Colic – a contribution from Simone, childbirth educator and our guest author from Maternal Journey

The term colic is often used very loosely, with parents left wondering what exactly colic is.

Colic is defined as a ‘crying time’ usually starting around 3 weeks of age, lasting until around 3 months, for at least 3 hours per day, at least 3 times per week.

For those parents who have experienced colic, it can be extremely overwhelming. There are many theories and ideas about why colic appears, from something women are eating, to wind, to low milk supply, babies having an immature gut, to personality of the baby – with all of these perhaps having some impact on why some babies do and some babies don’t! It really is about knowing how to manage this time, that it isn’t anything to do with what you aren’t doing right as parents.

Some ideas that may help with this unsettled time (which is often in the evenings) can be:

  • allowing baby to feed on one side until he is finished, ensuring he gets an adequate supply of hind milk.
  • Lay down (or semi-recline) to feed if your ‘flow’ is fast, or if you hear your baby ‘gulping’ when feeding throughout the day
  • give your baby a bath and a massage before the crying time starts, this may loosen trapped wind or just soothe and relax your baby
  • herbal wind preparations (Weleda Colic Powder), taken throughout the day when feeding
  • go with what you think your baby needs at this time – it could be constant feeding between bouts of crying and perhaps a little sleeping.
  • carry baby in a sling or frontpack, or in the ‘colic hold’ (baby laying belly down on your forearm with your hand on their nappy)
  • getting dinner/meals prepared earlier in the day when baby is settled.  This ensures you eat at a reasonable time and reduces the pressure of
  • trying to cook when baby is unsettled.

This, like most things will soon pass