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Thread: Colic on a breastfed baby
19th May 2012 09:03 PM #1
- Join Date
- May 2012
Colic on a breastfed baby
I've read somewhere that breastfed babies don't have the tendency to be colicky, is it true? Because I am currently nursing my 3 weeks old son and sometimes he'll just cry without reason and then my in-laws would tell me that it is colic. Hope someone could enlighten me about this. Thank you very much.
20th May 2012 10:20 AM #2
Breastfed babies can be colicky too, but I'd first try to determine whether it's colic or whether it's something else. I'll give you some links to products that help with colic below, but first I'm going to show you some things you can try to calm your fussy baby, whether it's colic or not.
Babies often tend to have a fussy period each day, and often this is in the evening. Unfortunately it can last for hours, which can be unnerving for parents.
So one of the things that can really help to calm a fussy baby is to emulate what it was like for bub in the womb.
Bub was very warm and in a confined place so that his arms and legs couldn't flail. We can replicate this by snugly swaddling a baby so that their arms and legs don't come out of the blanket.
Bub was used to movement all day long. When you walked and climbed stairs, you were gently rocking your baby. Your baby is used to movement and also loves to hear your voice and be close to you. Using a swing or a wrap/sling can allow baby to experience that movement again. I would try for the wrap first because it allows baby to be close to me, but if you don't have a wrap that supports your newborn well, then a swing works very well too.
Another thing your baby enjoyed in the womb was hearing your heartbeat, your voice, and the noises from your surroundings. Dr. Harvey Karpe says that these noises were as loud as a vacuum cleaner when your child was in the womb. We replicate this with white noise like running water, a hair dryer or a vacuum cleaner.
And the last thing baby experienced was sucking. We replicate this by putting baby to the breast and this is why babies often fall asleep at the breast. If a child needs more sucking in order to go to sleep, some parents will introduce a dummy. I had to use this with my 3rd baby because he had open heart surgery when he was 2 months old, and he needed to suck for soothing when he was in the hospital. However I found that if I mostly put him to the breast at home, he really didn't want the dummy and he was completely done with it before 5 months of age. I'm not sure I would introduce one at 3 weeks of age simply because you're trying to get breastfeeding established.
Here are some videos showing you just how effective these techniques can be at calming a fussy baby.
You can see a few more videos on this calm a crying baby page.
And here are the links to some products that help with colic.
Weleda Baby Colic Powder
Brouer Colic Relief
And you will find some wonderful information in the Well Adjusted Babies book, including tips for colic.
Anyone else have any tips for colic or calming a fussy baby?
22nd May 2012 11:45 PM #3
- Join Date
- May 2012
Thanks so much for the advice Kate. I'll go and see those videos and links for more ideas.
23rd May 2012 05:30 AM #4
I see you have had some excellent advice from Kate above.
I just wanted to share a quote with you from Dr. Sears (the famous Attachment/Gentle Parenting Paediatrician): ''If you wonder whether or not you have a colicky baby - you don't". I think what he is saying is that, whilst most babies (including breastfed babies) will spend some time 'fussing' (which can include crying) each day (particularly from 3 weeks-3 months old) a colicky baby will tend to cry inconsolably. Most sources report that breastfed babies are less likely to have colic, although it is possible for a breastfed baby to have colic. This is an excellent link entitled Colic in the Breastfed Baby.
Like Kate I can testify to baby wearing as an excellent way to calm a fussing baby.
Is it a particular time of day that your baby seems unhappy? Many baby fuss and 'cluster feed' in the evenings.
Something else I wanted to add is from my own experience. When my son was 3 weeks old I seemed to be breastfeeding him constantly (sometimes for 2-3 hours at a time) and if he was not on the breast he would fuss and cry. At 3 weeks of age, it was discovered (at a breastfeeding clinic) that my son had a tongue tie. Therefore, he was not able to latch on fully and was only 'nibbling' at the breast and not getting enough hind-milk as well as taking ages to feed. Once we had the tongue tie cut (a simple procedure performed in our own home) he could feed much easier and stopped fussing. I was just wondering if you had attended any breastfeeding support groups to check the latch?
Please feel free to post back if you have any more questions.
26th May 2012 06:06 AM #5
Oh - lots more good information from LJ. Only recently I've heard more and more stories of babies who were born with a tongue tie and had trouble latching. And I like what was shared about how a colicky baby will tend to cry inconsolably, so if you're wondering if the baby has colic, he probably doesn't (you would KNOW that your baby has colic because he would be inconsolable).
Please let us know how things are going. Have you tried anything new, and is anything working?