Tips for Calming Colic and Surviving the Witching Hour

Colic is when a baby cries inconsolably for 3+ hours a day. It typically occurs at about 4-6 weeks of age and sometimes lasts until baby is 4 months. You’ve probably also heard the term ‘the witching hour’ referring to the period of time in the evening when babies tend to be fussier than they are during the day. Some mamas believe that their baby’s ‘witching hour’ means they are experiencing colic. But colic typically involves longer crying periods and is more consistent than the witching hour. Colic consists of daily inconsolable crying for hours on end.

To name a few culprits, colic can be caused by reflux, gas, an oversupply, overstimulation, an allergen in the milk, hunger or a need to be close to mom in a calm space.

So what can you do to calm your baby if they experience the evening fussiness of the witching hour or even worse, colic?

Keep your baby as comfortable as possible and close to mom or another loving caregiver as you work towards settling her. Here are a few tips to try and calm your baby during a colic or witching hour episode.

-Keep YOURSELF calm. Put on your headphones and listen to relaxing music or a podcast. Comfort baby at the breast and let her nurse as long as she wants. Side lying position is perfect for these long, comfort nursing sessions.

-Carry baby around in a wrap or soft carrier. Go for a walk outside or just simply walk around the house.

-Hold baby in the colic hold. On your forearm, baby facing out, legs dangling.

-Take a warm bath with baby

-Try white noise, dim lights and skin to skin

-Massage your baby

-Make sure baby is dry, fed, not too hot or cold and close to mom or dad (preferably skin to skin)

-Bicycle baby’s legs, lay them on their belly and rub their back to try and release possible gas build up

-Use a probiotic (both mama and baby)

-Get your baby a chiropractic evaluation and adjustment with a chiro who specializes in infant care

Some mothers think colic has something to do with their breast milk. But the fact is Colic is much more common in formula fed babies! Keep nursing and using the tips above to get though the fussy episodes. And consult your doctor especially if there is a change in feeding patterns or diaper output. This too shall pass, you’re doing great!

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