Help! My Baby Cries a Lot & Won’t Settle

The first few months of your baby’s life are often a rollercoaster with incredible highs and awful lows. Often those lows are accompanied by long bouts of crying that whatever you do can’t be settled – it can be hard as a first-time mum (or even second or third time as every baby is different) to know if your baby’s crying is just what newborns do or whether it is colic.

What is Colic?

Colic is defined as a young baby crying for more than 3 hours a day, three or more days a week, for at least one week, with no apparent reason. Colic affects around 30% of babies.

The crying usually happens in the late afternoon or evening, and your baby seems to be inconsolable. It can often seem that your baby is in pain with clenched fists, arched back and screwed up face. 

It’s such a difficult thing to go through as a parent as it feels that you’re unable to stop your baby from crying whatever you do. 

What Can I Do To Help My Baby With Colic?

  • There are various colic remedies available from chemists and pharmacies, although unfortunately nothing that is a magic cure.
  • Some parents recommend going to see a cranial osteopath who specialises in newborns. This can really help some babies, particularly if they have been through a long or traumatic labour.
  • Skin to skin contact can often be soothing for unhappy and fractious babies.  Carrying your baby in a sling can also be of real comfort to unsettled wee ones.
  • A warm bath can sometimes help to relax your little one.
  • A screaming baby will find it very difficult to settle to sleep so you are often also battling crying from overtiredness as well as colic. Try and keep an eye on your baby’s tired signs during the day to get as much sleep as possible to avoid overtiredness.

Could It Be Something Other Than Colic?

If your young baby is often crying and you’re unable to settle them, it’s important to look out for other possibilities other than colic. The crying could be related to other medical issues such as reflux or allergies, so it’s always a good idea to get along with your GP and seek medical advice.

Ask For Help

There is no denying that having a baby with colic is hard for parents. Try to take the pressure off yourself whenever possible, and if you have someone that can take over from you for a while with the baby, try and get a break away from the crying.

Don’t be afraid to ask for help if you need it – be that from family, friends or your health visitor or GP. It’s absolutely no reflection on your ability as a parent – please do ask for help if you’re struggling.