You bring your new baby home from the hospital and marvel at how perfect he is. He coos sweetly in his bassinet while you rest, goes right back to sleep after his nightly feedings, and loves cuddle time with Momma. You brag to family and friends about how perfectly well behaved he is. You listen sympathetically to the complaints of sleeplessness and feeding problems from your fellow new moms while secretly patting yourself on the back for a job well done because you don’t have any horror stories of your own to tell. You are the proud mother of the Best. Baby. Ever.
Then a few weeks after coming home, your precious angel draws his legs up to his belly, scrunches his face, and lets out a shrieking cry. And he doesn’t stop. Ever. You try to feed him, but he doesn’t want to eat. You try to console him, but he won’t be consoled. You are at your wits end. After a couple of days of this you finally realize what is happening: your baby has been taken over by a demon. You wonder whether priests still make house calls for this sort of thing.
The good news is, there is a 99% chance that your baby has not been infiltrated by a demon, so you can call off the exorcism. (Seriously, call it off.) His horrific change in temperament is most likely due to colic. Colic is believed to be the result of pain in the abdomen, most likely caused by gas. Luckily, while there is no steadfast cure for colic, there are things you can do to help both you and your baby find some relief.
Dealing with a colicky baby can be extremely stressful. No matter how stressed or irritated you become, you should never shake your baby. This bears repeating: do not shake your baby! If you feel like you just can’t take it anymore, don’t be afraid to ask for help. Despite what you may think, no one expects you to be super mom. Speak up and ask a parent, in-law, sibling, friend, or neighbor to watch the baby for a while so you can get some rest. And remember that this too shall pass: colic almost always goes away on its own by the age of 3 to 4 months.
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