This isn’t something that I have spoken about in much detail because it has been one massive rollercoaster of emotions. I thought I would write this for all of you mamas going through it because it literally is hell and knowing you’re not alone can help. For us colic appeared in the late afternoon evening and lasted hours. According to WebMD.com, a baby who cries more than three hours a day more than three days a week for at least three weeks in a row has colic. And unlike why most babies cry (they’re tired, hungry or have a dirty diaper), kids with colic cry inexplicably. I have done stupid amounts of research trying to find a reason or a cause but there just simply isn’t one. Doctors have no idea what causes it and no idea on a cure. There’s no reason for why a baby gets colic, it happens to 1/5 newborns and disappears in most cases around 3-4 months. One theory is that some babies’ stomachs are so underdeveloped that they have either constant painful gas or heartburn, which causes them to scream in agony. The other prominent theory is that some babies are born into a “fourth trimester” outside the womb, during which their immature brains are being overloaded by the constant stream of new audio and visual stimuli; hence they cry a ton.
As a first time mum, when you’re new little baby is crying uncontrollably you just think ‘this is normal, this is what motherhood must be’ but you begin to realise that this isn’t normal and your baby is not supposed to cry this much. Colic crying isn’t like “I’m upset,” crying; it’s “emotionally disturbed” crying. Felix would go bright red in the face, choking from the uncontrollable crying and arch his back in pain. Some nights it could last until midnight and you sit there feeling like you have nothing to look forward to and that those newborn days have been stolen from you. People almost seemed to want to deny colic or bury it under the rug — the way society used to shy away from discussing post-traumatic stress syndrome. Often we’d hear, “Oh, your baby’s just fussy.” God, I hated that one. And of course then comes the arguing because how can you not when you’re both under this amount of stress. We’re also still more cautious than other parents we know. For months, we’d both get jumpy from just a little normal “I’m hungry” or “I’m tired” crying. I think this is why I feel very overprotective about Felix and im wary of people holding him or people looking after him. Currently I only let my mum and a couple other close family members babysit because they have been there on those dark nights and understand the way he likes to be held or things to soothe him, and they are my most trusted closest people! But then again I hate having Felix out of my sight so it’s rare that he isn’t by my side and I love it that way.
I can’t begin to tell you the amount of different things that we tried (Gripe water, infacol, different formulas, colief) They are just naming a few! We slowly understood (as much as we didn’t want to) that this is one of those things that we simply have to wait out. But when your baby is 6 weeks old and you have to wait till they are 3-4 months it seems like a lifetime.
If you are reading this thinking im going to give you a miracle that worked for us then im so sorry! We simply waited it out and it ended between 3-4 months. It wasn’t an overnight change it was a gradual change. We slowly started having more good nights than bad and now I can finally say that we don’t have a colicky baby!!! I’m so glad that it’s finally stopped and now I can start getting Felix into a night-time routine that doesn’t consist of screaming for hours on end.
There are things that you can try to help ease the crying such as swaddling, rocking, shushing and swinging. But once you have been stood holding your baby swaddled like they’re in a straight jacket and shushing them for over an hour you start to lose your own sanity! There is only so long you can do this for at 11pm when you are utterly exhausted. My main advice would be to make sure you have some good support. A partner, parents, grandparents, friends. Luckily me and Elliot could take it in turns so that we could eat and even just get a drink or go to the loo! Nights when I have been on my own because Elliot’s gone out I would be calling my mum begging her to come over and sometimes even friends so they can just hold him whilst I have a 10 minute break!
If Colic wasn’t bad enough then little did we know we were in for a massive shocker. The dreaded silent reflux. Felix had this badly for a good few weeks before we found a treatment that worked. He would scream in agony and it was the most heartbreaking thing to go through. I had to go to the doctors over and over again forcing them to take me seriously. Trust your motherly instinct! We again tried changing formula and then infant gaviscon but they just made it worse. Finally on one Sunday it got too much and I took him down to A&E and demanded that they gave us ranitidine (after reading so much about this I knew that it would either be a miracle cure or do nothing). Thankfully we saw a huge change within a day and he is still on it now.
Being a mummy is the most amazing thing in the world but Colic and Silent reflux do not make it easy, it will make you want to bang your head against a wall and sit there crying for hours on end yourself. But for those of you going through this I am so sorry and I really do feel for you and your little one. But just know it does get better soon. (I read this a thousand times and never believed it but it does). If any of you have experienced Colic or Silent reflux then feel free to share your experience in the comments because sometimes it’s good to just get it all out.
Lots of love, Cyah xxx