I remember the moment I found out I was pregnant with Isabella like it was yesterday. It came after a devastating chemical pregnancy leading me to be very cautious and not as happy as I wanted to be. But as weeks went on and my pregnancy progressed smoothly the excitement and joy grew over the top. We planned conception, the nursery, discussed how we would raise her, and even her wardrobe style. What we didn’t anticipate was her arriving 4 weeks early, a 2 week NICU stay, and the excessive crying and colic for several months after bringing our bundle of joy home.
You read all the books, do your Google search, create your Pinterest boards and think you’re all set for baby’s arrival. The first couple weeks may go smoothly as your baby will usually just eat, sleep, and poop. And then their little eyes pop open and the wailing starts…and doesn’t stop. All day long Isabella screamed. We shushed, we rocked, we swaddled, we soothed as much as we knew possible. To top it all off, I was experiencing PPD and I didn’t know what it was. Why was I feeling like this? Why couldn’t I connect with my baby? Why wouldn’t she just STOP CRYING??
My precious baby is now 3 years old and we’re all happy and healthy. Phew! It was a tough newborn phase, but know that it does get better! Colic is fairly common in babies and can arise when he or she is 2 or 3 weeks old. Babies cry (as the not-so-empathetic-pediatrician told me over the phone), but the difference between normal baby crying and colic is they’re inconsolably and inexplicably crying for extended periods of time- over 3 hours a day, at least 3 days a week, for over 3 weeks. One of the possible reasons for colic is that a baby’s digestive system is SO immature they’re not able to produce the healthy bacteria leading to gas, bloating, overall discomfort and yes, CRYING.
Because I know firsthand how emotionally draining and exhausting it can be to have a baby with colic, I’m so happy to have partnered with Gerber® Soothe® products to share some tips on how to help soothe your baby. We all know that less crying for babies, means more smiling for all! And boy are those baby smiles the best!
Let’s start with feeding because that’s the most important thing for your baby. As I mentioned colic is mostly due to the absence of good bacteria in your baby’s digestive tract. Whether you’re bottle or breastfeeding, Gerber has something to help. Gerber® Soothe Colic Drops were designed (although not limited) for breastfed babies. The drops are formulated with comforting probiotics L. reuteri and have been clinically proven to reduce crying time by 50%. That’s huge! When you’re dealing with crying for excessive periods of time…imagine the relief if you could cut that time in half. Simply add 5 drops once a day to either your baby’s breastmilk or formula.
Another option for formula feeding is Gerber® Good Start® Soothe Infant Formula. This routine formula was designed to ease excessive crying, colic, fussiness and gas while providing your baby with the proper nutrition he or she needs.
Gerber has many different experts available (Registered Dietitians, Certified Lactation Consultants, and Certified Baby Sleep Consultants) to answer any questions. Visit www.gerber.com/experts or call toll-free 1.800.203.4565.
*I received a free sample of Gerber® Good Start® Soothe infant formula and Gerber® Soothe probiotic colic drops from Gerber®. My thoughts and opinions are my own.
The 5 S’s
My sister actually gifted us The Happiest Baby on the Block video and it was life changing. Here’s what we learned:
- Swaddle – Babies (at least my babies) enjoyed being swaddled and this was the only way they slept for the first few months. It’s a huge shock to go from mommy’s warm, comforting belly to the big, cold world. Swaddling is very reassuring for your little babe.
- Side or Stomach – While back sleeping is recommended for sleeping, the side or stomach positions are helpful for calming your baby. Once they are calm you may return them to their back.
- Shush – All hail white noise! Shushing, or white noise, soothes and quiets your baby during fussy times and helps them sleep. Both of my kids still sleep with white noise. While this is reassuring and soothing for babies as it mimicks the sounds heard in the womb, it’s also perfect for blocking out neighborhood noise and your other children’s obnoxiously loud voices.
- Swing – Life.saver. Again the swinging motion is similar to what your baby has felt living inside your belly. When you were pregnant you probably didn’t feel your little one moving around too much during the day, but at night when you would lay down to sleep they would start having a dance party. Rocking, swinging and swaying are the way to go.
- Suck – Whether your baby takes a pacifier or not, during extreme situations my husband and I would give our babies a clean finger to suck on to help calm them down. Breastfeeding mamas can also nurse for comfort. (Our pediatric gastroenterologist did not recommend feeding for comfort. Especially when the immature digestive system comes in to play. Your baby needs time to process what’s in their bellies before any other nutrition is added. But please discuss with your baby’s doctor.)
I know I’ve mentioned it several times before in previous posts, but babywearing is a huge comfort for a colicky baby. Wearing your baby in an upright position has been known to aid in digestion. You’re most likely going to be holding, rocking, shushing your baby for long periods of time and having your little one in a carrier will save your arms and back tremendously. Isabella also went through a period of time commonly referred to as the Witching Hour (because obviously colic wasn’t enough). Every.single.night at 6pm, whether she was awake or sleeping, she would start screaming. Having a baby carrier comes in handy so that you can still comfort your baby and tend to the rest of your family considering it was also dinnertime.
Did you have a baby with colic and/or tried either Gerber Soothe products? I would love for you to share your tips and experience below!
To learn more about colic, excessive crying and fussiness, and Gerber Soothe products please click here.