Your baby is screaming, crying, something is wrong and you don’t know what to do. You’ve tried everything to soothe them and still they continue getting louder and louder and you are probably crying yourself now too. What do you do if this becomes your every day, not just for an hour a day but hours every day, all day, after every feed, every car journey, you begin to fear your baby crying and don’t want to go out? This has happened to me with more than one baby so I know what it is like, how the screams cut through you and you just want to make everything better, but you can’t. The words colic are given to you, you try all the tips, every baby is different and so you try them all and still nothing works. When is colic something more?
Reflux and silent reflux can be a total mystery, Doctors and other health professionals can just brush it off with normal baby discomfort and label it colic. If you try all the tips at the bottom of the post and nothing is working, your baby seems in pain and is severely distressed then go back to the Doctors.
Write a list of symptoms so you don’t forget them all, chances are your baby will either be asleep peacefully making you look like a total liar, or in a state, in turn either will make you forget everything you wanted to say. My main advice would be to film when your baby is at their worst, if you don’t want to do it, get someone else to whilst you are comforting them. I know how hard it is to explain the severity, but the video will show it.
Some of the things we experienced were;
- sick, projectile (huge amounts I’m talking a change of outfits down to underwear and bedding for two people) and smaller amounts, all through the day.
- wet burps and noisy hiccups where she would cry in pain with them (you can hear liquid but can’t see it)
- pulling her legs up whilst crying and arching her back
- not being able to lie flat, sit in the car seat or have any pressure on her tummy
- being sick when we moved her suddenly or a change of position
- pulling a face like she tasted something bad and then starting to cry
- interrupted sleep
- comfort feeding which would in turn lead to more sick
- choking and a sharp inhale of breath
- sensitive gag reflex which still at almost two will make her sick
We tried everything with Ava but I knew it was reflux having expereinced it with Finlay before. She ended up being diagnosed with GERD and was under a pediatrician who prescribed her Lansoprazole which is an acid suppressant. It didn’t completely solve all the issues but it definitely improved them.
Ava also has a dairy allergy and soya intolerance she had more but thankfully seems to be getting better with them. Allergies often come hand in hand with reflux and sometimes CMPA (cows milk protein allergy) can be mistaken for reflux so you need to see a health professional rather than self diagnosing.
There is light at the end of the tunnel though and if you are reading this right in the depths of reflux or colic, I know how hard it is and it seems like the crying will never end. It will, quite often as they get bigger and spend more time upright it naturally improves.
With trial and error we found things that would help soothe her sometimes. For us a sling was a lifesaver, she was close for comfort and upright which helped, we found a structured carrier (we have a Tula) was better than a wrap as it put less pressure on her stomach.
I asked some other bloggers what tips they have to help soothe a colicky or reflux baby.
- Alex from Lamb and Bear says “For us Infacol was a life saver. If I ever forgot to give it to lamb he would seriously suffer. I also went to baby massage classes where they showed me specific massage techniques to help with colic, which I still use now on my second baby. Laying flat across my arms used to really help too and he would often fall asleep there. The important thing to remember is colic is different for every baby and different things work or don’t work. Try everything until you find what helps your baby.”
- Lucy from Mrs H’s Favourite Things recommends “Using Dr Browns bottles, Infacol, baby massage for colic and baby wearing. Also some excellent advice we were given is keep a little diary, then once you know the time baby gets upset every night about an hour before that give them a warm bath, some milk, skin to skin and wrap them. It does seem to help. But sadly I think the biggest remedy is time. Each baby is different and what works for one baby doesn’t for another. No one really knows what colic is so it is hard to solve a problem you don’t understand. But try lots of things and hopefully you’ll hit on the right solution for you and your baby.”
- Amy from The Smallest of Things says “Infacol and Dr Browns bottles! Also sitting up whilst feeding and winding half way through.”
- Pamela from Life with Munchers says “Gripe water worked for us, as did white noise. Biggest tip is to try everything! Every baby is different and thankfully there are a number of over the counter remedies to work through. We also found that a chiropractor and tummy exercises worked a treat.”
- Emily from Emily and Indiana “We found with bottle feeding switching to Dr Browns bottles really worked for us. Gripe water also worked really well”
Disclaimer: This is a collaborative post.