Is it colic??

24 Jun

The medical definition of colic is crying for 3 or more hours a day, at least 3 days a week, for a minimum of 3 weeks.  It’s called the rule of 3s.  Dr. Karp, the author of The Happiest Baby on the Block, gives a parent’s definition of colic… “when a baby cries so much her poor mom needs three nannies, three margaritas, and…six hands!”

At Olive’s 2 month well-baby check, her pediatrician told my husband and I that if she cried for 6 or more hours straight after her immunizations that we needed to notify the doctor’s office so they could document a possible vaccine-related reaction.  My husband and I both commented “that sounds like every night at our house.”  The doc thought we were joking…she laughed and sent us on our way.

We loved these straight-jackets...I mean, swaddle blankets. No re-wrapping necessary. You get the swaddle right every time!

Yes, it was that bad.  When my husband was home from work we took turns holding Olive in the side-lying position, swaddled tightly, while shushing and swinging her, pacifier firm in her mouth…every night, all evening long.  Dr. Karp’s 5S method {that I raved about last week} worked wonders for us, but as soon as we would take a break, the screaming started again.  Our arms were tired.

The sleepy newborn phase didn’t really exist with Olive.  She was angry pretty much all day, everyday.  She hated her swing.  She hated her bouncy seat.  She hated rides in the car.  She hated her car seat {and still does}.  I changed my diet {vegetarians should omit all green veggies, right?} since I was nursing.  We tried every trick we could think of, we tried every contraption recommended.  Nothing worked…so we continued to stand with her, swaying her in our arms, everyday until she was 4 months old when it just stopped.  Just like that…no more colic, no more continuous screaming.  A happy, smiley, friendly girl emerged.  We were so thankful.

One thing that continued was Olive’s love for the swaddle.  We swaddled her for so long my husband and I joked that we would be teaching her roommate how to swaddle her when we dropped her off at college someday.  But, a hot summer with a southern-facing bedroom window broke Olive of her swaddle-habit when she was almost a year old.

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3 Responses to “Is it colic??”

  1. Perfecting Motherhood June 25, 2010 at 2:39 pm #

    My first born had what it looked like colic too, but after careful evaluation and observation, we found out that he actually had acid reflux (GERD to be exact). That caused him a lot of pain, and crying, uncontrollable for several hours. Our pediatrician told us that GERD is underdiagnosed in infants but her guess is that 20% of colicky babies actually have acid reflux. Using anti-acid treatment, we actually saw the pain and screaming go away. Sometimes, it’s good to take a step back and observe the circumstances around the crying to identify if there’s a physical reason for it, or if your baby is just… colicky. Either way, the crying will eventually go away!
    http://perfectingmotherhood.wordpress.com/

  2. rn2mommy June 25, 2010 at 3:13 pm #

    Thanks so much for your comment! Yes, we have experienced GERD at our house too! My youngest has been treated for it since he was only 6 weeks old…poor guy! We knew he was experiencing reflux because he would cough and choke, especially when he was laying down. We tried to resolve it non-medically, but never saw any results until he began medication.

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