For the first 3 months of Leo’s life, I felt pretty defeated. Not only did I feel like a bad mother, but I was beyond emotional and didn’t really know how to handle a difficult baby. There were so many late night calls to Katie where I just couldn’t stop crying. I wondered why this was happening to me, and I was completely overwhelmed with trying to make things easier on everyone. Katie talked about colic in babies, and I had read stories of parents who dealt with. Honestly, I thought colic was a made up word for parents who just wanted to complain about their newborn who cried a lot. Boy, was I wrong…
Colic in Babies
After the first 4 weeks, Leo began to cry. A LOT. He never wanted to be put down, and he was always uncomfortable. He would cry for hours at a time and turn completely red. The evenings were the worst. I would face time Katie to show her what was happening, so she could walk me through ways to soothe him. When he was stressed, my anxiety got worse. Everything I did to soothe him was unsuccessful. I did a ton of research, and my sister gave me some amazing advice to get me through it.
Overstimulation was a main source of Leo’s crying. I realized in the evenings, he did not react well to the many things that were going on around him. With a screaming wild 3-year-old, it’s hard to have a quiet environment. I immediately started to change my routine with him, including putting him to sleep earlier. I turned off the lights in his room when I changed him and got him ready for his bottle. Jax would sit down to eat dinner and occupy him, so I could focus on feeding the baby in a calming space. We really saw an incredible improvement in Leo with just this small change.
Don’t Always Assume Reflux
Reflux is not always the answer. Everyone kept insisting that my baby had reflux. “Just put him on meds…that will help!” Instead, I gave him daily probiotics in his bottle, as well as gas drops, because they have been linked with helping colic in babies. It has definitely helped relieve his gas pains and made him feel more comfortable on a daily basis. I have always been a huge fan of Mylicon and their products, but I never truly knew how helpful their probiotics and gas drops would be for may baby untilI I had a newborn experiencing colic symptoms. I was committed to finding an answer, and adding these products to his bottle was a game changer.
Nursing Does Get Easier
I had a really hard time breastfeeding my first son. He never latched properly, and my stress level definitely affected how he was feeding. During the usual stage of colic in babies, when I began to nurse him, he would break out into full-on hysterical episodes. I felt like something was wrong with me. Why wouldn’t my baby nurse? I watched him closely when I nursed and realized my let down was way too fast – almost spraying him and making him choke! He didn’t know how to handle the drastic change in milk flow. I began to pump some milk out of each of my breasts before breastfeeding to see if that would help. As he grew and gained more experience with feeding, he eventually figured out how to adjust his suck to the changing flow. He was happier, and so was I.
Final Thoughts – I See the Light!
And then one day…poof the colic was gone. From week 4-12, we survived absolute misery. As soon as Leo turned 3 months old, however, I saw huge signs of improvement. He cried less, he was smiling more, and he was sitting in swings and chairs without becoming hysterical. It was incredible! I felt like a person again.
Leo is now the happiest baby. He smiles 24/7 and lights up the room. To all those parents dealing with colic in babies, know there is definitely a light at the end of the tunnel. Things do get better, and your baby isn’t going to cry forever. I can now appreciate him even more, and I feel so fortunate to have every day with him. I am so lucky to be a mother to such wonderful boys!
Remind yourself that it is okay to have those bad days. It’s okay to feel like a crappy mother sometimes, and it’s okay to cry and feel emotional when your hormones are all over the place. It’s completely normal to feel down at times when juggling a new baby and transitioning to two kids. Everyone has a different journey in motherhood. Having a community of women through FF has been life changing for me. I am lucky to have wonderful sisters who are there to support me and amazing women who follow us who are always there to lean on.