Mom diaries : Managing Colic

The diagnosis

Around after 6 weeks just after I told my home visit nurse that he’s a good boy, Zayyan was colicky. I noticed every night around 8:30 , he would start his ‘nagging’ crying and it would subside around 1am or 2 am. No amount of feeding, changing diapers, cooing, snuggling would calm him down. So I started a routine to manage the colic.

What is colic ?

Colic is a state when a baby cannot be settled – there is no scientific proof or reason why this happens. Just think of it this way – your baby is going through tremendous physiological, psychological, sociological changes. It’s like a ‘cultural shock’ for them. The womb they have been in for 9 months is no longer there, there are too many lights, too much noise, too many hazy moving things that all have different texture, size, shape. Its mind boggling for them. If you understand that, you tend empathise with your baby more and learn to give him familiarity.

That’s what I did.

The routine

During the day, I’d make sure Zayyan is surrounded by lights and noise (TV, Voices, phones etc.). I’d even pick him up if he napped more than an hour, tickled him and played with his fingers, hair.

Around 8pm, I’d make sure my bedroom and Zayyan’s cot is ready.
1. Have a box of diapers n wipes and two change cloths nearby.
2. Turn down lights
3. Turn on this site on youtube.
4. Silent phones
5. Make sure all our night cloths and a few are handy, so we don’t have to open drawers to change.
6. Keep the breast pump handy and batteried.
7. Lay a muslin cloth, ready to swaddle a sleeping baby

When he’d start his crying, I or my husband would cradle him, one hand between his feet, so they swing and his head cradled on another and walk. We’d let him cry and walk around the house singing and humming, usually following the tune of his crying.

After about 20-40 minutes , he’d slow down, but still keep crying. We’d literally feel his whole body relax – he would stop screaming but still nag. This was our cue to retire to the bedroom, humming all the way. Humming was very important as he’d wake up if the humming stopped.

So we’d slowly walk into the bedroom, make sure everyone knows to avoid loud chats, TV noise etc. (Our bedroom was aloft, so it helped) Even after coming into the bedroom, we’d cradle and walk with him for another 10-30 minutes until we could FEEL it was safe to lie him down.

Then, swaddle him into a bundle and lie him down. Thankfully, most of the time, he would not wake up while we swaddled him.

Another 5 to 10 minutes walk, slowing down our humming. Then lay him on the cot.

To make sure he stays asleep, I breastfed him every 2.5 / 3 hours before he woke up and cried. I’d also change his diaper before feeding – this eliminates to reasons why babies wake up and cry.

We followed this routine until bout 16 weeks. This routine not only helped me manage colic , it also introduced Zayyan into a nice sleep cycle. I cannot say he sleeps through the night now, he wakes up every 4 to 5 hours and falls back to sleep after a feed.

I do hope this helps any new moms manage their colicky babies 🙂