps prevent ear pain.
Don't forget to take a car seat unless you have arranged to have one at your destination.
Flight magazines and catalogs are free. No one should complain if you use them for origami, I-Spy, or scribble scrabbling.
Visit and your airline's website for more travel advice. Some oversea flights provide bassinets for infants.

Stroller collapses to car seat.
Stroller collapses to car seat.
If you plan to travel more than 3 or 4 times a year by airplane, you may want to invest in a stroller that converts to a car seat, like this product called "Sit-n-stroll". The stroller wheels pull up into the bottom of the seat and the handles collapse. It is FAA approved to use in flight, but remember you must pay for a seat then, and surprisingly, FAA approval does not guarantee the chair will fit into the seat you purchase!
Ask about using an antihistamine. Using an antihistamine may help prevent the ears from popping and aching. Follow your medical provider's recommendations.

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