A bit of a gripe (coping with colic).

Hello all, and thank you for the great welcome 🙂

This week, I’d hope to write about warm, fluffy, lovely things, but unfortunately, one issue has overshadowed everything and left me thinking of little else. It’s turning me into an emotional wreck and the lack of sleep makes my mind feel like a layer of cotton wool separates me from reality: little baby NW’s colic.

Now I can’t pretend to fully understand what colic is, but I know that it is a common complaint. For us it manifests itself at about 5pm every evening and can last all the way through till 3am. Poor little NW becomes rigid with pain and screams and screams until he manages to pass a little wind, has a moments reliif then starts screaming again.

We never experienced this with our eldest, and I can honestly say that to watch him in pain and not be able to comfort him is the worst feeling in the world.

So, over the past week or so we’ve been looking for ways to make little man, for want of a better word, fart!

So far we’ve tried conventional medicines without massive success. One of them is so packed full of sugar that I feel uncomfortable about giving it to him, especially at each feed which is what’s recommended. The other has to be mixed with warm, expressed milk and given before each feed, which just doesn’t sound practical. Can’t see myself getting the boobs out to express if he gets hungry while I’m out for a walk or sat in a cafe!

Someone had suggested fennel tea, and to be honest this was my instinctive first port of call, but as I couldn’t get any in our village I opted for the traditional medicines from the pharmacist first, promising myself I’d go to town some day soon.

Then, two days ago, the penny dropped. I’ve been admiring a beautiful bronze fennel as it settles into my border. Yup, I know you got there quicker than I did (blame it on the sleep deprived baby brain!)

So for the past day or so I’ve been drinking fresh fennel tea with a bit of honey. Is it working? A bit to early to say for sure, but little man does seem seem to be getting wind out a bit easier. Unfortunately, it is also having the desired effect on me; I just hope I have some friends left by the time the colic passes!

One thing that has been a massive help with the colic, and deserves a special shoutout is my my baby carrier. To be honest, its been a godsend! Holding little man close obviously gives him some comfort and leaves me with my hands free to care for my toddler. Not only that, but it seems that a few hours in the carrier from late afternoon to early evening seems to leave him less windy by night. My theory is that as he’s vertical fr the period leading up to an attack, it stops the trapped wind building up, but hey, I’m no scientist!
Anyway, if anybody has any hints or tips on coping with colic I’d be really grateful to hear them. The health visitor says it should pass by 8-12 weeks, but that feels like a really long way away right now! I’ll keep you updated with our progress with the babywearing/fennel tea route anyway.

Before I go, to leave things on a happier note, here are a few pics of things that have made me smile this week.

1. The pretty calendula that is brightening up my back door.

 


2. DW playing with his new Plan Toys farm house. The first thing he did? Make the farmer and his wife cuddle – aaaawwww!

 


3. The veggies that combined with eggs from our ex-battery chickens made the first ever meal sourced 100% from our garden – yipee!

4. NW being awake, not screaming, and looking super cute in his weehuggers wrap.

5. Homemade Gooseberry & Elderflower Jam – mmmm!

Bye for now!xxxx

8 Comments

  1. The sling always worked best for us. For another option, my HV recommended Colocynthis, it’s a homeopathic remedy which you can buy in granules or as powder sachets. As with most things with baby, it’s a matter of trial and error, but I hope you have luck in finding something which eases it all.

  2. Have you tried eliminating anything from your diet? Both of mine suffered colic and it it just heartbreaking. I eliminated the following: Fresh orange juice (and citrus fruits in general), onions (and for a while garlic too), most of my dairy intake (especially milk). Abdominal massage really helped both of mine as did leg cycling. As you know I am a big sling fan so that goes without saying! Have you considered seeing a lactation consultant? Colic can be a result of a less than perfect latch and also oversupply of milk/fast let down. If your milk flows rather quickly at let down try reclining while feeding it can prevent the gulping baby does with the rush of milk. ANother remedy that I personally haven’t tried but have read some very positive testimonials on is probiotic drops. (The Feminist Breeder is singing their praises at the moment)
    Hope some of that may help a little!
    Good luck
    Em
    x

  3. Is there any history of milk or soy intolerance on the family? Our daughter suffered terribly with colic and the hv kept telling me it was normal and would pass. It didn’t improve any until she was on solids the only thing that helped a little was baby wearing. To cut a long story short, like my mum and I she has been diagnosed with milk protein and soy intolerance which we now know is a known cause of colic. Strict elimination diet and she is fine. As I was breastfeeding all the chocolate the hv told me to eat was harming our daughter!

  4. Hi,

    My baby suffered from colic from about 3-4 weeks old, all off a sudden he just became a different baby and so we knew something was up, as before that he hardly ever cried or screamed like that. Our pediatrician here in Italy recommended that I cut from my diet all dairy products and super sweet fruits like plums, sultana’s, raisins etc. I was a little dubious at first but I have to say from the moment I cut these things out he was a much more serene baby like before, all colic symptoms disapeared, and we had no more painful screams from 5pm every night so it was worth it. It was hard but it’s not forever after about 5-6months their digestive system is more mature and I was able to slowly start to add these things back in.

    anyway that worked for me i’m sure you’ll find what works for you both

    good luck

    Kimxx

  5. Hi ladies,

    Wow, thank you for all the suggestions! It’s great to have so many things to try, just thinking that there are new options to try helps my sanity!

    Interesting that so many people suggested cutting dairy. I used to be dairy intolerant when I was little, but grew out of it. Think I’ll try cutting that out for a week and see how it goes. It’ll be really hard though, I’ve enjoyed indulging in mold ripened/unpasteurised cheeses after 9 months of abstinence!

    Took the boys to their first small festival this weekend and NW was in the carrier virtually all weekend, and while he wasn’t colic free he definitely wasn’t as bad as he’d been. There’s something in this babywearing thing! 😉

    Thanks again for giving us hope! 🙂

    Cat

  6. Hi Cat, my best suggestion for a collicy baby would be cranial osteopathy. The birthing process, even in a normal delivery is pretty traumatic on the abdomen and head of any baby and there can be compressions retained in the skeletal structure which can inhibit the digestive process, as well as many other aspects of a childs’ developoment.
    There is an osteopath who parctises in Bangor and is really great with babies. If you msg me (josiegritten@yahoo.co.uk) I’ll give you his number. He has helped a number of friends’ babies, as well as ours.

    With regard to juggling the toddler whilst you feed the baby – a box of things for your toddler to do whilst you feed is one idea – you can put pens and colouring books, favorite stories, plastic animals etc in it and he can be in charge of collecting it when you sit down to feed. This gives your toddler the option of bringing it to you for you both to look at together, or just getting on with it on his own. One of those hideos lap trays (with the bean bag base) may come in handy as a toddler sized portable table too!
    Hope this helps
    Josie

  7. Thanks Josie, I’d never thought of Cranial Osteopathy, I’ll message you for details.

    Love the box idea, and the toddler tray is genius! Thank you.xxxxx

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