I don’t think I could have written this post in the first 2 month of parenthood, I’d have been crying, pulling my hair out and desperate for any kind of help to stop baby from crying. Welcome to your colic baby!
I’ve mentioned before that our baby was “diagnosed” as colic around 10 days after birth. From the moment we took her home from the hospital we knew we had a crier on our hands. She didn’t settle the whole journey home and we’d heard (and assumed) all babies loved their car seat. The next few days we’re busy with people visiting but she didn’t settle with anyone other than me. Then one evening even that changed. She started to cry at some point and a few hours later she was still crying. I passed her to my husband, to his parents and back to me but nothing settled her. It also seemed like her cries/screams were getting more violent and she was gasping for air. I offered her the boob and she wasn’t interested. I’d rocked her in her favourite position but nothing seemed to pacify her so we did what seemed like the most logical next step. We called 111. In the U.K. 111 is the NHS non-emergency number. You speak to a health professional and they advise you regarding your symptoms. What we didn’t know was in certain areas if you call 111 for babies and children they send an emergency Ambulance and you HAVE to be taken into the hospital for observation and checks!
Deep down I knew baby A was ok, I’d taken her temperature and it was fine. She wasn’t vomiting or showing any signs of being sick she was just upset and unsettled. However, I wasn’t sure so instead of taking her to A&E we decided to call 111. They asked us to do some checks while on the phone (breathing, temperature, her eyes…) and informed us they’d be sending an ambulance which would be arriving in the next 5 minutes. And it did! Sidebar: I love the NHS! The staff on the phone, the ambulance people and the staff at the hospital were all absolutely lovely and props to them for the hard work they do day-in-day-out looking after the nations health!
The two ambulance staff checked baby A and assured me that they thought everything was ok. They informed me that new rules required us to take her into the hospital for a checkup by a Dr but it was most likely nothing to worry about. I travelled in the ambulance and my hubby followed in the car. I’ve never been to the children’s part of a hospital before & although they obviously go to some effort to make it look more welcoming and friendly than the adult part, it still felt really sad. Seeing small children with their legs and arms in bandages was heartbreaking.
Baby A was seen almost immediately by a nurse who asked us some general questions about her health. It was around 9pm now and the crying had subsided a little. I think she had cried herself out and was too tired to commit to it like earlier in the evening. I was able to soothe her by offering her milk and she fell asleep for short bursts while we waited for the Dr to come along. Typically, when we were seen baby A was a complete angel, she obliged with all the Drs checks and was calm and even friendly. I felt like a crazy overprotective parent, which, let’s me honest I was (am)! We had to stay for some observations for about an hour and the Dr came back to check on us about 3 times and when we were finally discharged it was with a diagnosis of colic.
Although we were given Colief and advised to give some to baby A, we didn’t actually use it. In the evenings I would boil some water with fennel seeds and give her a few teaspoons of that. I started to read about Colic and unfortunately for the most part it seemed that there was nothing much I could do other than to wait it out, but then I came across an Osteopath who advised I try cranial osteopathy to help relive babies stress, which might have been caused during birth and which can lead to the upset in a babies digestion and thus lead to colic. Baby A was about 7 weeks when I first took her and we went back once again 4 weeks later but by then she had massively improved. We were instructed to do a couple of exercises with her daily, a bit like baby massage, and the improvements in her were incredible! I’d highly recommend this to any parents with a colic baby, it cost around £45 per session and for us the results were almost instant.
Having a colic baby was probably the closest I got to insanity during this whole process. I read once that we are designed to react to a baby crying, it’s an evolutionary reaction. So with a colic baby it’s really hard because nothing you do soothes the cries and it lasts for hours. They say most children grow out of colic around 3/4 months but I’ve spoken to mothers whose children were colic up to 8 months, and in truth I can’t imagine how difficult it must have been for them. For us, as soon as baby A stopped crying (specifically the colic cry, she’s still a crier!) she became a much easier and even fun baby to be around. And now, she’s a week shy of 6 months and I’ve almost completely forgotten those terrible evenings, now we have a relaxing bath, cuddle up with a story and sleep the whole night. Bliss.