Our twin newborns began their colic episodes at 3 weeks old. I quickly realized I could not do this alone and needed help. Eight hours a day of crying was the norm for us. My daughter’s crying cycle commenced during feeding. She would cry for the next 2 hours, during which she would projectile vomit prompting a bath and change for caretaker and baby. Finally, she would drift to sleep for an hour, wake up to feed, and begin the crying all over again. Tough on parents, tough on baby.
This too shall pass. Colic is defined as incessant bouts of crying over 3 hours a day for over 3 weeks. The endless crying is stressful and makes you wonder if it will ever end. It will. Your baby’s digestive system just isn’t fully developed yet, and in time he will grow out of it. Together you can get through this with your baby. Here are survival tips we picked up during our long 4 month battle with colic.
20 Tips to Survive Your Baby’s Acid Reflux Colic
1. Get help.
You need someone to help you survive the crying nights. Have a friend or family member rock your baby so you can take a nap or shower. My husband and I were on night rotations. We’d take turns sleeping on the couch close to the nursery while the other slept uninterrupted in a far away room. We enlisted grandparents, aunts, and friends to sleep over and help.
2. Burp. Burp. Burp again.
Burp your baby very well after each feeding. Much of the crying is caused by air being trapped in his belly. Burp before you feed. Burp if he cries unexpectectly in his sleep. We became expert burpers. My favorite method is rubbing circles on baby’s back while bending his body slightly forward. This motion puts pressure on his abdomen to gently push the air out. Baby Center has a good article on burping methods.
3. Feed upright.
Sit your baby up while you feed her while holding the bottle at a 90 degree angle. This will prevent air from getting trapped in her tummy. Hold her upright for 20 minutes after eating, especially if you are breast feeding.
4. Never lay your baby flat.
This too is a deterrent for air getting trapped in his belly. Use a wedge on to incline your baby in his crib and changing table. We propped our babies crib by placing books under one end of the mattress. During naps, we rested our girls in a Rock ‘n Play sleeper. This sleeper was our best purchase because it greatly reduced the projectile vomiting, and we could take it with us anywhere.
5. Use a heating pad.
To make a home made heating pad, mirowave a wet burp cloth for 30 seconds. Place in ziploc bag and wrap with a dry burp cloth. Place heating pad on your belly and hug baby to you so you’ll be able to monitor the heat.
7. Use anti-colic bottles.
Anti-colic bottles are designed to decrease airflow to the nipple. In our case, they really didn’t help but we used them anyway.
8. Thicken formula with rice.
You can reduce reflux by thickening the milk, but clear it with your doc first. Feeding baby rice too early can increase risk of food allergies. Add 1 tablespoon of rice to 1 ounce of formula. You will need to cut holes in nipples to allow milk to flow.
9. Try special formulas.
There are many formulas out there. You can try sensitive, soy, or something like Alimentum for an extra gentle formula. Be sure to check with your doc first before trying a non-dairy formula. If your baby’s issue is acid reflux, save your money. A specialized formula will not help.
10. See your Doctor.
Work with your pediatrician to solve the problem as to why this is happening. Don’t tough it out, there are prescription remedies out there. You may need to visit a pediatric gastroenterologist. Check out my post on what method worked for us.
Question: Do you have any tips that helped you survive your baby’s colic? Share with us and comment below.
Photo credit: Thanks to Alana Don0van for her photo of Kaitlyn (left) and Ava at one month old, right when the colic began.
Related Posts: There’s Nothing Worse Than Twins with Acid Reflux, Part 1, There’s Nothing Worse Than Twins with Acid Reflux, Part 2, Ava’s Acid, Together We Can: 10 Tips to Survive Your Baby’s Colic