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Colic support thread

(40 Posts)
hamncheese Thu 20-Sep-12 12:21:58

Just wanted to start a colic support thread for anyone experiencing the severe, unrelenting colic like my DS has. Really think that for something that only time can cure there should somewhere to talk about it with others experiencing the same thing. I have lots of other support but no one else seems to get it as they aren't in quite the same boat re colic.

DS is now 7 weeks old. When he came out he was an angel and for the first three weeks he was so content, napping in his Moses basket during the day, sleeping with me well at night. It got to the point where he was doing 5 hours stretches at night and giving me two 3 hours naps in the day in his basket. Everything was perfect. By week 4 he was suffering from sporadic periods of colic, we got him on infacol and it was manageable as only when he needed to poo and once he did he was better. By week 5 though he was worse, straining more often, wind waking him up, sleep deteriorating, inconsolable screaming sessions. By week 6 he had a food strike for 12 hours, followed by two days of constant battles to get him to stay latched on, and he spent every waking minute pushing and straining I pain to the point of tears. Now at night he wakes every 1-2 hours in wind pain, feeding is a mess as he comes off every time he is windy or feels the urge to push which is every few minutes, and if he does get something out he immediately falls asleep from exhaustion only to wake up 10 minutes later in pain again. He can't get to deep sleep as the wind wakes him before he does. He doesnt sleep in the day except in his sling or on me after ages of soothing and dummy. There is no point trying the Moses basket. When he does sleep at night he is so wriggly and noisy pushing all the time that I can barley sleep more than 10 minutes in a go without waking.

So that's out lot. Has made me seriously doubt whether I'd have another as it is just heartbreaking to see them in such pain. Much like the morning sickness it just seems incredibly unfair that some babies dont even get it yet others have it constantly. People keep saying to me to treasure every moment of my newborn but honestly there is so little to treasure when he spends most of his day in discomfort. We are trying cranial osteopathy, had one session, but it seems we are in for the long haul. At the moment it makes me not even want to talk about anything baby with other people as they don't get how crap it is. Especially the ones who had their babies long enough ago to forget this phase, and the ones who have mild colic and report back on the wonders of infacol.

So, anyone in the same boat? I'm sitting with my son who has been awake but tired since 8am, battling to feed and stave off screaming fits with the dummy. I'm considering going into town in the pissing rain as at least he is in the sling.

narmada Thu 20-Sep-12 13:21:15

Poor you sad

If you think your baby is in discomfort, have you considered cow's milk protein allergy or reflux? Both can cause the kind of behaviours you describe and although they tend to be less severe in BF babies, they can nevertheless still be present.

hamncheese Thu 20-Sep-12 15:15:50

I've been reading about both. Started to go off dairy to see if that helped him but then 2 days later he had the food strike so went back on incase it changed the taste and that's why he wouldn't feed. May try again but worried it would happen again...

As for reflux I'm not sure he isn't sick too often and doesn't exhibit too many of the symptoms. He has had acidy breath but not often like once every few days and doesn't vomit too much, just little bits here and there and only twice a large volume. Also wary of taking him to the gp about reflux as read a lot of people found gaviscon gave their babies constipation which would add to our troubles of getting stuff out to no end!!

Thanks for the suggestions... Do you think I could be deluding myself and it is these things though confused

ButtonBoo Thu 20-Sep-12 16:18:33

BIG sympathies! DD is 11mo now but had awful colic when she 3-8/9 weeks. Others telling you it will pass just doesn't make it easier right NOW! She'd scream every night for 3-4 hours...relentlessly. All we could do was take it in turns sitting in a darkened room, holding her. Infacol never really worked for us.

DD had silent reflux too for the first 3-4 months. Gaviscon was a pain in the ass. Mostly as DD was ebf and mixing it with expressed BM was a faff. We ended up using a syringe. Still it didn't stop the screing whenever she was laid flat. DR prescribed ranitidine which did help but at about 4mo I just stopped it and she was fine. I might even have been able to stop it earlier.

It's hellish. And makes getting out and about so tough.

It will pass but no harm in speaking to DR about it. My DR was great and thought about ME as much as DD when she prescribed the ranitidine. It was getting so unbearable she said she could see I was getting so upset about it all.

I hope it passes soon...

