Infant Sleep and Colic

There are few things parents of healthy babies fear more than colic. Everyone has heard of it and everyone hopes it doesn’t happen to their baby. However, many babies will go through a colicky phase that is incredibly difficult for everyone in the family. The good news is that most babies outgrow their colic in a few months. The bad news is it is a tough few months of crying to endure for mom and dad!

Most colicky babies don’t get good sleep, either. In fact, if baby is colicky and not getting good sleep this means mom and dad are suffering the consequences, too. Babies are colicky when they are over stimulated. What this means is they can’t relax and unwind from the stress of the day. The only way they know how to relieve their stress is by crying and colicky babies cry non-stop. Unfortunately, instead of releasing their stress and calming them down colicky babies end up getting more wound up. The crying makes sleeping impossible and everyone’s nerves are on end.

There are a few tips to help with a colicky baby. The first one is to recognize when your infant is sleepy. In infants the signs may be confusing to new parents at first, but they may include clenching fists, looking away, fussing, screaming, jerking, glazed stare, and more. Overtired newborns should be put to bed as soon as possible to help them get to sleep.

The way to get your baby to bed is to start a nighttime routine. Notice what time your baby usually gets sleepy and start from there. Begin getting baby ready for bed with a warm bath followed by a clean diaper and warm pajamas. A good feeding should fill baby up and make him drowsy and ready for sleep. Put baby in a crib with no blankets, pillows, toys, or any other potential breathing hazards. Make sure there is no vent above baby’s crib, either, that could make him too cold.

Some parents find this routine helps, others find their baby begins crying mid to late afternoon and won’t stop. For these babies there are some things that help like going for a walk, going for a car ride, sitting on the dryer, and more. Find what works for your baby and keep in mind the colic will go away. If you can’t handle the crying any more put your baby in his crib and take a five minute break for yourself. If that doesn’t help ask for help from a friend or family member to ensure baby is safe and sound. Remember, in a few months the colic will be a thing of the past!