By Jan Murray
The word 'Colic' is a broad term used to label an unexplainable unsettled period that babies can experience. It is a time when all the techniques that had been working or could work to settle your baby are not working anymore.
Your baby is pulling their legs up and crying a desperate sounding cry. They may stiffen their back and not want to be cuddled. All the usual comforting measures are not working and your baby is getting more desperate.
This is a difficult time for most parents and not for just first time parents. You feel useless and hope that you aren't missing something serious.
Often there is an explanation for pain but if it is misdiagnosed it can be just labelled 'colic'.
Some causes of misdiagnosed 'colic' include:
* An overtired baby
* A growth spurt
* General evening 'witching hour' when your baby's nervous system has been overstimulated with experiences during the day. This can occur until they are 9 weeks old
* An overfed or underfed baby
* No routine or satisfactory space between feeds to allow for digestion, activity and sleep.
* Smothered with love or over handled
* Suffer from allergies or intolerance to their diet (even if they are breast fed)
* Misread personality needs such as always holding them when they would like some space sprawled out on the floor.
How to help your baby:
Use 'other methods' of settling (see below) Relax in the thought that they will grow out of it. If the unsettled behaviour continues think about the list above and consider having your baby checked by your GP or other Child Health Professional as medication may be required for relief from Reflux.
'Other Methods' for settling:
* Use the pram to rock them off to sleep
* Use an electronic swing or a carry sling
* Give them a relaxation bath either on their own or in a deep one with you. Try putting a cup of camomile tea in the bath water and a warm washer over their tummy
* Extra breast feed or suck on a dummy
* Go out and meet someone or take a brisk walk with them in a stroller or sling
* Lay down with them and hold them tight
* Loud 'white noise' or music playing
or whatever else you might think would work for your baby, making sure to take their personality into consideration?
Try and stay calm yourself and always give your baby to the one who is the calmest. If you have a network of friends and family around you, don't be too proud to ask for help. You will benefit from a break. Babies are quick to pick up on emotions.
If you are having issues with getting your baby or toddler to sleep there is more detailed information in 'Putting them to Sleep' eBook or 'Mum, Baby & Toddler - together we learn'
Jan Murray has been committed to studying and working as a Registered Nurse, Midwife and Child Health Nurse for over 25 years. Jan is a mother of 5, Child Health Consultant who co-founded and directs Settle Petal. Jan provides information and support for parents to develop their knowledge base and confidence. Receive your FREE Routines eBook at http://www.settlepetal.com to unlock a secret to helping babies settle, sleep and grow.