Colic SOS Part Three-Gentle Techniques To Help You Ease Colic & Feel Empowered.
One of the worst feelings about having a baby with colic is the feeling of helplessness, of not being able to support your baby, of seeing your baby in pain and discomfort.
As a parent you are hard wired to protect and soothe your baby, so when you can’t do this it activates your stress response and makes you feel anxious and tense. Throw into the mix that you may be sleep deprived, this is a heady mix which can send you into a negative spiral. In a desperate attempts to find a solution you may end up taking everyone’s advice, trying everything and feeling like nothing is working.
How to teach your baby to self soothe & regulate
Skin to skin contact can soothe and calm your baby very quickly. It’s under used in the West, largely focusing on premature babies and kangaroo care, but it is essential for your baby’s physical and emotional development. Stress and pain can cause your baby to feel disorganised and overstimulated. If your baby is stressed, the best way to soothe her is to tune into her parasympathetic (or calming) nervous system to help her self regulate and soothe. When your baby is stressed, her body can lose vital energy and calories in crying. It can even cause less oxygen in the blood to reach the brain (Bergman) Calming touch can help to centre and calm her. This simple approach is the opposite of what we often do which is jiggle or rock babies when they are distressed. This can cause further overstimulation and distress. Instead;
Cup one hand around your baby head and one around her feet to contain her.
Flex her legs and bring her hand or fist next to her mouth.
Offer loving still touch (gently placing your hands on your baby’s body for 5 seconds) to help your baby relax and to start the flow of oxytocin which can help to calm you and your baby.
You have the answer
There are many techniques you can use to help to support your baby. These techniques are not magic, they are not mine, they are all yours. If you take a step back from the situation and tune into your heart, emotions and instincts, the answer on how to respond to your baby is there. It’s not your best friend’s technique, or your mum’s. It’s what your inner voice is telling you. If you find it hard to hear your inner voice or anything other than your baby crying, make sure you take a few minutes to yourself and to centre and ground. Imagine how you would want someone to respond to you if you were in need, distressed and in pain. Babies are no different from any other human on the planet. They respond to their environment and the interaction within it. Babies need us to help them adjust from the womb to the world. We are their caregivers and life keepers. Trust your instincts.
Massage and yoga techniques from 4 weeks
When your baby is 4 weeks old you can think about introducing massage and yoga to help to stimulate your baby’s nervous system, support her digestive system and deeper your bond. You can use an organic sunflower seed oil to massage once you have done a patch test on your baby’s skin. The video below gives you “Three Steps To Settling Success”. Remember all strokes are suggestions. The best massage is always the one created by you and your baby.
For more help on colic, take a look at our online course the Soothe Settle & Sleep Program which contains expert advice on how to soothe your baby gently.