ButtonBoo Thu 20-Sep-12 16:20:05

Should've said DD wasn't sick with her reflux. It's not always a symptom, hence the 'silent' reflux.

hamncheese Thu 20-Sep-12 19:09:34

Thanks button appreciate the support... It is helpful for people to tell me it will pass when they have had it bad too. I think I will go to the doctor and see what she thinks. I guess it's worth a shot. Did you find any side effects from the ranitidine? And do you think my baby sounds like he has reflux??

ButtonBoo Thu 20-Sep-12 19:59:12

Hey Ham I thought it would never end, but it did.

DD definitely had colic. The classic late afternoon meltdown for no apparent reason. We tried bicycling legs, bending legs up to tummy, rubbing back, infacol (for 2 weeks), colief ( think that's what it's called - expensive bottle of drops - for a week)...nothing. As quick as it came on it went.

Just to be practically be replaced with the screaming during the day, whenever she was laid flat. I couldn't go out with the pram at all. She slept on me, virtually upright for 2 months for all her naps and at night we elevated her cot mattress with some rolled up towels under one end.

I'm no DR but if your DC is crying during the day, esp when being laid down then it could well be. The ranitidine worked to a certain extent. No constipation. Didn't stop it completely but I gave 3 teeny doses a day before a feed, in one of those 3ml syringes. Did also use gaviscon on a ad-hoc basis if I needed a little extra, but prob only 2-3 times a week when she was having a bad day.

Some DRs don't prescribe it as its for over 3's but most do but with teeny doses. Some DRs dont believe in reflux so watch what your DR says. My first GP just said 'ah, babies cry, that's what they do' but I knew it was more than just regular crying. I went for a second opinion and maybe I just got told what I wanted to hear but it made sense.

Holding her upright for half an hour after every feed seemed to help. As did lying on her side for bedtime. I had to wedge her with a rolled blanket behind her and a small blanket in front, but only up to her mid tummy so she didnt snuggle her face into it.

None of it cured it point blank, bit it all helped. She grew out if it at about 4 months or so.

narmada Thu 20-Sep-12 21:50:45

I think it would be really helpful fir you to see a qualified lactation consultant. They could go thru things with you and IME will be much more clued up than your average GP about what might be going on.

Some additional things to consider while you wait fir doctors appt....

How is your son's weight gain? Nappy output? (to rule out under- or over supply issues, or milk transfer issues)

Is there any sign of tongue tie - e.g., can your baby poke his tongue clear of his lower gum and does it reach the roof if his mouth when he cries?

Re cutting out dairy - it is VERY unlikely that not eating it would result in a nursing strike. I think this is prob worth trying again. Did you replace cows milk with anything like soy during your brief trial off dairy? if so then do be aware that soy can also be an alleged for dairy intolerant babies.

Re meds...never had any prob with ranitidine but can't say it worked either smile. Gaviscon was a faff to administer and made DS constipated. ended up with lansoprazole which did the trick.

You will get thru this even tho it seems like a life sentence at the mo.

narmada Thu 20-Sep-12 21:52:57

Alleged???? allergen. stoopid phone.

As regards other people tselling you to 'enjoy every minute' they are hugely deluded or just incredibly lucky. most people i know found the newborn stage purgatory. I definitely did.

Lambster76 Thu 20-Sep-12 22:26:48

I went to my doctor last week about my DS. He 'diagnosed' him with colic & told me to give him a cuddle!! He said according to research this is the only thing that works!!! As if I don't already cuddle my DS when he is screaming in pain.
DS is now on gaviscon & it's helping. Tried coleif & infacol but that didn't help.. Also baby massage is nice but not really made a difference.
Can totally identify with your situation as I had exactly the same with DS-he is now 16 weeks & I can slowly see an improvement. Last night he slept for 5 hours solid-that's only happened once before..
I used to hate it when people told me 'it will get better'... At the time it didn't feel that way... But it definitely will.

hamncheese Fri 21-Sep-12 18:01:12

Hey thanks all smile

Took him to the out of hours gp last night has he really wasnt feeding. Got referred to the hospital incase and he is fundamentally perfectly healthy and got a prescription for lactulose for constipation. Going to see how it goes and then consider the reflux issue if this doesn't help. I hope it has as he got it at 12am and by lunch he had a big poo and another just there and he seems more content. Since the first pop he has two good non screaming feeds too. Back to colicky usual now but hoping that it's just the time of day and he will continue this good form... So nice to see him more himself and content again.

