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.
6. Try over the counter remedies.
There are many non-prescriptions aids out there. We gave gripe water or simethecone drops for cramping. We used Miralax for constipation.
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
May: Why did you not mention that projectile vomiting after feeding 2 or 3 times a day accompanied the colic which meant bathing. changing clothing, bedding, also change of clothes of caregiver Auntie Aida
You are right! I need to share about that as well. Thank you so much for your help during that time. You were essential!
Good tips! I feel so sorry for colicky babies, and their parents. I hope they’re ok now.
They are so much better now. Only1 needs to still take prevacid twice a day, but there are no stomach pains for her. Thank you for your comment!
I will remember this should this new baby of mine become colicky. It is so hard to not know how to comfort your child. I can’t imagine trying to comfort twins! Thanks for sharing your journey!
Bless your heart. I too had a “colicky” baby my first go round. I learned some of these tips too. He had silent reflux and a horrible milk protein allergy irritated by him getting formula 2 days after birth. He was a breasted baby so it took us a while to figure the milk protein allergy out. The reflux was bad enough but once we figured out how to treat it and I cut all milk proteins out of my diet, my colicky baby disappeared and a happy baby showed up. I just wish it hadn’t taken 3 months to figure out but glad we did eventually. I disagree that “thickening” a baby’s milk will help matters. Rice cereal can set up allergies if given too early and can irritate reflux further. I do agree that keeping them upright as much as possible and burping are musts though 😉 Also, rolling to the side instead of picking legs up and scrunching the stomach at a diaper change helps too. Keep up the great blog with your sweet girls. I love watching them grow. 😉
Thanks for your suggestions. I’ll add that disclaimer on my rice cereal suggestion. We of course were under a GI’s supervision, but I want folks to to know the risks. I appreciate your comments!