It is hard to believe just four short months ago, this handsome blueberry-stained gem of a baby brought me to my knees. Literally.
After a day of him screaming for literally six straight hours – the only reprieve when nursing, I walked into my kitchen at 8 o’clock in the evening and had a breakdown. I thought “If I have one more night of two hours of sleep after a day like today, I will not make it.” I dropped to my knees and began sobbing. My husband, not sure what to make of the blubbering mess lying on the kitchen floor in front of him, just asked what was wrong. I simply stated: “I am just so tired.” I then called my mom, managing to state through my sobs, “He just cries. He just cries all day.”
You see, I had a colicky baby. And unless you’ve had a colicky baby yourself, you have absolutely no idea what a colicky baby is like. You haven’t experienced the six straight hours of crying. You don’t know the difference between “fussy” and “colicky.” You can’t comprehend the toll it takes on a mom (and a dad and a big sister). But those non-colicky baby people think they do, bless their hearts, and they’ve got a lot of answers for you. Here are a few things you get to hear when you have a colicky baby…
“He’s probably just hungry. You should give him some formula.”
This was the most heard of them all. Apparently when a baby cries, the only answer is to feed him. And to feed him formula. It seemed popular belief that my body just wasn’t able to keep up with my baby’s needs and that something from a can was the golden ticket. In a moment of exhaustion and desperation, I gave in to this pressure and gave him some formula. It did nothing. Because he was a colicky baby.
“You should take him to the doctor.”
Ok, valid recommendation. But did you really think I spent four straight months with a screaming infant without reaching out to a professional who deals with babies on a daily basis? If I hadn’t, you’d have full permission to take me to the loony bin. If my colicky baby didn’t send me there first.
“It is probably acid reflux.”
Again, valid recommendation. But most moms have access to the internet. And moms of colicky babies spend lots of time trolling baby sites looking for answers. And when your kid doesn’t have acid reflux symptoms, it is not acid reflux. I promise. It is colic.
“Babies ONLY cry when they’re hungry, tired or need a diaper change.”
If you’ve had a colicky baby, you know to just laugh and laugh and laugh at this. And then give said person the evil eye while wishing a colicky baby on her. (Just kidding – I wouldn’t wish that on anyone.)
So what do you say to the mom of a colicky baby? “I’m so sorry, that must be really tough.”
Or if you’ve been there yourself, you can give her the truth: “Nothing works but time. It will end. You will see smiles replace the screams around the four month mark. Hang in there.”
And ear plugs. Give her some good ear plugs.