Twitter recently dug up memories of our first few months with The Toddler.
It started our second night in hospital when she fed for about a hour and then continued to scream to the point where, as a concerned first time mum, I pressed the non-emergency button and asked for help. The MW calmed her slightly, said it was anger (she DOES have a raging temper. Sadly, that comes from me.) and they removed her from the room so I could get some sleep.
When we came home from hospital, the fun really started. Around two hours of hysterical screaming every single night. Sometimes we would get multiple episodes of this crying. And it was as though she were in total agony. Thing is, there was nothing that we could do about the screaming. Nothing stopped it. As days went by and I started to suffer with PND, the screaming wore me down. I was failing her because I couldn’t make it better. Something was wrong with her but, as her mother, I couldn’t help her. We spoke to the health visitor who advised it could be colic and told us to go to the drs to try and get colief prescribed.
In our experience, colic is a bit of a generic term used to describe a baby who cries as if in pain, normally at night seemingly without reason. One of the theories as to why colic occurs is trapped wind and stomach cramps. Sometimes colic can be relieved by administering Infacol or Colief (although from what I recall, they require adding to a bottle of expressed milk prior to feed time, which we found quite stressful.) but there was no definite solution. We were breastfeeding so my diet and amount/quality of milk was investigated. No problems were found and despite the agony she seemed to be going through every evening she continued to thrive
We tried the remedies. Some made us feel like we were at least doing something to make her feel better, some worked for a day or two, but still, she would have her crying time in the evenings. This screaming, along with my PND prevented me from bonding with The Toddler so I was refered to a baby massage specialist. This helped. A lot. It calmed me down (she seemed to be picking up on my mood so the more stressed I got about in continuous bellowing, the more she would screech) and she seemed to enjoy her weekly sessions. There is also a specific massage routine for colic, which we used almost nightly. Ok, she still had her screaming fits until she was about 5 months (later on they were I don’t want to go to bed tantrums) but it made crying time shorter and was something that we could do just the two of us.
Colic is a strange thing and we are hoping baby 2 is not affected. And I still use baby massage on The Toddler now if she is backed up or has tummy ache! We also found that as she got older, to stop me losing my mind, investing in some new mp3s and some high quality headphones was key!