A newborn baby cries most of the time but aged a few weeks a colicky baby suffers from trouble sleeping caused by an immature digestive system.
New parents try to relieve colic symptoms and soothe babies‘ cries. No matter what they do, excessive crying makes a family feel helpless.
Is it a way to quiet uncontrollable crying and give little rest to all the family with the best sleeping position for colic baby?
The only secure sleeping position for a colicky baby is straight on the back, with no loose pillows or toys around. But does this relieve a baby with colic?
We provide you the working hints on how to reduce crying and arrange colic baby sleep.
What is colic?
Many babies present good health and have no evident symptoms of disease, but suddenly start crying, which might mean you are faced with colicky babies. Colic means excessive, extreme, and frequent crying of a baby for no apparent reason for a long time throughout the day.
Doctors and parents use colic to refer to fussy babies without any visible reason. It is an extremely challenging period for a baby and for all members of the family, as an inconsolable baby sleeps short and uneasily.
The rule of 3 has been used for the diagnosis of colic.
- a baby’s crying for 3 hours
- crying sessions 3 times a week
- crying lasts for 3 weeks
So, as you see there is no evidence that your baby is suffering from colic but most mothers notice such signs and call them a baby with colic.
Does my baby have colic?
All newborns cry. A colicky baby is a child who cries at a rate of more than three hours each night for at least three weeks.
Most babies cry by burping or releasing gas, indicating a baby swallowing air during the cries. When a child eats or grows normally without vomiting or diarrhea and cries while sleeping, it means you are probably having a baby with colic.
Colic typically starts around 3 weeks old with prolonged weeps during the night and early morning and lasts at least three hours.
The sobbing periods usually finish after three months old, and some newborn babies wait until the age of three to six months.
The cause of colic baby
Many babies suffer from colic and the exact cause is not known. This is a mystery, as doctors cannot explain how babies get colic and how to protect children.
Some people connect the reason with pregnancy, others believe they are caused by imperfection of the digestive system, intolerance of breast milk, or immaturity of the nervous system. Infant GERD or food allergies can trigger colic, and the surveys show that milk proteins and lactose cause trouble digesting, resulting in producing more air and gas.
Anyway, separate products require a mother’s diet, causing a colicky baby in case of breastfeeding. Food sensitivities such as cow’s milk, tree nuts, soy, and eggs might cause colic, but formula-fed babies have also difficulties with processing their meals.
How many hours does colic last?
Colic usually lasts three to four hours and usually occurs late at night.
It’s sometimes difficult to deal with both children and parents, but keep in mind it’s only temporary. It is possible for babies who have diarrhea to burp often when they’re feeding, use a pacifier, play soothing music and gently massage their tummy.
Signs a baby is suffering from colic
When an infant grows healthy, it may be accompanied by cries of pain. Often, babies who suffer from colic sense intense crying.
As it was mentioned above, there is a rule to measure if your child has colic, and is looking for inexplicable crying sessions that last 3 or more hours. Symptoms of colic are often diagnosed by doctors using the same rule.
But some health conditions may cause a colicky baby:
- Unhealthy flush on the face
- Clenched fists on crying episodes
- Gas releasing
- A tight belly
- Crossed legs
How can I relieve colic baby sleep?
Bring a newborn child home, parents learn to determine crying, as for now, it is the only way to communicate. Parents find when an infant is hungry, tired, or wants a clean diaper. A colicky baby demonstrates another type of crying.
When a baby with colic cries, it influences mothers the most, impacting their mental health and extending postpartum depression following the sleep deprivation not only for a colicky baby but also for a mother.
The longest period a newborn can stay awake between sleep is 60-90 minutes. And how long can a mom be awake? None knows.
When your baby has been unable to sleep for a few days or even months, the resulting colic symptoms are likely to be severe! You both probably desperately need some rest during the day as well as the night! There are some ways to relieve the pain and calm your baby down, allowing a child to fall asleep.
Usually, a new baby sleeps for 1-2 days before waking up. They’re asleep, and you need to feed them and change their diapers.
