Just over a week ago, our wonderfully easy baby started crying and being agitated in the evenings. The first night we wondered if he had eaten too much, or was weirdly gassy, or something like that. The second night I opened the baby books and looked up “colic” in the index, and found what I was hoping I wouldn’t. Yup, that’s what colic is. Babies that cry, seemingly due to digestive distress, generally in the evening hours, no easy solutions, etc.
The one ray of hope in the literature is some recent studies on probiotics in infants with colic. Because our kids are in foster care, I’m not supposed to give them anything vaguely medicinal without the approval of their doctor, but my readings indicated that there was no danger of side effects, and I already had a doctor’s appointment scheduled for the next week, so I just went for it and got him started on a probiotic supplement similar to the one in the study.
I hate to say that the probiotic is what helped, since it could have just been the magic of time passing or that he just doesn’t have a bad case of colic, but his colic seems to be much better now than it was those first few days. He is agitated, but not crazily so, and he is consolable. We just have to work harder than we’d like in those evening hours, carrying him around as much as we can, holding a pacifier in his mouth, burping him frequently when he eats, etc. But it is certainly manageable.
When we had the girls, I read The Happiest Baby on the Block, by Harvey Karp, which scared the crap out of me that the girls might have colic and I’d be spending a few months listening to two babies crying inconsolably. But they didn’t have colic, and I learned Dr. Karp’s tricks for quieting infants. And baby R, while definitely suffering from colic, isn’t as bad as the tragic cases I’ve read about. He needs us to work with him, but our efforts bear fruit. I can barely imagine trying to cope with a baby that just cries and cries and cries for hours every day.
He still sleeps pretty well after the colic subsides. I usually get him to sleep around midnight and then feed him around 3 or 4, and then Mike feeds him around 6 or 7 so I can sleep until 7:30 or 8, depending on when the girls decide to come just on the bed with me.