Any parent who has raised a colicky baby knows just how difficult it can be to get through a night – let alone a month! With seven children of my own, I’ve come to experience a little bit of everything, and I have several tips to help new parents of colicky babies keep their sanity.
Take Help from Others: First things first, what the book tells you will help with colic may or may not work for your baby. Ask around; post questions on the Internet; try everything you can! Many parents have dealt with colicky babies and they’re each likely to have a different story and suggestions for what helped soothe their baby. Additionally, if a neighbor or friend is willing to take a shift with Baby during an afternoon or evening; let them know what’s been going on so they know what they’re getting into, but accept their help and get a bit or rest and relaxation for yourself whenever the opportunity arises.
Look to the Future: When you haven’t slept for a month and think your world is about to crumble at any moment just remember it’s only a phase. Your baby will outgrow colic – it just takes time. So be patient and soothing and look to the future. Think about all of the wonderful moments you’ll experience together in the next year and when you look back on your baby’s colicky stage you’ll remember it as a very small amount of time in the grand scheme of things.
Don’t Take the Blame: When it comes to taking care of a colicky baby, often times the new parents are doing everything right, but they still take the blame and believe their baby is angry or upset because of something they’re doing. If I could tell you one thing it is just to do your very best, and if you’re trying your best to be a good parent to a colicky baby then you’re doing it right. Don’t take the blame; it’s not your fault.
Be Strong: As the daddy you will have to remind your wife – sometimes hourly – that she’s doing an incredible job. You’ll have to sleep when you can and take your turn too, so your wife can get some rest. It is your new daddy responsibility to drive your colicky baby around the block for a half hour or more while your wife stays home and sleeps. Be strong; be the rock and remember you’re in this together.
Always remember things change very quickly and it will get better – just be patient with Baby.
Robert Nickell, aka Daddy Nickell, father of 7, offers his “5 cents” worth of advice to expectant and new parents. Daddy Nickell is the founder of Daddyscrubs.com, delivery room duds and daddy apparel, and the DaddyScrubs blog where he covers topics about parenting and the latest baby and kids gear, all from a Dad’s perspective.