Dear Parent with the colicky baby..
aka the baby that WON'T STOP CRYING!
Hi. I’ve been there. I know what you’re going through. It is harder than hard. It feels like this season will never end. That you can’t take one more day or night of hours of uncontrollable crying and it is driving you insane. You’re beyond tired. You feel like you can’t go on anymore. But you don’t have a choice.
Strangers come up and offer you advice, or tell you that you need to feed/rock/hold them differently, and you want to shout NO THEY JUST CRY A LOT – PLEASE LEAVE ME ALONE.
You feel like it’s something wrong that you’re doing. You swear to yourself you’ll never have any more children. You are riddled with guilt that there are moments when you want to shake your baby to stop them crying. Ultimately you feel like you’ve failed as a mum because you can’t console your baby or figure out what they need. You’ve tried everything – infacol, gaviscon, gripe water, lying them on their front, their back, their side, tilting their mattress, co-sleeping and slings, cutting out dairy, sensitive formulas, baby massage, cranial osteopathy and so on. You’re always at the doctors or ringing the health visitor asking them WHAT THE FLIP IS WRONG WITH MY BABY?! And nothing is helping and no one can fix it. ‘You just have to ride it out’, they say, ‘they’ll grow out of it at around 12 weeks’. So you’re counting down the weeks until 12 weeks when you’re hoping they’ll just miraculously get better from this unexplained, no cure, pain ridden ‘thing’. 12 weeks comes and goes.
If you’re anything like me and convinced there is something seriously wrong with your baby, you insist on seeing a specialist who you finally are referred to. They reassure you that you’re baby doesn’t have twisted intestines or whatever other horror stories you’ve read online. And you feel a little bit better knowing that, even though it is so frustrating that there is nothing you can do to fix it.
So what can I offer? I can offer hope. That they’re right – they do grow out of it eventually (5 months old for us when we started weaning), that you do start to love your child in that overwhelming way that other mums talk about. That it doesn’t mean all of your children will have it (my second didn’t have it to the same extent at all). That there is nothing you are doing wrong and there is nothing more that you can try. You are not a bad mum.
My advice? Accept and ask for help. Don’t be proud. Accept meals and offers of people holding your baby for you whilst you cry or sleep or shower. If you’ve been rocking your unconsolable, screaming baby to a point where you’re going mad-walk away for a moment and take a deep breath in and out and once you’ve calmed down, go back in. Be kind to yourself. You are the best mum for your baby. You are stronger than you think and you can totally do this.
Love from a mum who made it through X
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