Best sleeping position for colic baby
When your baby suffers from colic, most parents search for methods to relieve the pain and the best sleeping positions to let them sleep.
Some parents believe in a baby sleeping on the belly. Most parents believe this position works. Stomach / Side sleep helps colicky babies by blocking the airflow and improving digestion.
But pediatricians say it is not secure for a baby to sleep on a belly, as they are exposed to a higher risk of sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS). Put your baby securely in the sleep position by putting them on the back to avoid any risks.
Always place babies in a safe location to rest to minimize the risk of SIDS. Make crying babies sleep side by side, so they don’t get so upset or sneeze.
The Five S Strategy
In addition to sleeping position, you may also encourage colic babies to change their cry to a dream. Five S Strategies are effective methods to soothe a baby.
Even if you recommend keeping your newborn upright for about 30 minutes during a feeding, other ways of easing your baby’s discomfort will help. The baby can be held up to its level and there’s another option for using a pacifier.
When you’re breastfeeding, you can try various positions like a clutch hold or football hold. You may want to use soothing music to soothe a newborn baby. Now we observe the 5 strategies that allow to calm colic babies down:
There is nothing bad in keeping your crying baby with colic in your hands. You can walk along the room and swing them in a back-and-forth motion. Or you may sit in comfort and swing your baby gently on your knees.
It is not the best sleep position, but the swinging method is most commonly recommended by pediatricians, as the mother’s heat and presence also calm a baby down and help to relieve the pain somehow.
Shushing is another way to soothe babies of most ages and is also a common method for colic babies.
Use a white noise machine or app on cell phones providing a shush-like sound. The shushing of white noise helps soothe your baby and relieve the suffering.
There is also a way to use household items to play white noise, such as a fan, a hair dryer, and even a vacuum cleaner.
Swaddling is wrapping your infant tightly in a blanket. Such slight pressure allows the baby to feel secure and reminds the womb location, making a baby sleep.
Swaddling is a centuries-old tradition that keeps a fussy baby quiet. Try tucking your newborn in your hands with the legs facing the face. Keep the baby warm enough not to cling.
Swaddling provides good, healthy sleep habits for newborns and lets them have more sleep.
Sucking a pacifier or a mother’s breast relieves the discomfort and soothes your baby.
As soon as a baby starts crying, no matter whether they are hungry or not, give them a pacifier or suggest breastfeeding. A baby won’t refuse.
Try different sleep positions for your child to lay in your hands, or you may lie down on a side and also sleep with your infant in that terrible colic session. It is essential that both you and the baby feel comfortable and relaxed.
Keeping an infant in the side or belly position helps to release the trapped gas and relieve pressure on the stomach.
The colic hold or “colic carry” position is when you put your baby face down to let the belly rest on your arm. You may also pat the back gently to help release gas, but never leave your baby unattended in such a position, as it provides a high risk of SIDS.
How can I help my colic baby sleep at night?
Bring an evening nap to fill a gap before bed. Colicky babies settle better with the crib raised to 30 degrees or the rest of the bed covered or wrapped. Soothe the baby with colic hold and with white noise and stay beside them.
Feeding your baby at bedtime can decrease tummy pain and help prevent sleepiness, no matter whether they are breastfeeding or formula fed.
Why is colic in babies worse at night?
Melatonin produced at night relaxes the digestive muscles and increases gas in the baby’s body, which leads to more intense colic.
Can a colicky baby sleep through the night?
No, a baby can’t sleep through the night at this age, as they require food every 3-4 hours. A colicky baby usually sleeps even less, depending on the general health condition.
How can I relieve my baby’s colic fast?
For fast relief, take your baby in your hands, hug them, and press their belly gently. Walk along the room swinging a baby and use a pacifier as it works to soothe a child. There is no method to get rid of the pain suddenly, but being patient, caring, and attentive helps to relieve your baby’s colic.
The best position to sleep with colic is on the back with a mom besides holding a belly. Including swinging and walking around the room and staying calm, as the tired parents can’t help a child. Give a pacifier, silent music, and a tight warm blanket around your infant. Want to know the best way to organize baby clothes, read the article