For an inexperienced mother, colic can be torturous. I had no idea why my child was hysterical and couldn't be soothed. I wondered what I was doing wrong and even briefly considered the possibility that my baby was possessed. I mean, there were definitely times when she reminded me of Regan from The Exorcist. But in the end she had colic and I was postpartum and exhausted so it all felt overwhelming. And while this type of newborn behavior can be exhausting and defeating for a new mom, your colicky baby wants you to know that it's just a phase and it will pass.
Approximately 15 to 25 percent of babies become colicky within their first month of life, according to Parents. Harvey Karp, MD, author of The Happiest Baby on the Block, writes that colic is "not really a diagnosis; it's a behavioral observation." Meaning, colic isn't a treatable medical condition. Instead, it's a phase and it will pass. To some parents, knowing that colic is just a phase that will disappear within a few months can be helpful. Knowing there is a light at the end of the very dark and exhausting tunnel can be a relief. However, to other parents, that same knowledge can cause the feeling of helplessness, because the parents know there is nothing they can do to alleviate their baby's distress.
For me, having my daughter cry nonstop was difficult. I didn't know what I was doing, I was recovering from a somewhat traumatic vaginal birth that resulted in a massive hematoma, was dealing with somewhat elevated baby blues and disappointment in my inability to figure out how to breastfeed my daughter, and I was driving back and forth from the hospital because of my daughter's elevated bilirubin levels. The added component of colic wasn't something I welcomed lightly, and it wasn't "just another thing to add to the list" that I took in stride. My daughter's colic nearly broke me, and imagining what she must have been going through is the only way I made it.