The Guilt Of A Colicky Baby


First of all, let me take this opportunity to say a big 'ol eff you to colic. Honestly, I really had to get that off of my chest before we got into the heavy stuff. And to my fellow mamas in the Colic Trenches: I see you, I respect you and I know how hard this season of infant-hood blows because I am right there with you.

My beautiful daughter, a literal answer to our prayers, is 14 weeks old. She has this crazy strawberry blonde mohawk, substantial cheeks and the tendency to cry for hours, every single night, no matter what hoops those around her jump through. We've been to the doctor (many times), rock Zantac, gas drops, soy formula, glass and plastic colic friendly bottles and probiotics daily, yet nothing eases those Witching Hour screams. And before you ask, yes, we have a Rock 'n Play, two swings, vibrating bouncer, vibrating crib mattress, music blaring play mat, tummy time mat and three different baby wraps. I think my first born owned two total infant contraptions but this baby? This baby has them all. If at some point anyone suggested or marketed a product as a colic eraser, I can guarantee we Amazon Primed that B between the hours of 5 and 7pm out of sheer desperation.

Watching your baby cry for hours on end is a soul sucking, sanity crushing, spirit breaking endeavor but at some point you force your pediatrician into saying the C word and you take a step back. You stop trying to "fix" your baby and start trying to ride it out with her. You give up on switching bottle brands and stop Googling "what is wrong with my offspring" and just accept that, no matter how loud it gets, she is healthy, growing and, unfortunately, going through a "phase". She will grow out of it.

But until then, you're stuck with the Colic Mom Guilt. 

You begin to wonder if you've told your baby that you love her enough. At some point, everyone in your house just gives up on having conversations because they can't be heard, but did you also quit nuzzling into that red little face and whispering I Love You?

You start to question if you really have done enough to soothe her, to bring her peace. You are her mother, shouldn't you be able to cradle her in your arms and calm her little nerves? 

You hope she can't feel your relief when you finally lay her down at night or your cringe when she wakes up early from her nap. 

You begin to resent colic for what it has taken from you. You don't see as many gummy baby smiles as other infant moms, it may seem like ages before your baby begins to giggle and coo regularly and to top it off, you aren't able to spend as much time with your other children because you are consumed with the crying. The relentless crying. 

And worst of all, you spend weeks on end wishing the time away. Wishing that you can just make it through until bedtime, or when your partner can be home to help, or for the hour that wine drinking becomes socially acceptable. Wishing away time that, as any mother knows, we are supposed to be appreciating. Aren't we told over and over again that we should cherish every moment? 
That one day we'll wish we could go back? 

Yeah, I'm going to go ahead and say I won't be tossing pennies into that fountain. 

And you know what? I won't be carrying the burden of a colicky baby and a big heavy dose of mom guilt either. What I will be doing is reminding myself of how I am trying my best to survive this insanely trying slice of life. I'm still managing to keep us all fed and clothed, even if we do order pizza more than any family should. I still hold and love on all of my babies, even if I'm wearing noise canceling headphones to do it. And even though I won't be wishing for these long (looong) days back, I rest easy knowing that one day I'll be able to use this time as a reminder to my adult daughter of how much I loved her, you know, when she's trying to decide if she should send me to a Home. 

Until then, you can find me with a baby in one arm, wine in the other and a set of heavy duty ear plugs smashed into my ears. 






10 comments

  1. This post meant so much to me! Both of my kids cried a ton but in addition to a milk protein allergy that made her very unhappy, my second little girl was definitely colicky. You just can't understand it until you go through it. It is SO HARD, and it took me a while to admit that the newborn phase is NOT my favorite because of it. I felt so guilty saying that, as you said. The guilt can be crushing. But in the moment, as much as you adore your sweet little baby, it feels as if they're torturing you. So thank you for being so open about this -- I think a lot of other moms will find comfort in it. <3

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  2. Thank you for this! You articulated so much of what I'm feeling in week 3 of parenthood.

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  3. Bless you mama. Sending you allllll the wine and coffee. And praying she grows out of it ASAP! Hang in there!

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  4. ughhh hang in there mama! Vi was colicky too and I TOTALLY wore ear plugs.. and I wondered why on earth ppl have more than one kid. and then the colic passes and they grow into amazing little humans :) it'll get better soon and until it does eat ALL the pizza and drink ALL the wine.

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  5. As a mother of 2 severe silent reflux babies (2 in a row - I know talk about unlucky), its all about survival right now and you are doing a great job x

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  6. This is me trying to carry 16 bottles of wine in my arms through your front door! Oh girl I totally get it and I'm pretty sure I've got colic PTSD. Sophia cried daily from 5-8pm....and the best explanation I ever heard was that she just likes to work out! (Because what other crossfit type exercise can you do when you can't even sit up?!)

    I've got no advice, just keep surviving! You're my hero!

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  7. Hey, sweet mama. Hang in there. You are doing great. And this WILL pass. We dealt with what we thought was colic for weeks on end with Vivian. I thought I was going crazy, as around midnight, she would start crying and wouldnt stop. Only to realize that it was a milk protein allergy that colic friendly formulas did nothing to soothe. Cut dairy out of my diet for my breastmilk and began supplementing with Similac Alimentum. And boom. No more crying. It was night and day. That may have absolutely no effect on your sweet girl, but it could be worth a try if it's not a formula you have already tried. I remember being willing to DO. ANYTHING. Hoping it passes for you soon!!!

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  8. Very proud of my little girl and wishing I could be closer by to help more with my granddaughter. Sending you waves of love,

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  9. We switched to alimentum formula but didn't see a difference until we saw a chiropractor specializing in infants. Game changer!

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  10. Have you tried gripe water. I was a colicky baby (sorry mom!) and she said it really helped. I just saw it the other day at the pharmacy so I know it's still a thing- maybe it could help. Sorry, I know that's so hard!

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