There’s a reason the sound of a baby’s cries is used as a stress noise during SAS training.
The relentless wails of an infant in distress can break even the toughest of tough guys and gals.
With the nation’s most popular birthday, September 26, approaching thousands of mums-to-be are anxiously anticipating the birth of their baby.
And while they’re all kitted out with muslin clothes and knitted booties galore, research has found that many new mums are not prepared for one of the most common medical conditions affecting newborns. That condition is colic.
A recent survey found one in three British mums were not aware of infant colic before their baby was born.
This is shocking confident the condition is a common problem that affects up to one in five babies, starting when your tot is just a few weeks old.
The signs and symptoms include:
- Intense crying bouts.
- Crying in the late afternoon or evening that lasts several hours.
- The baby’s face is red and flushed when they cry.
- The baby clenches their fists, draws their knees up or arches their back while crying.
The good news is infant colic is not harmful to the affected baby.
But that is of little comfort to parents, as the sleepless nights with a colicky baby can take a huge toll.
Research by Infacol has shown that more than half, 56 per cent, of British mums say a lack of sleep has affected their relationship with their partner.
A further third (38 per cent) say it has affected their relationship with their children.
Sleep deprivation is also well-known for negatively impacting on concentration and mood, meaning you are far more irritable and down.
These are not good combinations on top of the stress of coping with a new baby.
The link between infant colic and post-natal depression is not yet known, but it is known that lack of sleep can play a part in the debilitating condition.
Because of this I have teamed up with Infacol, Britain’s Number One Colic Remedy, and Cry-Sis, the only parenting charity dedicated to supporting parents through excessive infant crying.
Infacol and Cry-sis have launched the first Infant Colic Awareness Month this September.
Colic Awareness Month strives to educate and support parents to ensure they can experience the joys of parenthood to the full.
There is loads of great support out there if your baby does suffer from colic. As a mum-of-two who struggled through many weeks of tearful days and even more tearful nights, here are some tips from me for coping with a colicky baby:
Get some help
Ask your mum, your other half or a friend to take the baby off your hands for even just 30 minutes.
Leave the room
Sometimes removing yourself from the situation can help you calm down. You are not a bad parent for putting the baby down and giving yourself a mental break for two minutes.
Take a deep breath
Count to 10 if you need to. This can help to clear your mind as the sound of crying can really cloud it.
Do things for you whenever you can. Paint your nails, have a bath, go out to get your hair done, meet your parents for lunch or go out for a cocktail with your bestie.
Remind yourself “this too shall pass”
This really is just a tiny phase in your baby’s life. At the time it feels like it will never end, but it will. Remember you’re doing great.
If you would like to support Colic Awareness Month, donate to Cry-Sis by visiting this website.
For more information on infant colic visit the Infacol website .
To get advice on excessive crying, including one-on-one phone support, visit visit the Cry-sis website.