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FAMILY MATTERS: CRYING


BabyA friend of mine had a baby about six weeks ago, and her Facebook posts for the first two weeks were pure bliss: sweet baby sounds, sleepy baby pictures, snuggling baby pictures and sheer happiness.

Then, the crying started, and it didn’t stop.

She took the sweet little thing to the doctor because she was getting just as distressed as the baby was. Her pediatrician diagnosed her little one with colic. Colic is often defined as crying more than three hours a day, three days a week for more than three weeks in an otherwise well-fed, healthy baby. Between 5 and 25 percent of babies are diagnosed with colic.

It’s excruciating. I should know. My younger son was what doctors called “colicky.” From about 4 to 7 p.m. each night, he screamed. I could only hold him positioned with his belly over my left (never the right) collarbone to ease the screaming. Let me just tell you, this was not an easy position to maintain with a 10-pound baby and a 17-month-old who needed to be fed, bathed and snuggled during this particular time period.

The good thing about colic is that it goes away. The bad thing is that there’s not a lot you can do about it. My doctor prescribed gas drops for my son. They sort of helped…and sort of didn’t. I changed my diet because I was nursing. That didn’t really help either. We just had to wait it out.

The good news is that we survived.

You will, too.

Tip 0-6 months: Don’t ever think your baby is too young to be read to. Read him a book every day and cuddle while you do. He loves the sound of your voice and the proximity to your body.


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