I don't know what it's like to have a colicky baby. Neither of my daughters had it, and even their fussiest night or worst bout of teething pain can't compare with the hell on earth that is colic. But chances are that even if you are lucky like me, you know a mom whose baby has colic. If you do, you may be wondering how to help a mom with a colicky baby, because no mom should have to endure it alone.
Obviously, colic doesn't last forever. But those first weeks or months when a mother is trying (usually without success) to comfort her screaming baby, it can seem like it will never end. Parents have an innate connection to their children, which makes hearing them scream and not be able to help the parental equivalent of torture. Although you most likely won't be able to offer additional comfort to the baby or stop their cries, you can lend a helping hand, offer a listening ear, and be her support, regardless of whether or not you can relate.
Motherhood, especially in the early weeks, is rough. Adding colic to the equation and it becomes even more important to mothers to have needed support and friendships, even if it just means a quick cup of coffee together for a venting session. Here are a few ways to help a mom who has to endure the cries of a colicky baby.
1. Tell Her She's Doing A Good Job
Even if you don't know what it's like to have a colicky baby, simply telling the mother that she's doing a good job — especially when she feels like wreck on the verge of a breakdown — can make a world of difference.
2. Give Her A Break
Although you may not be able to help during a crying episode, you can certainly offer to watch the baby during their nap so that the mother can get out of the house for some quiet time alone.
3. Tell Her She's Not Alone
Obviously, your mom knows she's not the only mom who's baby has colic. But letting her know that resources exist to at least give her a sense of community may help. There are actually support groups, both online and physically, that are designed to encourage parents whose baby's have colic.
4. Don't Tell Her That You Understand (Unless Your Baby Has Colic Too)
This won't really do anything beneficial — especially if you don't actually know what it's like to have a screaming child and not be able to comfort them. Simply being there, even if you don't say anything, can make more of a difference than telling her that you know what she's going through.
5. Listen To Her
Even if you can't relate, giving her a listening ear for her to vent to, may be a much needed stress relief for her.
6. Don't Tell Her To Do More Research
Do you think that if your child was crying for hours at a time and you couldn't help them that you wouldn't scour the internet for anything to help? Chances are she already has researched herself close to death. And yes, she's already heard of The Happiest Baby On The Block.
7. Don't Tell Her To Change Her Diet
She's already tried every elimination diet out there in hopes of lessening her baby's discomfort. In fact, true colic isn't usually related to food sensitivities or allergies at all, according to Colic Calm. If anything, bring her a glass of wine and a cupcake, and let her eat it in peace and quiet.