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Hell Is a Colicky Baby

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Did you have a newborn who cooed, slept, and was a perfect angel? Please don't tell me about it.

colicky baby screaming

Momlogic's Julie: My firstborn son was colicky. He screamed and he cried from the minute we brought him home, and basically didn't stop for three months.

We could not go to a restaurant, or even the grocery store, because he wailed nonstop. Unless he was eating or sleeping, he was crying. Loudly.

My pediatrician told me to write down when he cried, and what we did to make it stop over a 24-hour period. This log ended up being 5 pages long, and went something like this:

1:13 Cried
1:14 Picked him up, stopped crying
1:15 Cried
1:16 Set him on bouncy, stopped crying
1:17 Cried

... and on and on and on, for 24 hours.

I am not sure what I did in a past life to deserve a colicky baby. Don't get me wrong -- I LOVE my son. He is 8 now, and he is just an incredible human being. But I still remember those first 12 weeks as a time of battle ... like going through a war.

I really resented the new parents who bragged that they had a "good" baby. Was my baby not "good" just because he cried? In new parent terms, "good" means quiet, meek, sleepy. In the workforce, "good" means vocal, outspoken, even opinionated at times ... and that was my little boy. I comforted myself with the fact that he was just before his time. These qualities of his would be valued some day ... just not maybe today.

Only those of us who have survived (yes, survived) having a baby with colic can truly understand what an intense experience it is. How we tried anything and everything to just get the baby to STOP. CRYING. How, when we'd tell our family or friends that the baby cried a lot, they'd dismiss us with statements like "Well, all babies cry." How other people would look at us like we were bad parents who couldn't control or comfort our child. How we worried that we WERE bad parents, and that we were failing our new baby somehow.

Like soldiers in a warzone, my husband and I bonded closely together while battling our son's colic. After what seemed like an eternity, this horrific three-month period passed and our son started crying less and cooing more.

Once the colic passed, my husband, our son, and I knew we could get through anything. We had been through hell, but had emerged stronger than before. We were a clan, a tribe. A family.

next: Teaching Kids to Be Good Sports
11 comments so far | Post a comment now
chuck from Schodack September 9, 2009, 3:50 AM

Our Daughter was collicky.

OM Goodness she was tough!!!

What saved that child’s life was the doctor saying, “When you can’t take it anymore the safest place in the world is the child’s crib. Those things have been tested. Put her down, go someplace quieter in your home and difuse. Don’t take the crying personal, you are not inadequate, nothing is wrong, fed, yep, dry pants, yep, no fever, yep all good just crying.
This advice was very very helpful at 3 am working full time and struggling financially.

Anonymous September 9, 2009, 4:59 AM

I agree with Chuck…my son cried all the time. I remember calling my husband at work like at 10 am crying and asking when are you coming home. I knew he couldn’t come home but I didn’t know what to do. I would put him in his crib and shut the door and go into my room and cry! Just walking away for a couple of minutes made it easier for me to handle when I had to go back and pick him up. I also had some depression after he was born so I had to take care of myself so I could take care of him.

Anonymous September 9, 2009, 6:16 AM

yep, i’d put my son in his crib and go sit on my front porch for a couple minutes, get fresh air and get a quick refresh. our pediatrician told us the same thing plus that they can sense our stress, so try not to stress. it was the hardest 3 months of my life and i will never forget it! i love my little guy more than anything, but it was so hard, and i still want to smack people that say “oh, my baby is so “good” and she she sleeps thru the night at 2 weeks and never cries!”

Anonymous September 9, 2009, 6:38 AM

Mine was a preemie and not only cried endlessly for months, he projectile vomited 6 to 8 times a day. I was over the edge in stress. His vomiting lessened to once or twice a day but lasted through kindergarten. He taught himself to vomit under stress so whenever he cried he got sick. It was AWFUL! He’s now eleven and is the best son a mom can ask for (I know, I have three kids). It all works out if you can live through the beginning. Then when you have one in high school/college, the torture begins again. I’ve been there too. We’ve got to take the lumps in the sugar.

babyblooze liz September 9, 2009, 9:13 AM

My first was easy, my second not so much. I tried to find solace in the belief that he was great at “expressing himself” at such an early age. :) Now I try to take it all with stride… in fact, how cute they look when they cry inspired me to start a collection of sad kids pics online — ha! If you have any good ones, send them my way! :)

jenn September 9, 2009, 10:29 AM

So glad you wrote this. Even though my middle son, now 7 was colicky, I had forgotten how hard it was until the past week when I sucked it up and admitted my month old baby has it! It sure is a battle that I hope I survive this time around!

Jen September 9, 2009, 7:01 PM

If you have a colicky baby you must get the “colicky but cute” shirt from!

Gigohead  September 9, 2009, 7:54 PM

Thats a shame. Most colic babies aren’t responding to the formula so perhaps that may have helped some. I’m “kangarooing” (baby nestled onto chest) my premie now and I read that helps with colic as well as the skin to skin contact, even with full term babies, help cut down on colic as the baby is more relaxed.

Christina September 16, 2009, 8:54 PM

My brother was colicky and I cannot begin to express how eternally grateful I am that my twin boys weren’t. Their daily “magic hour” of non-stop screaming was staggeringly difficult to handle. I STILL remember VERY clearly my brother’s non-stop crying and I was only 4! I am in awe of parents who have gone through colic with their child(ren).

lelsBoymbob September 27, 2009, 11:23 AM

Hello! Depressing klooper appropriate for my english jer, buti danged nice re say gJ$)Kd!!!.

Ten Tees January 8, 2011, 6:27 PM

Nice site! Nice to read. I have a opinion to make about t-shirts.

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