I love this article by Dr. Laura Markham that is all about colic with questions and answers and tips on caring for baby through colic. What is colic you ask? Well actually if you are a mother you probably totally know what colic is even if your baby never experienced it. But, colic is when baby cries for 3 or more hours during the day and usually towards the evening and night. And the truth is that most pediatricians don’t know what causes colic and so it’s kind of an umbrella name for babies that cry. And it can be really hard on parents to know what to do because they want to help baby and baby isn’t easily consolable during colic times. However ofcourse there is a reason why babies are crying…even if they can’t tell us what it is. The question is how can we help them avoid this phase or to reduce it dramatically?
One of my kids had colic. And goodness did we jump through hoops and did flips to help her through it! During colic times we would put on loud white noise, wear her and rock her swiftly and all that would give her moments of calmness even though the whole production between me and my husband trying to calm her was anything but calm. We looked I’m sure really entertaining the way we orchestrated the whole production. Thankfully, colic only lasted a few weeks and then it was gone. This was with my first baby.
My second and my third babies did not experienced colic and actually they rarely cried.
The main difference between them was simply this — carrying your baby in a baby carrier.
With my first I used baby carriers but she wasn’t nearly as carried as my second and my third, who spent the majority of their day on me worn in a comfortable baby carrier (my preference was woven wraps). My third was carried so much during the day and evening that it took me by surprise to realize that he could crawl when one day I put him down (he was 5 mos old) and he started crawling!
Both of them I had a much easier time nursing than my first so they also nursed often throughout the day while worn. And because of babywearing (carrying a baby in a baby carrier) they experienced their day through my rhythmic movements and sounds of daily life as I went about my day with baby on me.
When I read Dr. Markham’s article about colic it was really refreshing since Dr. Markham also recommends babywearing, keeping baby close, nursing, movement and sound as a way to avoid or reduce colic. Through my own experience, I found this also to be the case. And it’s interesting to know that in cultures that carry their babies more throughout the day, colic is almost non-existent.
Babywearing really does all of these things. It’s a wonderful and beautiful way of staying in tune with your baby to reduce over-stimulation (which is why facing you is preferred vs. facing out), which is a very common reason why babies experience colic and crying spells (assuming you’ve reduced any other potential causes such as allergies/intolerance to foods). Keeping baby close happens through babywearing and so does movement and sound. All the key recommendations for avoiding or reducing colic naturally.
P.S. My favorite baby carrier of choice for a new baby and up to around 4-5 mos is a good quality ring sling. After this point, I recommend a woven wrap or a soft structured carrier (such as Ergo, Lillebaby or Beco).