It’s easy to look back on fresh motherhood experiences with a glossed over “those were the days” mentality. But I remember the angst over never getting enough rest, calling my mom about everything, and struggling with cry-it-out versus rock-to-sleep decisions. It was hard to remember the happy moments amidst the sleep-deprived tears!
When you’re in a holding pattern of baby waking up crying every 45 minutes and taking another 45 minutes to settle… it does feel like he’s been crying forever. You’ve stepped into some parallel world and wish you could just cross some line into that world where your baby is sleeping and so are you!
Most babies go through a fussy or colicky period for about four months (my first had this temperament for about 6-8 months!). Besides post-partum hormone stress, sleep deprivation, and a sudden learning curve is the stress that maybe your baby is unwell. Otherwise, why would this sweet-at-all-other-times youngling start howling at precisely dinnertime!?
Of course, check with your baby’s physician to rule out allergies or other issues, but most likely, your baby is experiencing temporary digestive issues as they develop the ability to digest lactose (found in breast milk and formula): in other words, they may have colic.
It won’t last forever! The colic phase may feel unending, which can be upsetting for sensitive new parents. Don’t let colic crying overshadow the wonderful new-baby time in your life. Instead focus on bonding with your child and remembering the Happy Moments (they will be there!).
Turn Crying Times into Happy Moments
1. Sleep when the baby sleeps. Oh how I wish I’d taken this advice EVERY time my baby slept!
2. Do something for you during the crying. You baby may still cry for awhile after giving drops and soothing as his pain subsides. Make this time about you maintaining peace and bonding with your baby by putting on a favorite soft CD that you can listen to together, or finding a spot in your house to look out a window or sit comfortably, turn on an essential oil diffuser for some pleasant scents for you to enjoy!
3. Know your baby’s schedule. It’s easy to believe “he’s been crying forever” when you’re overtired and stressed. But likely that’s not true. In fact, babies are most calm in the early morning, so take those calm moments to get out and do something fun with baby like lay on a blanket outside, go for a walk,and take lots of pictures.
4. Create a memory board. Nothing will be better at reminding you of why you’re doing this than seeing your baby’s chubby smile! Each week, print your favorite pictures and put into a memory board to look at with baby when they are fussy. Focus on those calm and happy times to remind yourself that “this too, shall pass.” It’s important to have tangible reminders that motherhood has UP moments too! Encourage yourself with inspiring quotes and Bible verses or cards from friends tucked between the photos. Here’s one for you:
Weeping may endure for a night, but joy cometh in the morning! Psalm 30:5
5. Dietary supplements like Colief Infant Drops can help ease digestion and reduce colic-associated crying. I used these drops with my own babies from time to time, because they are a simple dietary supplement with a lactase enzyme that can ease gas pains for babies. Watch the ABC’s of Colic: Answers to Baby Colic and Digestion video to learn more about what colic is and how to recognize it.
I wish I could go back to my new-mom self and tell myself over and over that “it gets better” and “the crying isn’t forever.” I miss those days when I had a little 8-pound squishy bundled in my arms… if I ever have that blessing again, I’ll remember these tips to myself and new moms and make it a more restful, bonding experience for myself and our baby!
New moms, you WILL get through this time, I promise! I hope you’ll take these tips and encouragement to heart and focus on the happy moments of motherhood.
This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Colief®. The opinions and text are all mine.