Yesterday my little Maddison turned 3 weeks old... that's 21 days together already (not including today)! However, since day 18, we've been struggling with the dreaded "C" word that makes all new parents feel helpless and exhausted, and NO I'm not talking about any rude words (which I know is what you're potentially thinking you naughty buggers haha)... I'm talking about COLIC.
Colic. Those hours of late afternoon/early evening, when your baby just cries and cries for no reason what so ever. You've changed them, fed them, burped them, literally no amount of rocking, bobbing or cuddling positions will settle them. It is just non-stop crying as if baby has become possessed for a couple of hours!! Then all of a sudden, they are fine again! As if nothing had happened and they are back to the normal, adorable, newborn that you know all the other hours of the day.
"Colic is the name for excessive, frequent crying in a baby who appears to be otherwise healthy. It's a common problem that affects up to one in five babies..." - NHS website
Who the hell can explain the science of this craziness?! Well, I've done a ridiculous amount of research trying to help me understand and find a cure, but it seems that unless accompanied by other symptoms that would suggest something more serious.. that there is no real reason why babies get colic! Or any way to fix the problem! It starts when they are a few weeks old and the nightmare normally ends by 4 months of age. There is one thing for certain though.. and I know already from my few days of experiencing colic so far, that it is exhausting and I completely get why it causes so many parents distress!!
I am so unbelievably grateful that when Maddison started showing signs of colic my mum was with me, and having had 3 babies of her own, she recognised the behaviour immediately and started working her magic of different techniques to try and settle her! She had started crying and refusing to settle at about 6:30pm on Thursday, so I did the obvious checks.. was she hungry? Did she need burping? Did her nappy need changing etc... everything seemed fine! Yet her little face wouldn't stop going red, her vocal cords squeaking and whaling, and her little bottom lip trembling away! I just felt completely useless and helpless!! Why couldn't I comfort my baby? Why could I not work out why she was upset? Then that horrible thought crossed my mind; that I'm sure crosses every first time mums mind at some point... "Does this mean I'm a bad mummy?!?!" I know it is a dramatic stupid thought, I know I'm not a bad mummy, I'd do anything for my little girl! I'm just ridiculously tired and full of hormones!! Anyway, NOTHING worked. And like I said, thank god my mum was here to reassure me everything was okay and this was a perfectly normal thing that many babies go through! It's just one of those things where you have to stick it out, do your best to comfort baby, and stay sane till the crying passes!
Since that day, we've now had "Colic O'clock" roughly between 5:30-7:30pm everyday. And I'm going to say in complete and utter honesty, that from my experience so far, it doesn't seem to be getting easier. Those few hours are SUCH hard work! Please agree with me?! As if motherhood wasn't hard enough already.. I've done everything to try and prevent it, knowing that colic time is creeping up upon us. I've popped her in the pram and gone for a long walk to settle her, not worked. I've tried using Infacol before a feed, made sure I've done a good old winding, not helped. I've made sure she has enough sleep but doesn't nap too long that she's cranky, no use. There is no dodging colic. (Or if there is and you've discovered it, give another mother a helping hand and let me know your secret pretty please?!!) But at least I know WHAT I'm dealing with and that it WILL come to an end, and she's not going to be crying forever!!
Something that I have read and heard a lot of people say who have had colicky babies, is to make sure you have some support or someone to lean on to help you through those difficult hours. (On a serious note..) Being home alone dealing with a crying baby, that will not stop, can be extremely draining and emotionally stressful on top of the 24/7 care babies require anyway! So the best advice I've come across, is to have someone handy that can pop over to help, or be on the other end of the phone for you to rant or cry to, be that your partner, friend, family, neighbour etc!! This is something that has made colic even harder for me personally, because of the hours Josh and I work as Personal Trainers, we always have evening clients. So Josh is normally out during Maddison's colic 'prime-time' (lucky for him!), which can make those hours DRAG even more for me being alone than they would normally. But knowing I have my mum on Facetime standby or Josh's mum down the road, does make it easier! So fellow mamas, try and have someone on call who can help out, because it really helps!
Although being a mummy is the most incredible and rewarding feeling in the entire world. Things like colic do not make it easy. Being a mum IS a superpower! You are constantly putting yourself second to your little one, while trying to still have some sort of social life and attempting to keep a clean and organised household, all while running on very little or no sleep. Adding on top of that, these "witching hours" of baby crying, you do sometimes want to bang your head against a wall! I know there are times I feel like that! Any fellow mummys struggling with a colicky baby... YOU ARE NOT ALONE! It wont last forever but it is okay to admit that it's hard! We can do it!! Oh, and to any mums-to-be that might be reading... Please don't let this post scare you! Being a mum is still the best thing EVER! Doesn't mean it's easy, but it is totally worth it!
As mentioned above, any mums who have experienced colic and found ways to cope, please feel free to share! Not only for me but for anyone else who might be reading that can relate and might need a boost!! We should always support and help each other, united motherhood! There is far too much judgement out there to be criticising mums that are learning and trying their best! Every baby is different and it's always important to remember that.
Either comment below or contact me via the Social page! Love x
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