While colic may be scary and exhausting for new parents, remember you are not alone! Around one in five babies meet the criteria for colic in those first few weeks of life, and about half of those colicky babies have resolved their symptoms by three months of age. Because there is no clear cause for colic, there is no easy cure. However, there are some tips parents can try to help their baby get more comfortable and hopefully take a break from crying. Read below to explore some tips for breastfeeding a baby with colic.
What contributes to colic?
Most contributing factors of colic are not related to the attention or responsiveness of parents. Sometimes babies just have a more sensitive temperament, and that can result in periods of constant crying until they get some practice regulating their emotions. Another possible explanation for colic can be related to circadian rhythm. It can be disorienting for a newborn to understand when to sleep and when to stay awake, and as their bodies adjust, they may cry when they become overtired, have rested enough, and any point in between.
For breastfed babies, there may be a whole other set of factors that can contribute to colic, mainly related to gas. Moms who have a quick and powerful let-down may supply more milk than their newborn is ready for, which can lead to infants taking in air and developing gas as they try to feed quickly. A build-up of gas can be painful for babies, and they will often deal with this discomfort by crying until it passes. Remember to check with your pediatrician to be sure the constant crying is related to colic and not caused by another potentially harmful condition.
Tips for breastfeeding a baby with colic
Parents can take steps to reduce colic without making too many drastic changes. Although a strong let-down can be a good thing, moms can help their little ones stay comfortable by using a breast pump before feedings to control let-down or switching to expressed breast milk if breastfeeding is leading to gas. Because new and expectant moms can get a free breast pump through insurance, they can be flexible as they find a feeding solution that works for them and their newborn. Additionally, whether using formula or breast milk, parents should remember to burp newborns after all feedings to alleviate gas and hopefully improve colic.
Try to be patient with yourself and your little one
It’s possible that these tips will make no difference in your colicky baby, and although unfortunate, this is the nature of colic. It can be unpredictable, unexplainable, and just all-around challenging. But remember that this won’t last forever, and your baby will grow out of colic, usually by the time they are around three or four months old. Until that time, try to appreciate those quiet moments of contact during a breastfeeding session or the cuddles before bed when you can bond with your little one. Then make sure to take some time for yourself, whether it’s just a 15-minute walk outside of the house or a few moments of peace in the shower. Raising a baby is rarely easy, so be sure to give yourself and your newborn plenty of time and patience to figure it out.
The Pumps for Mom team may not be able to cure your baby’s colic, but we can make it easy to get your breast pump through insurance. Our variety of breast pump brands and our simple qualification form keep moms in control throughout the process. Whether you are a first-time expectant mom or a breastfeeding pro, the Pumps for Mom experts can help you find the best breast pump covered by your insurance. Work with Pumps for Mom and find out for yourself!