Anyone else been given lactulose? Did it help long term?

He doesnt have a tongue tie narmada and his weight is fine. Big reduction in dirty nappies last two days hence the constipation medicine! I will try cutting milk again maybe next week once things hopefully settle.

Thanks for the timescale button im hoping that will be the same for us.

Glad to hear he is getting there lamb that's the thing I find frustrating.. People all assuming that colic is just a small deal, certainly isn't for us!

ButtonBoo Fri 21-Sep-12 21:08:28

Glad to hear things are 'on the move' Ham!

Hope he carries on feeling chipper...

JenniferE Sat 22-Sep-12 03:30:05

My daughter had colic when she was born, it was terrible. We tried gripe water colic calm and anything else you can think of. Our pediatrician's nurse was telling us that she might have some stomach disease and she would need surgery. My husband went to work and was telling some of his co-workers about our situation and a few of them mentioned Doc Scharenberg, a doctor who has developed his own massage technique to cure colic. I was a little reluctant to go at first but as the crying continued I grew desperate. We took her to Doc when she was 2.5 weeks old and she was colic free by 5 weeks.
I know he has been working on developing educational information that will teach mothers and fathers how to perform this massage so you can treat your own baby. I would recommend looking up his site If you are a little skeptical like I was he has a colic support group on facebook where you can talk to parents and grandparents of babies he has treated

A few things you should know about colic that Doc told my husband and I are:
1. NO gas drops. Colic is an underdeveloped valve between the small and large intestine. It allows gas to travel backwards through the digestive system causing tremendous pain for the baby. Gas drops are designed to be muscle relaxers thus prolonging the development of the valve.
2. Use body language to determine if your baby is hungry or in pain. Kicking legs, pulling legs up to chest, pulling hair scratching face are all signs of pain. Flailing arms are hunger. If your baby is throwing up chances are it is over fed.
3. Diet. If you are breastfeeding Doc has a diet that needs to be followed, if contains only non gassy foods. This will help prevent your baby from being in more pain. You can find the diet at
4. No swaddling. I know it is against everything you read, but if you do choose to swaddle do it loose. Imagine if you were in pain, would you want someone to wrap you up and prevent you from moving? Chances are no.
5. Use a bouncy seat in place of a bed. Babies with colic will not sleep laying flat on their backs. Make sure you strap them in. If you have enough money there is a Nap Nanny that would work as well.
6. Bounce. Bouncing your baby will help relieve some of the gas pain in their belly.
7. CALL DOC save your baby from the pain.

I hope this helps you and that you are able to get some rest soon.

PoppyWearer Sat 22-Sep-12 05:34:07

Another MNer with older DCs wanting to offer support from "the other side". My DC1 had it out of the blue around 4mo after an illness. That month of colic was possibly the longest month of my life. It's horrible horrible horrible. My friend whose baby had reflux said she thought colic was worse, because at least with reflux you could get medication to help. It's not a competition, of course.

My DC2 also had a bit, but thankfully not for long.

Things we found helped:

- a warm bath in a tummy tub. A tummy tub helped because it scrunched up the tummy, pushed the knees onto DC1's tummy, which helps with wind, as does warm water. We found that she often ended up pooing in the bath (which is why the tub was good, it was contained!).
- a tummy massage after the bath. Clockwise pressure around the tummy button and then gentle pushes left to right across the abdomen. Then push the knees up onto the tummy. Do this on a towel in case it results in poo!
- sleeping on tummy as much as possible. Of course there is a safety risk, so you need to e vigilant, but my DC2 was always more comfortable like this.

I do think your case sounds extreme, so push for a reflux diagnosis.

Try changing the formula you us, if ff?

It will pass!!! x

lucylookout Sat 22-Sep-12 09:07:59

Hamandcheese, I'm offering support too. I read your post at about 3am this morning and in my sleep deprived state wondered if I'd written it myself and forgotten. My DS sounds v similar to yours, however, his reflux symptoms (distress while/after feeding) stopped about 1 week after giving up eggs and dairy. I've now been off it for 2 weeks. The trapped wind pain and restlessness at night has stayed the same though. We have seen a cranial osteopath twice and it helped a little, but not as much as I hoped. So no answers really, apart from maybe trying dairy free again. I sincerely hope this phase will pass soon, ds is 10 weeks so just a little older, and even thinking it might have gone by 4 months feels like an eternity at the moment!

Funnywonder Sat 22-Sep-12 13:53:40

Hi there, I am going through something very similar at the moment. It's like deja vu as my 4 year old was exactly the same. I thought I was due a colic free baby this time round, but no such luck! I tried everything with my eldest, but only the passage of time worked unfortunately. I think Jennifer's experience, above, sounds very interesting and I will certainly be having a look at the website. My son is 3 weeks, so another 2 or 3 months of living in this strange sleep-deprived no-man's-land is hard to imagine, especially with a very demanding 4 year old to look after. I hope you find a solution soon - I know how soul destoying it can be trying to cope with a baby who is clearly in pain. Take care.

lucylookout Sat 22-Sep-12 16:53:50

Funnywonder I have a 4yo ds too. When did yours grow out if this?

hamncheese Sat 22-Sep-12 17:09:10

Thanks everyone for the support it's good to read. Feeling very much unable to cope at present. I just melted my breast pump trying to sterilise it. £50 down the drain. DH off to buy another as its getting to the point that we need to bottle feed him if he continues to not feed at night. Last nigh was the worst night I have ever had.

Funnywonder Sat 22-Sep-12 22:20:20

Hi lucylookout, as far as I remember, he was about three and a half months when he grew out of it. It didn't happen suddenly, but seemed to get better gradually so that I barely noticed until he'd been colic free for a while and I thought 'oh, when did that happen?'.

Lambster76 Sun 23-Sep-12 00:49:03

We went to a cranial oesteopath when DS was 6 weeks-it didn't work. In fact it resulted in 17 hours of him not sleeping & constant crying...worst day ever.. Hubby & my mum found me on the sofa at 6pm still in dressing gown & at wits end.. I handed them the baby & went to bed!

hamncheese Sun 23-Sep-12 08:00:53

After two nights of no sleep he slept well last night... After DH dedicated a lot of time and patience to belly massage and cycling legs.. It never worked before for colic but maybe is helping with the constipation.

Interesting about the cranial osteopathy lambster we had it done for the first time last Monday and are going again Tuesday... Hope it wasn't that which has contributed to this recent bad bout. How long after the cranial was your LO upset for?

lucylookout Sun 23-Sep-12 12:30:48

Glad you had a better night Hamandcheese. Did your DH do the massage/cycling just before bedtime? Re cranial osteopathy ds had a bad day after the first session (very sleepy and refluxy, generally not a happy chappy) but then seemed to improve on where we'd been in the following days. It's hard to know what to attribute to the CO and what to me having given up dairy.
We had another poor night. I am dream feeding him a bottle of ebm at about 10.30, but he seems to be waking habitually at 1.20, which then sets off the rest of the night to take a predictable course. I actually think the trapped wind might be a bit better, but i think he's just got a bit used to being awake at night and being cuddled/comforted a lot.
it's a phase, it will pass, it's a phase, it will pass

hamncheese Sun 23-Sep-12 17:04:26

Yea DH did the massage and cycling. He's been doing it today and we've had more poos which is great. He has slept a lot today too. I just keep waiting for it to get bad again...

Sorry to hear you had a poor night lucy I think that's the hardest thing is how there is no predictability at all! You can't even rely on anything... Like not even managing to get a few hours sleep. I expected to not have as much sleep and to be up a lot... But not as little as this!! And to get none fir three days then 8 hours... Crazy!

hamncheese Sun 23-Sep-12 17:05:30

Before bed for the massage I mean yes

macred Mon 24-Sep-12 11:03:32

Another vote for the dairy free diet.
I started it when DS was about 5 weeks old, and kept it up til he was 16 weeks old, when I reckoned his gut would have matured enough to cope. Worked a treat - symptoms gradually dimished over the course of a week. I did it really thoroughly, so checked bread and biscuit labels as well as more obvious ones. And I only really had soya milk in my tea as someone warned me that the molecular structure of soya is similar to lactose? (who knows - I just decided to go with it!).
Best of luck, and hope things improve for you all xxx

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