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Help with colic! Friend getting desperate

(11 Posts)
samoa Sun 03-Jul-11 07:12:28

Dear All,

Went to visit my friend yesterday. Her dd is 3 weeks old and has very bad colic and not sleeping. The situation is a bit difficult because her dp is disabled and cannot help, he is starting to get angry because he is exhausted and frustrated from the fact that he cannot help physically. My friend is desperate and I said that I would ask the wise MN people whether they had any tried and tested methods for soothing babies with colic.


thingsabeachanging Sun 03-Jul-11 07:25:13

Bf or ff? If ff try dr brown bottles and colief (expensive but you can get colief on prescription)

Good luck xxxx

samoa Sun 03-Jul-11 07:27:45

Thanks thingsabeachanging my friend is mixed feeding at the moment and they are already adding some colic medicine to the bottle. My friend said that it is not helping.

MonkeysPunk Sun 03-Jul-11 07:34:59

Use a baby sling, like a wrap type sling? Has she taken the baby to the Dr to make sure theres no physical problem making the baby cry (such as undiagnosed silent reflux... ).
Her partner feeling angry will certainly not help. The baby will pick up on this and cry more, not to mention it putting the new mother under additional pressure to keep the baby quiet! It's a counter productive situation.
Have they family or friends who can offer support or practical help, perhaps take the baby for a walk and give the parents a couple of hours to nap?
Has your friend tried asking her health visitor for advice?

Househunter Sun 03-Jul-11 07:38:08

Try white noise. You can buy CDs on ebay for a couple of quid or just use a untuned radio. Don't overstimulate baby but put down at first signs of tiredness in a dark room. Sometimes you just have to let baby cry and accept there is nothing you can do. Colic is hell, both my babies had it working but I found it easier to cope second time round as I knew it would end eventually (14 weeks for us but it started getting better before that).

thingsabeachanging Sun 03-Jul-11 07:38:35

Ah not all colic medicine is the same. Colief works by breaking down the lactose which is hard on teenie tiny tummies. We went though everything before we found the above combo.

Colic is part of the reason we didnt mixed feed for longer and i regret that now. The other reason was that my milk never came in properly, but we didnt persist and get help to see if there was anything we could do to make it better as little un was so upset after every feed, we were new first time parents and we just wanted to make it better!

samoa Sun 03-Jul-11 07:58:34

I don't think my friend has a baby sling, I will ask her. And I will tell her about white noise, I heard that it works.

As for help, she is at war with all her family who are putting extreme pressure on her telling her that her breastmilk is not nutritious enough etc. Her dp can't help very much because he is physically disabled and seems to be loosing his temper a lot. I am trying to help but have a 16mth dd to look after and a big move to Africa in 2 weeks. I just feel terrible about it.

kiteflying Sun 03-Jul-11 08:10:50

Our baby had persistent colic and was a bit sicky as well. She was breastfed. I would say sling, sling and sling as long as your back can take it, and making sure you have baby in a slightly upright position (see thebabywearer website for clues), and long walks outdoors. If your friend can't do this without a pram, try propping baby up a bit in the pram. We also used a hammock quite successfully, but some can leave baby in a position that squeezes tummy. Car seats were the worst position for our baby EVER.
It really is great advice to bring someone in from the outside if both parents are feeling frazzled. We used to switch between us according to who was feeling more zen at any time, but when it was fifteen hours every day/night we were a bit much of a muchness truth be told, and it would have been great to have a handy grandparent or aunt take over. Can your friend's DP not at least just hold baby over his shoulder, or laid on his chest for a bit - just to give the baby some of dad's energy/love/heartbeat/comfort?
If mum or dad are starting to feel angry, and it is strange how quickly it can hit you, it really is better to shut the door and leave baby to cry alone for fifteen minutes or so, just so you can calm down and regroup. We used to have our own little cry sessions away from baby just to let some of the stress out.
All best of luck to your friend. Tell her to make sure she sleeps in any window she has at all for sleep, even if she doesn't want to. I found I had to take twenty minute naps as often as I could over a day, just to have some emotional reserves for the long hours of colic.
Infacol did nothing for my baby. I did not try anything else. I have had friends swear by changing their own diet if BF, cutting out dairy for instance. This did nothing for me, but might be worth trying.

TheSnickeringFox Sun 03-Jul-11 08:28:59

Your poor friend sad Where are you based? New babies with colic are utter, utter hell. I know, I have the battle scars to prove it! White noise, swaddling and slings are all good.

Your friend really needs to speak honestly to her HV or GP about her circs and how she is feeling so that she can get some extra support. I have accessed extra support myself (my HV only stopped coming to my house when my son was 6 months!). if you can point your friend to MN that's another great source of support.

Re the feeding and support, get her out to a Breastfeeding support group. Go with her if you can. They will support her to breastfeed, to mix feed and also to make the switch to formula if that's what she wants to do. You could also give her the numbers for the breastfeeding helplines (The Breastfeeding Network on 0300 100 0210, the NCT on 0300 330 0771 or La Leche League on 0845 120 2918). Finally, a post on the bf'ing and bottle-feeding section of this site would be a good idea. I have had AMAZING support there.

In the interim before the White noise CDs arrive (well you can download them from iTunes but anyway), the Hoover or hairdryer on full work really well. Second the suggestion of a good sling - perhaps a stretchy wrap like Moby or one that I got on better with, the Wilkinet. You can pick both up cheaply on eBay.

Do keep reminding her that it does end. If she can get out in the day that will really help. Any of the children's centre groups are great. Check out if the NCT run a post-natal course in your area. I went to one, once a week for six weeks and it was a god send. It's a facilitated discussion group with an experienced mum that covers everything from colic to sleep AND they give you tea and biscuits. You can find NCT course here:

Lastly, I haven't been to one myself but the other day I came across something called BabyCalm ( that might be worth checking out.

Ooh, and really last, there's a video on YouTube of a guy called Dr Harvey Karp appearing on the Richard and Judy show that's worth a google. He has this technique for soothing babies involve swaddling, White noise and jiggling that's quite good.

Right, I think I'm done but I'll probably be back in a few minutes with another idea blush

CombineArvester Sun 03-Jul-11 08:37:50

Ok try infacol which you give I think before a feed..worked for DC2 but not DC1.

Get latch checked - might be able to improve latch so baby takes in less air. Might also be able to stop mixed feeding - BF is supposed to be gentler on the old stomachs. Is there any history of cows milk protein intolerance in their family.

Sling sling sling.

Put TV on with subtitles so can still follow programme over incessant screaming.

Check not silent reflux - symptoms include hoarse voice, coughing, 'sicky' burps, not liking lying flat, sticking tongue out all the time, crying mid / after feeds, breaking off throughout feed and crying, back arching...

Colic is crying for hours normally starts at the same time each day - DC2 had colic (and reflux but that's another story) and started without fail at 7pm through to 3am constant screams. DC1 had reflux but no colic, cried 24 hours a day but more when feeding / after a feed, where 'normal' babies stop crying when fed.

TheSnickeringFox Sun 03-Jul-11 08:46:49

Oh yes, I second Kiteflyer's advice that sometimes you just need to put the baby down in a safe place and leave the room for a while.

Just remembered the charity Cry-sis. They have advice on their website and also a helpline. 08451228669.

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