Wednesday, March 23, 2016

My Postpartum World: Colic

Dear Colic,
I loath you with every fiber of my being. Go pound sand.

"It's a phase. He'll grow out of it." A sentence that evokes similar feelings as "Just adopt". 

The pediatrician told us what I'm sure he tells every parent of a colicky baby. "There's no cure, and no one is even 100% sure what causes it." Here's what I heard. "Kristen, save the babies of the world from this horrible monster! We're depending on you!" And so, I went to work.  I researched. I concocted home remedies. I asked other moms about their experiences. I tried elimination diets. I tried homeopathic drops. I tried essential oils and massage. The chiropractor and probiotics. I watched countless YouTube tutorials on soothing a colicky baby. I rocked. I bounced. I swayed. 

He grew out of it.

Little Dude is just over six months and we are freshly out of our colic funk. Mind you, this does not imply that he sleeps through the night and never has gas or cries. He still wakes up a lot, has gas to rival any grown man, and cries with the best-of-em. His personality can finally show through now though. Colic is like wearing blinders. You can't see anything but the screaming child in front of you. It takes all your energy and focus. Now though, the giggles and smiles and coos far outweigh the crying. Plus the crying is more "normal" now. The horrible part about colic is that the baby literally screams like it's on fire! Pure torturous screeching. Now when he cries it's just a change me, feed me, pay attention to me cry. He is such a sweet and happy little guy. So willing to give giant gummy smiles. So determined and smart. I know I don't share his real name, but his name means strength of God, and boy does he live it. This kid has more strength in his tiny body then some adults. I know because he kicks me all night. Ha! Oh but the glimmers of rest. They're beautiful. As Josh takes Squeaks for bath and bedtime each night, I sit and I rock this little miracle to sleep. He still puts up a small fight, just too eager to see the world, but then he drifts off (at least for an hour or so). Still. Calm. Peaceful cuddled in my arms. This kid is going to test my limits, melt my heart, and blow my socks off.

In the course of our colic journeys we came across certain things that seemed to ease the screeching, so I thought I'd share. You know, help out the next mama dead set on curing colic for the masses.

1. Happi Tummi- Aside from the fact that this product implements one of my biggest pet peeves (misspelling words for marketing purposes), it's awesome. I love the fact that it's not a pill, drop, or drug. It's a completely external soother. It smells great and it works. The only negative in my opinion is that you can only heat it up a certain number of times before it looses its oomph. Oh, and the velcro. Little dude would finely be comfortable and asleep, the Happi Tummi would be cold, and I would want to lay him down, but the velcro was so loud taking it off of him was difficult to do without waking him. 

2. Colic Calm- This stuff is kinda gross. It's black. It turns the kids mouth black. And his poop black. And it stains anything it touches. But it sure works. It's homeopathic which I like, but in order for it to work its best, you kind of have to keep it in the kids system on a regular basis. If your child's colic is fairly minor (does that exist?) this might be the thing for you. I felt like we were giving it to LD too often though so we switched to a combo of the last two products on this list.

3 & 4. Hyland's Gas Drops and Hyland's Nat. Phos. 6x- I use these as a team. I know that might seem redundant as they're both for gas, but I have my reasons. The gas drops are fast acting and easy to administer. They're clear so no staining, they taste good (yep I tried them), and they're also homeopathic. I realized through process of elimination that Little Dude, in addition to having gas, was also suffering from silent reflux (this article helped me figure this out). Lucky kid. So the Nat. Phos. (Natrum Phosphoricum Cell Salt, also homeopathic) acts as a digestive aid. It takes a few minutes to kick in though (again, yes I tried it on myself), thus the combo with the gas drops. I only give them in combination when LD is really uncomfortable. I've given them separately with good results too. The Nat. Phos. is kind of hard to find anywhere but online, but they're worth ordering. 

5. Other soothers- The chiropractor actually did make a noticeable difference, but I couldn't tell you how or why. It turned out Little Dude had a lot of tension in his neck and after being adjusted he definitely seemed more comfortable. Warm baths also helped a lot before bed. Unfortunately LD also has a bad case of baby eczema (a post on that coming soon) and the warm water seemed to irritate it, so we can only do baths every few nights. In moments of absolute desperation the "I love you" massage technique was used and eventually seemed to help. Getting him to lay still for massage is quite the task though.

I sure hope this helps some desperate parents out there. I know you don't want to hear it, but they will grow out of it. Until then, search. Search for those of us who couldn't find "the cure". I know you will cause that's what mamas do.


  1. My kids are both severe eczema sufferers. We tried all the creams, diet changes (they do have food allergies), etc. The one thing that has made the biggest difference? Bleach baths. Sounds wierd, but our allergist, dermatologist and pediatrician all agreed that this rather old home remedy trick works. For my now 5yo, we use 1/2 cup of bleach in about 4 inches of warm water in the bathtub twice a week for 10 minutes (plus a warm clean water rinse after) and no soap. She is old enough to keep her head/eyes out of the water. As a younger tot, I would mix the mild bleach solution (a tablespoon or less of bleach in a bucket of water)and do a kind of sponge bath with a washcloth before putting her in her baby tub to rinse and play. This child, in just a couple of weeks, went from eczema so severe that she would get actual skin infections (and sometimes cellulitis) pretty much every week to having had ONE in the last EIGHT MONTHS. Easy to do, not expensive and very effective.

    1. Thank you so much for your suggestion. I Googled it and it's not recommended to use on the face which is where LD is having the worst breakouts. We have a few doctors appointments scheduled so hopefully we'll get some answers soon. Thanks again!


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