Do all babies cry? How colic is different? And how to soothe a crying baby?
Even if it’s just for a little, all babies do cry! This is the only way they can communicate to you and as new parents; we are biologically programmed to respond.
The most common reasons why you baby might cry are:
- a dirty or wet nappy
- wanting a cuddle
- being too hot or too cold
- or overstimulation
The difference is that babies with colic will start crying for no obvious reason and most unfortunately has no cure. Your baby might wake up from their deep sleep to start their hours of crying. “ If your baby regularly cries for more than 3 hours a day, he or she may have colic. Colic can start a few weeks after birth. It is generally worst between 4 and 6 weeks of age. Babies usually grow out of colic by the time they are 3 to 4 months old.” 1
From my experience, it really has no cure. I was most dedicated mother in the block to figure what causes it and how to help our little girl. I went on a full-on elimination diet and wrote down what and when did we do things during the day.
We tried every single product we found on google or mumsnet that could help with a colic, and none worked unfortunately. I was determined to find out what causes it and searched all day and night for weeks to figure out how I could help our baby. As I was exclusively breastfeeding, I even went on an extremely strict diet, cutting all dairy, eggs, wheat and even greens and fruits that can cause gas or increase reflux and at the end I almost gave up breastfeeding. If you also thinking you should do so, please don’t! I will share some links below where I found some very useful information.
It is extremely frustrating to see your most loved new-born in such pain and nothing you can do to make him or her feel better. It also adds a lot of stress to new parenthood and your relationship.
Good news is that colic doesn't last forever. Most babies will start at 2 to 3 weeks old. They don’t start with hours of crying straight away. It will start to increase and will peak at around 6-8 weeks and then typically start to reduce around 10 to 12 weeks. Some cases the crying just stops very suddenly, whilst in other cases it might reduce gradually. But there are cases where it can last longer, 6-8 months.
So what is the difference between normal crying and colic crying?
There isn't an exact definition what colic is, it is more like a catchall term based on “the rule of three”: you baby is crying for more than three continuous hours a day, for at least three days per week and at least for three weeks, in a row.
Doctors and parents (and I agree) say, that colic crying is louder, more intense, and higher pitched than “normal crying”. It is almost like screaming. Colicky babies also inconsolable and very hard to soothe.
Hang in there Mama! You are doing your best! As long as you are there for your baby, you are doing enough. And it is hard, I know very well. One of my mama friend said, you must remember, this is just a phase and it will get better!
If you would like to know how to soothe a colicky baby and how to cope, read our next blog post: How to soothe a colicky baby? Try these tricks.
Other great readings: