Colic is not something I would wish on anyone or any baby. It’s exhausting for everyone involved and when you’re in the thick of it, it feels like there’s no end in sight. I cry, he cries, I do everything imaginable to make it better and, even so, there’s nothing that soothes him. It hurts me physically and emotionally to see him so upset and to know that there’s nothing I can do is a hard pill to swallow as his mother. I’m supposed to be able to make anything and everything better; I’m supposed to be able to get him whatever he needs, but with colic, I will never be able to do that.
Despite the hours of lost sleep and sanity and despite the countless tears cried by both myself and my baby, colic is making me a better person.
Colic is helping me be more patient
The first night of colic was the hardest because I didn’t know what was happening. I was overwhelmingly frustrated that I couldn’t soothe my baby. I was hysterical. Each bad night is difficult, but each bad night I make it a little longer before completely losing it. I’m getting more patient because I’m coming to terms with the crying being out of my control. I can’t change it and I can’t fix it, so why should I get so upset about it? That doesn’t mean that it still doesn’t take its toll on me emotionally, but I’m getting better about accepting it.
Colic is helping me get over my son’s father
Every colic episode Zaylen and I have to go through alone gives me one more reason to loathe the “man” I once loved very much. Raising a child is meant to be done as a team and the fact that Zaylen’s father has not even asked to see a picture of him makes me hate him with each passing day. But couple that lack of interest in the most amazing little boy there ever was with his unbelievable ability to be invisible during a bad night, and that’s enough to make me never want to see or be with him again. I’ve given in to calling and texting him during colicky nights, but he never answers. Well, I take that back, he responded once at 3 am (after I had FINALLY fallen asleep) to tell me about the “documents” I should be expecting in the mail. He doesn’t know Zaylen has colic, but he also doesn’t know anything else about him either, and I’m ok with it staying that way.
Colic is teaching me how to ask for help
I don’t like to ask for help. I’m an independent woman and I always have been. I can figure out anything on my own and get it done without needing help. Yes, it’s a little harder alone and yes, it usually takes me triple the amount of time to do it by myself, but I do it by myself. Colic is not one of those things that I can do alone. I need someone to pass the baby off to while I take a mental and physical break. The pediatrician told me to call just about anyone willing to help me: girlfriends, coworkers, anyone (including my son’s father, if need be), because I can’t manage colic alone. I have learned how to swallow my pride and ask people for help and I’m not ashamed of that; you shouldn’t be either.
Colic is making me more in tune to my son’s varying types of cries
Zaylen has a different cry for hungry, tired, gassy, hot/cold, uncomfortable, a dirty diaper, wanting a pacifier, wanting to be held, being in pain or just having a colicky night. I can tell when his colicky cry changes to a hungry cry, because amidst a 4-hour scream-fest, it’s likely he’ll also need to be fed, changed and burped. If I can pick up on his cues during the already non-stop crying, he just might get through the episode quicker and easier.
Colic reminds me to take care of myself too
Colic for my son usually hits around 8 pm and goes until midnight or later. If I’ve had a nap with him during the day, this is a whole lot easier to get through than if I haven’t. Each night where I haven’t had at least an hour snooze in the middle of the day, is borderline impossible to manage. It is a big ole slap-in-the-face reminder to get myself some more sleep. This is something all parents of newborns should do, regardless of whether your baby has colic or not, but I’m stubborn and like to clean the house and write for my blog / book while he’s snoozing during the day. In addition to sleep, I have to remember to eat as well. Colic helps remind me to take care of myself in general. I can’t help baby boy if I am running on empty.
Although colic is really difficult for both baby and parents, the good news is it’s only temporary. It peaks around 3 months of age and is usually completely gone around 5 months. There are no long term effects for a baby with colic and they do not have any developmental delays because of it either. Colic can also stem from, or be made worse by, other treatable issues such as acid reflux and gas. Get those issues taken care of and your baby’s colicky symptoms may be reduced (or even eliminated altogether!)