If your infant is constantly fussy and crying, then they might have colic. Colic is intense crying and fussing in an otherwise healthy baby. It’s frustrating to deal with colic, because it can have you up all night tending to an immensely uncomfortable baby.
At Laurel Pediatric & Teen Medical Center, Dr. Ugo Okparaocha and her team are here to treat your children with experience, compassion, and care. That’s why we’ve compiled this helpful guide to colic and five tips on how you can soothe your fussy newborn.
It’s normal for newborns to have spells of crying and increased fussiness, but colic generally lasts for prolonged and repeated instances. For example, your newborn may cry every night or even all day. They could also just be fussy and uncomfortable all day.
Infants usually develop colic at around six weeks old, with their chances of developing it dropping off after three to four months of age. Though the period that your infant has colic may not be long, it can still be incredibly frustrating to deal with an infant who has colic.
Luckily, you can take a few steps to soothe your infant and reduce the bouts of colic.
Music is incredibly calming to your infant’s nervous system. It can stabilize their heart rate and respiratory rate, helping them to relax. You don’t need to pull out your playlist every time either. Infants can be particularly soothed by the sound of their mother singing.
You might find that it helps to place your infant in a carrier or sling, then rock them gently while shushing them rhythmically in their ear. Studies indicate that a calming response in your infant’s brain is triggered when they’re rocked or carried.
Your baby’s still developing senses can become overstimulated by loud noises and bright lights. The next time your child has trouble calming down, try turning off all of the lights in the room to mimic the dark confines of the womb.
Swaddling, like turning off the lights, can also encourage a womb-like environment for your infant. This creates a sense of security for them, which is both comforting and relaxing for your baby. Most of our parents find that their children sleep sooner and for longer periods of time.
Sometimes all that your baby needs to calm down is a bit of fresh air. Try strapping your baby into a stroller or sling, and take a walk around your neighborhood. The change of air, light, and scenery can improve your baby’s mood and yours as well. And the walk can help rock and soothe your baby as well.
For more information on your infant’s health care needs, contact us to make an appointment for your baby today.