My second child has colic, something that we never really had to deal with the first time and I can honestly say that it sucks! I never fully understood the ‘my baby doesn’t sleep’ thing. Yes, child number one would feed a lot which would have me up every couple of hours at night but we were very lucky that we didn’t experience the screaming we are seeing now. It’s suddenly like being a first-time Mum all over again, new things to learn and new conditions to pull my hair out over!
It’s not even a thing!
Colic isn’t even a proper diagnosis of what is wrong, did you know this?! If you Google colic you are greeted with a broad spectrum answer of ‘your baby cries for 3 hours a day’. That. Is. It. They then divide this up into possible reasons your baby may be crying. Digestive problems, wind, reflux, allergies… basically it could be anything OR it could just be that you have a baby that cries. Reassuring eh? Not for someone like me who wants to have all the information and a list of remedies that will help my baby. Guesswork is driving me nuts!
Oh, the pain
Watching your baby in pain and not being able to do anything is heart-wrenching. As I said above, there is guesswork, so you can try a variety of options but if these don’t work you feel completely and utterly useless. There is nothing worse as a parent than to have to watch your baby in discomfort and being told that it’s ok coz it only lasts a few months. Oh good, because that makes it all so much better for the little guy.
All the tips
Other people give advice after advice but at the end of the day, your baby may not respond to what worked for theirs. It could take weeks or months to try all of these suggestions– cut out dairy, see a cranial osteopath, be treated for reflux, hold them up for 45 minutes after feeds, try fennel tea and so on. It is just trial and error.
All you end up hearing
‘My baby had this, it won’t last much longer’ …’change what you’re eating’ …’cut this out of your diet’ …’move onto formula’ …’have you read xx book it saved us’ …’my baby was worse than yours’ …’is he/she a good baby?’… ‘all babies cry’… Sigh.
And eventually, those tips from the above point start to grate on you, I mean really grate on you! You know everyone just wants to help but if you hear the words it could be this… one more time, you may scream!!
When will I sleep again?!
You spend hours rocking, shushing, singing, feeding just to try and get a little bit of sleep. Oh, how I am missing my sleep. The health visitor told me to rest as much as I could in the day… Errrr I have a 4-year-old too! Never gonna happen! Don’t co-sleep the experts say. Ha, ok, so you tell me how I am meant to function on no sleep whatsoever. Not that propping myself up in bed with a lamp on really counts as ‘sleep’.
You will spend more time Googling colic than doing anything else for your child! Looking up new ideas, tips, remedies, wondering what may work for you… This is just as exhausting as you battle all of your thoughts, then run them past your friends, go online to a Facebook group to ask fellow parents their opinions, ask family. All you want to do is to be able to enjoy your baby.
During all of this, there is a huge part of you that feels as though you are missing out on that quality time with your precious new baby. You are so exhausted that you become a complete grump, you spend your days comforting them, you count down the hours until your other half comes home to help when all you want to do is absorb them, play with them and see them smile instead of hearing them cry and groan.
I’m right there with you if you are also going through this. Please send help and tea!
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