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Soothing Your Colicky Baby

Posted by on Oct. 9, 2013 at 12:00 AM
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Bringing home baby is such a special time in the lives of our growing families but it can be a bit nerve wrecking, too. Especially if your baby is exceptionally cranky. The dream of quietly rocking your little one to sleep while singing lullabies can be quickly shattered when baby just won't stop crying. For my son it was gas due to an under-developed digestive system. For other babies, the reason may not be so clear. But for all parents and babies, it's stressful. It can even be depressing when our babies seem to always be crying despite our best and most instinctual efforts. Add in sleepless nights and housework piling up around you while baby cries and you have a perfect storm for PPD.

I learned pretty early on about my son's discomfort.  And I tried just about everything save for ancient Chinese acupuncture but that doesn't mean I wouldn't have tried it if I had known a guy.  I was desperate. So I thought that this week I would give my tips and tricks that helped calm my uncomfortable baby. Just in case, you needed it too.

1. Use water: Bath time doesn't have to be just before bed. If your babe is soothed by water, consider giving them a bath during the day. I found that filling the tub and getting in with my uncomfortable baby was very helpful. He loved it when I held the back of his head and allowed him to float and kick his legs. Floating in water can help soothe an already escalated and crying baby.

2. The Tiger in the Tree hold: This is for helping gas move through the belly and out. Place baby belly down on your forearm with the head in your hand. Let his/her arms and legs dangle. Here's a picture of the Tiger in a Tree hold.

3.  Leg exercises: If gas is your culprit, find many times during the day to help baby move the gas out while they are happy and before the pain gets too bad. Spend a few minutes every hours bicycling baby's legs and gently pushing knees to chest. Another leg exercise is the pretzel.  Cross baby's legs and rock hips toward chest and down and then in a side to side motion.

4. Baby massage: Baby massage is an excellent way to help baby de-stress and relax. It can also do wonders for sleep and gas problems. Note: massage should only be done when baby is happy and willing.  Here's a great video on how to give your baby a massage.

There are some many things to try and soothe a colicky or gassy baby. Did you have a fussy baby? What were some of the ways you soothed him or her?

image © iStock/ arekmalang

by on Oct. 9, 2013 at 12:00 AM
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Replies (1-10):
by on Oct. 9, 2013 at 8:59 AM
1 mom liked this

My oldest was gassy.  The Dr. had us do the bicycle move with her legs.  It helped more often than not.

by on Oct. 9, 2013 at 9:07 AM

My son had horrible acid reflux issues for a few months. We tried thing was sleeping upright somehow always helped him. 

by Darbie - Head Admin on Oct. 9, 2013 at 9:09 AM
Bath time and baby wearing help my so out a lot.
by Chrissy - Admin on Oct. 9, 2013 at 9:14 AM
We did all of the above except the water.

Another trick that helped a lot is when he got really bad, I'd go outside with him. If it was cold we'd bundle up in blankets then just go sit outside. The fresh air always seemed to help calm him down.

Keeping him upright was a big thing too. If he laid down flat he'd scream and spit up.
by on Oct. 9, 2013 at 9:15 AM

swaddling helped my gassy baby #3......and drops...and rocking

by on Oct. 9, 2013 at 9:27 AM

 Baby wearing was a life saver when my son had colic/gassy.

by on Oct. 9, 2013 at 9:41 AM

If my baby was gassy I would move her legs like she was pedalling a bike.

by on Oct. 9, 2013 at 9:50 AM

bicycle legs play time with DD helped her often 

by on Oct. 9, 2013 at 10:04 AM

I did and he was a struggle.  Turns out he had a milk sensitivity and I was breastfeeding . . .

He would cry for hours.  I would nurse to soothe him which only increased the problemm.  Poor kid.  Made me feel like a terrible mom!

by on Oct. 9, 2013 at 10:27 AM

Mu last DS was fussy,not even sure if he was colicky? But he did cry a lot!

We did a lot of cuddling&swaddling.

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