Having a baby is wonderful there is no doubt about it but those newborn days can be really difficult. Two of the main things that make those early days with a baby so difficult are sleep deprivation and excessive crying. Babies cry for loads of different reasons, it is their only form of communication after all, but when you are dealing with a screaming baby for hours on end the stress can really start to take its toll. Infant colic is a condition affecting 1 in 5 babies and it can cause both excessive crying for babies and extreme sleep deprivation for parents. This September, Infacol and Cry-sis have teamed up for the first ever Infant Colic Awareness Month. With 1 in 3 new parents admitting they had never heard of it before, it is time that we started talking about infant colic..
We need to talk about infant colic
What is colic and what are the symptoms?
Colic is a condition affecting around 1 in 5 new babies. Infant colic causes a baby to cry excessively as a result of some abdominal pain. The condition usually starts within the first week or so after birth and can sometimes last until a baby is 6 months old.
Symptoms of colic:
- Excessive crying that lasts for hours (usually in the evening)
- Red face while crying
- Baby pulls legs up to tummy
- Baby arches back while crying
- Baby clenches their fists whiles crying
When Leo was about 2 weeks old, every evening from around 5pm until about 9pm he would scream and feed for hours. This scream wasn’t just a hungry scream though, his face would go the colour of beetroot and his little legs would keep springing up towards his tummy. My poor baby was in pain and as a new mum I had no idea what was the matter. It wasn’t until I mentioned it to my midwife on a routine visit that she said she thought it might be colic, she told us to start using Infacol (an over the counter colic remedy) and gradually things improved. It was probably only a month or two that Leo cried like this but when we were stuck in the thick of all the screaming and those feelings of helplessness and exhaustion it felt like he was just going to keep crying forever.
When Alex was born 3 years later I was prepared for the chance he may also suffer from colic, it is very common after all. At just a week or so old that familiar screeching cry began to echo around our house and Alex was scrunching his little body up into a ball; he was suffering with colic too. This time I knew what to do and got him straight on the Infacol and he soon seemed to get better. Alex probably only had very mild colic for less than a month but again I found it really hard to deal with the screaming on top of the usual sleep deprivation that goes hand in hand with having a newborn. I did suffer with post natal depression and I think if the intense screaming from Alex had gone on for months it would really have made things more difficult for me.
I think new parents are so caught up in the excitement of having a baby, are busy preparing for the birth and just how different life is going to be once their bundle of joy arrives that they don’t stop to think about colic. I know I didn’t when I was pregnant with my first and I can still really vividly remember staring at Leo with his bright red face after hours of trying to soothe him and feeling completely overwhelmed and clueless. Some babies suffer with colic for months on end and scream for hours every single day (and night!), it is no wonder new parents struggle to thrive when they are having to deal with all that crying. Fortune favours the prepared as they say and that is why we need to make parents-to-be aware of infant colic and show them that help is out there if they need it.
Infant Colic Awareness Month with Infacol and Cry – sis
This September is the very first Infant Colic Awareness Month. Infacol, the UK’s number one colic remedy and Cry-sis , a charity dedicated to supporting parents through excessive crying, have teamed up to help raise awareness of infant colic and to support parents who are living with a colicky baby.
Infacol really works, when Leo was a baby I felt so much better knowing I was able to give him something to help stop his pain and after continued use before every feed the crying soon got better as he was able to bring his wind up more easily. I used it again when Alex started showing signs of colic and I would recommend it to any parents who have a little one dealing with this horrible condition. Infacol can be bought over the counter in the pharmacy and you just give your baby a drop in their mouth before they have their milk. It takes a little while to start to work but stick with it as it really does help.
While it is a relief to be able to give your baby something to help treat their colic, sometimes all the crying and the inability to soothe your baby can really take it’s toll. A study by Infacol discovered that 56% of mums struggled with their relationships due to sleep deprivation and over 30% admitted that sleep deprivation had negatively impacted on their relationships with their children too. Cry-sis is the only UK charity that offers support to parents dealing with excessive infant crying. Cry-sis have a helpline you can call with a trained volunteer on the end of the phone who can offer you support on how to cope with excessive crying and sleep deprivation. The support workers at Cry-sis have personal experience of dealing with these issues and sometimes just talking to someone else who knows exactly what you are going through and has come out the other side is all you need to feel that little bit better.
If you want to find out more about Infant Colic Awareness Month head on over to the Infacol website.
Having a baby is a magical time, don’t let infant colic ruin this special time in your life. And here is my one piece of wisdom as a mum of two, they will NOT cry forever. Promise.
Are you a parent of a colicky baby? What do you do to cope with all the crying? If you are a parent who has made it to the other side of living with colic, please share your experience and words of advice in the comments below, let’s help an new mums reading this to see that it really does get better.
Cry-sis helpline: 08451 228 669
What is colic? – NHS Choices
Colic advice and support – Infacol
Disclaimer: This post is sponsored. All words and opinions are my own.