Just because your little baby is crying a bit more than you thought she would doesn’t necessarily mean she has colic. So how do you know your baby is just cranky or if you should worry?
A certain cry
Remember that babies cry for an average of two hours a day – some more, some less. They cry to communicate their needs to you, and you’ll soon work out which kind of cry is associated with which need – hunger, tiredness, love, etc. The colic cry though sounds very different to any other cry; it’s very intense, usually high-pitched and isn’t a cry for milk or a nappy change.
One way to tell your baby has colic is to swaddle her tightly, have some white noise going on in the background (the washing machine or radio static, for example) and walk around with her so there is constant movement.
If this doesn’t comfort her, she may have colic. You can also take her to the doctor for a check-up to rule out any other causes including illness or reflux, and to confirm the diagnosis as colic.
An end in sight
Colic is a very stressful condition for the whole family, but don’t give in to those visions of an endlessly screaming baby for eternity; this will end. Most colic babies grow out of it by four months.
In the meantime, if you feel yourself getting frustrated and overwhelmed, it’s okay to put your baby down in the cot (safely) or give her to someone else, walk away for a bit and calm down.