Owlet’s resident parent, Emily Osborne, recounts her personal experience of colic with her daughter. Emily is a Certified Lamaze Birth Teacher, Certified Breastfeeding Consultant and Safe Sleep Trainer specializing in newborn behaviors and postpartum support for new parents. With 14 years of experience, Emily is here to share her parenting and sleep experience with you.
My eldest daughter had colic as a newborn, also referred to as persistent crying. Every day for weeks I would cry for hours at a time. It was very stressful and caused a significant amount postpartum stress for me. I would spend all day, watch the clock and be scared in the afternoon and evening hours. At that time, my son was 2 years old, so I was an exhausted mom active young boy and girl named “Crier” by my friends and family.
What is colic?
According at the American Academy of Pediatrics, about 1 in 5 babies will develop patterns behavior long known as colic. From a medical point of view, colic is defined as a persistent period unbearable crying or significant discomfort in an otherwise healthy and well-nourished baby. Colic is characterized by the rule of 3: crying that lasts for 3 hours, for at least 3 days per week, for a period of at least 3 weeks.
It usually starts between 2-4 weeks and can continue for several months. Medical professionals usually recommend seeking advice determine if there is a medical condition that may contribute to crying behaviors associated with colic. If your baby is otherwise healthy, colic is, unfortunately, something parents just have to deal with privately at home.
In our case, as exhausted new parents, my husband and I looked into our support system for help during this difficult time. Some people would try to hold her during them hours of incessant crying, but many others were intimidated by her screams and simply Watch from the background as my husband and I would exchange trying to calm her down.
I felt it helpless during this period, and I also felt angry. I wish someone just turned and to save me from those hours of crying every night. We tried several soothing methods and Read books on how to calm babies with unacceptable crying. In the end, the real solution I ended up being year. Our little girl only needed time to mature and grow, time to pass these newborn weeks, and time to develop into a much happier, calmer baby girl.
Then, the time passed so slowly, and I thought the crying would never end. But looking back now, it really is it was just a blow to my daughter’s life. There was nothing “wrong” with my baby – he did not reflux, or allergies or anything that happens to it. It was something we had to wait for outside; something that most new parents find very difficult because we all want a solution when we we think our baby has a problem that needs to be fixed.
Newborn behaviors can be extremely demanding on comprehension and response, and colic violates many of the rules for standard soothing strategies. For almost all babies, learning to calm down takes time. In the first few weeks after birth, your baby will depend on you to comfort and soothe them. This builds a relationship of trust between you and your baby and you will not spoil your baby by providing this level of care and comfort.
As your baby gets a little older, you can develop self-soothing skills by encouraging your baby to use his or her arms for comfort. I also recommend using white noise or a noisy sound to help babies learn to sleep. When we use soothing strategies with our babies, we are laying the foundation for healthy sleeping habits. The ability to sleep independently requires time and practice.
By using these techniques to soothe early on, you are also helping your baby begin to learn how to relax and calm down when certain aspects of the environment are consistent. This is why a consistent sleeping routine significantly increases the baby’s ability to learn how to sleep. During the first 3-4 months of your baby’s life, it is important to continue to support consistent sleep routines. And when your baby is a little older, you can get support for a more consistent night’s sleep with the sleep tutorial, Dream Lab.
Dream Lab by Owlet is an online, personalized baby sleep solution that offers safe, easy, and proven ways to build healthy sleep habits that support your child’s development and allow you to be the happy, committed parent you want to be. Designed for babies 4 to 12 months old, Dream Lab is a convenient and interactive sleep training program designed specifically for your baby and you. Step-by-step sleep steps, instructional videos and access to Owlet sleep expert support will make you and your baby feel better in just 7 days – guaranteed.