March 2022 – After the NICU

Jenny R. McCormick, Senior Editor

March is Colic Awareness Month. Colic is excessive crying and fussiness that lasts for more than three hours at least three days a week for over three weeks. In full-term newborns, colic can start a few weeks after birth. It typically stops on its own by the time the baby is four months old. With preemies, colic can last longer. Here are some tips to help with a colicky baby:

  • Get Moving: Studies have shown that going for a walk with the baby, the movement and fresh air can help to settle them and will be great for your mental health too!
  • Baby Massage: Try a baby massage class to learn how to effectively massage your baby which can have a really calming effect on them.
  • Swaddling: Some people say swaddling their baby – wrapping them snugly in a blanket – can make them feel safe and secure.
  • Feeding Support: Sitting or holding your baby upright during feeding, to prevent them swallowing air.
  • Using White Noise: Many babies need and relax with white noise…a washing machine, vacuum cleaner or radio static will do the job.
  • Sleeping Environment: A raised mattress can work wonders as it seems to reduce reflux which can exacerbate the colicky evenings.
  • Keep Track of Your Diet: Some women find drinking too many caffeinated drinks, eating spicy food and alcohol can aggravate colic.
  • Try to Keep Calm: Trying and failing to soothe a baby who is crying inconsolably can be very stressful. It’s important to remember your baby’s colic is not your fault and you’re not a bad parent because you can’t get them to stop crying.
  • Pediatrician: Reach out to your child’s Pediatrician for support, guidance and possibly medications that may help alleviate your preemie’s colic.
  • Get Support: Try reaching out to other parents who have dealt with colicky babies. One site you can reach out to is: https://www.thefussybabysite.com/
  • Important: Don’t forget to recite this phrase – This too shall pass. This is your reminder that nothing is permanent and this situation will eventually right itself, yes, This too shall pass!

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