Maybe It’s Not Just Colic

Note: If you’re here for a Giardino update, this is our story of overcoming “colic”, so you might find it boring. For those with fussy babies, we hope this gives you an option you haven’t tried yet!

For a few weeks after we brought Hailee home, we ran into an issue with Colic. At least, that’s what it seemed. We read all of the articles and talked to the doctor. She was great 85% of the day, but would scream in pain for a few hours every night. There were some days this extended into the day as well. It’s such a hopeless feeling to know your baby is in pain and not be able to do anything about it.

After all of the research, and being told we’d have to wait until she grew out of it as her little tummy just wasn’t developed enough, I resigned myself to the wait. But, fortunately, Nick kept researching.

What it seems we’ve discovered is that “Colic is to babies as IBS is to adults”. It seems to be the “catch-all” diagnosis when a direct cause can not be identified. Nick found and joined the Facebook support group (which has been a huge help!). We saw people experiencing “colic” from:

  • Acid Reflux
  • Dairy Allergies
  • Lip Ties
  • Tongue Ties
  • Breast Milk issues
  • Formula issues
  • and so much more

We were told to try:

  • Removing dairy from mom’s diet
  • Test for Lipase in the milk
  • Several different formulas
  • Having her evaluated for lip and tongue ties
  • Gripe Water
  • Several different probiotics
  • Paced feeding
  • Sitting Baby upright for feeding
  • Anti-Colic Bottles
  • Slow-flow nipples
  • Feeding only “day” milk during the day and “night” milk during the night
  • Colic Calm
  • Warmth on her belly
  • Keeping a food diary and journal symptoms from when she drank that milk
  • Reflux Medication

We tried everything short of reflux meds! For a family who had no plans to co-sleep, we found ourselves with a baby who could only sleep when she was on one of us. We bought a “Dock-a-Tot” so she could safely sleep between us. (Side note: there’s a reason why the baby industry is a bajillion dollar industry – desperate parents will spend any amount of money to make their babies happy and well.) We bought Avent Anti-Colic Bottles, MAM anti-colic bottles, and Doctor Brown’s Options+ Anti Colic Bottles. We settled on the Avent bottles as they seemed to be the easiest to deal with and we didn’t see a difference between the three. We saw minimal improvement, but her Dad kept looking for the resolve. (As an engineer with a specialty in fluid dynamics, he KNEW there was a root cause and he would be able to find it!)

Colic Calm seemed to be the one thing that would settle her tummy some. It’s made with charcoal, so we had to be careful not to stain everything. And, it was a bit surprising to see her first post-colic calm diaper with all of the little black specks. But, it seemed to help some, so we used it to help settle her.

But, our breakthrough came when Nick started researching based on the symptoms he was seeing when she was eating:

  • Furrowed Brow
  • Clenched Fists
  • Choking
  • Tense body
  • Bloated/tight tummy after eating

He found 2 very helpful articles that lead to our solution:

“Know the Flow, Don’t GO With The Flow” in Pediatric Feeding News

“Nipple Flow Rates: What are they really and how does this affect our clinical practice? Dr. Brown’s Medical

Nick discovered that we were basically drowning Hailee with each feeding. She was taking in far too much air with each feed and unable to process it all. This lead to hours of pain and screaming as her little belly tried to move it all through.

We switched back to the Doctor Brown’s Options+ Anti-Colic Bottles but changed to a Preemie Nipple. Her first feed showed immense improvement. It took longer to feed her, but she was relaxed and breathing normally. When she would clench her fists, Nick would gently open them and watch the rest of her relax with it.

So, for us, we found relief and saw an end to the screaming and pain for Hailee. We know there are many things that can cause this kind of crying in babies and this won’t be the solve for everyone. But, we wanted to share our experience since this resolution was not mentioned in any of the articles we read about colic.

If you’re struggling with “Colic” with your baby, the Fussy Baby Support Group was an extremely helpful and non-judgmental place to find support and maybe answers. Trust your parenting instinct and keep at it if you think the answer hasn’t been found. Be an advocate for your little one and for yourself. We hope you find relief soon! Here’s our little girl after her first non-stressful feed.

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