Colic – you’re not alone

There’s been a story in the news recently about a midwife who has been pleading with couples to stop having sex at Christmas, because every September the labour wards are pushed to their limits with the amount of babies being born.

So with more people becoming parents in September than any other month, it’s the perfect time for raising awareness of something that one in five of them will be likely to face.

Colic.

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Colic is when babies cry uncontrollably for hours at a time.  

It tends to be diagnosed when a baby cries for over three hours in a row, on three or more days a week for at least three weeks.  Doctors still don’t know exactly what causes colic, and there’s no one treatment that will help all babies.  It’s one of those awful things that you just have to ride out.

Colic normally goes away when the baby gets to around 4 months old.  Now, in the greater scheme of things, 4 months doesn’t sound that long.  But when you’re right in the middle of it, with a baby that just will not stop crying, 4 months feels like an eternity.

That’s why Infacol and Cry-sis have teamed up to launch Colic awareness month.  To let parents of colicky babies know that they’re not alone, and to offer support and advice on how to cope.

Infacol is the number one colic remedy in Britain.  It can be used from birth to help sooth the discomfort babies feel from wind and griping pain that comes along with colic.  You can put a few drops in your baby’s bottle or directly in their mouths, using the dropper that’s built into the bottle top.

We used it with Rhys when he seemed to be suffering with trapped wind and it really did make a difference.

Cry-sis is the only parenting charity that is dedicated to supporting parents who are trying to cope with excessive infant crying.  Their website is a great source of information for parents, and can help you to work out why your baby might be crying and suggest some ideas to help calm them.

They also have a phoneline that you can call to speak to a trained volunteer who can offer you advice or just listen when you are struggling to cope with excessive crying.

I think this is invaluable.

We all know how hard it can be to cope when babies don’t seem to stop crying.

And if your baby is crying non-stop for hours at a time, leading to lots of sleepless nights, it can put a huge amount of strain on you, and your relationships.

Research carried out by Infacol found that just over half of British mums feel that lack of sleep has affected their relationship with their partner, and 38% feel that it has affected their relationship with their children.

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For the first year of Nerys’ life I had sleepless night after sleepless night, as she would wake every couple of hours for a feed.

I remember all too well how the lack of sleep made me feel.  I found myself eating way too much junk food, I was foggy-headed and very emotional.  And that was just the start of it, sleep-deprivation can have a whole heap of effects on us.

It’s been suggested that sleep deprivation, and by extension colic, might be linked to post-natal depression which makes complete sense to me.  This is an area that really does need to be investigated, so that parents can get the help they need if they are affected by either colic or PND.

This is part of what is behind the creation of Colic awareness month.  To make more parents, and parents-to-be, aware of what colic is and the impact it might have on them.  At the moment, one in three British mums say that before their child was born they didn’t know anything about colic.

The more we can talk about colic the better.

So that parents dealing with it don’t feel so alone.  And so that they can get the help and support they need.

If your baby does have colic, then there are several things you can try to help calm them down:

  • Try a change of scenery.  If you’ve been sat at home with them, try putting them in their buggy or baby carrier and heading out for a little walk.  On the other hand, if you’ve been out and about all day then heading home for some quiet cuddles might help.
  • Give your baby a warm bath and then try some baby massage.
  • If they seem to be suffering with tummy pains then try lying them on their backs and gently bending their legs in towards their tummies, or round in a cycling motion.
  • Give white noise a try.  Babies aren’t used to silence, so white noise like a hairdryer or a fan can be really soothing to them.  You can get apps for your phone that play these kind of noises.

If nothing you try helps to stop the crying then remember it’s ok to ask for help.

Ask your partner, a friend, a relative, or even your next door neighbour, to hold or sit with your baby for a little while to give you a break.

Listening to a baby cry, and feeling helpless to stop it can be exhausting and incredibly stressful.

If you feel that it’s all getting too much, then put your baby down in their cot and walk away.  They’ll be completely safe while you go into another room for a few minutes, or even take a quick shower.

Then reach out for help.

Speak to your family, friends, or health visitor about how you’re feeling.

Most of all, know that you’re not alone in this.  And that, while it might not feel like it at the time, this will pass and things will get better.

 

More information

For information, help and advice visit the Cry-sis website – www.cry-sis.org.uk

To find out more about Infacol you can visit their website – www.infacol.co.uk

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Disclaimer: This is a sponsored post, but all words and opinions are my own.

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