Is It Colic?

It is normal and healthy for your baby to cry. Crying is a way your baby communicates with you telling you that he is hungry, needs a diaper change, wants to be held, is uncomfortable or is tired. It’s a very effective way of communicating that there is an immediate need.

When babies cry for more than 3 hours at a time, 3+ days a week, it is sometimes said the baby is "colicky." Colic used to be considered a condition that some babies either had or didn't have. Now, these crying bouts are thought to be part of an infant's healthy development.

All babies go through a time when they cry more, usually between three and eight weeks. This stage often starts at about two weeks of age and intensifies by week four. The crying may be intense and seem impossible to soothe.

On the bright side, the crying bouts can come to an end as quickly as they start. You may notice a steady decrease or sudden ending to this stage, usually around three to four months of age.

Some Babies Cry More Than Others


Doctors and scientists have suggested that babies who cry more, the ones people call colicky, have sensitive temperaments. These babies have increased difficulty self-soothing. They take longer than others to settle into their natural rhythm. Totally normal.

This crying, formerly known as colic, was thought to be caused by gas, bowel pain, allergies, and other upsets but these have not been shown to correlate to these normal, intense crying bouts. On the contrary, the excessive crying can cause babies to swallow air and then cause tummy pain and gas. (This is not to say that all excessive crying doesn't have an underlying cause that can be remedied. You should discuss crying that's hard to soothe with your family doctor or pediatrician, just to make sure!)

How You Can Help Your “Colicky” Baby


Every baby is different, and what works for your baby today may not work tomorrow. We have a few suggestions about how you can soothe your baby, or at least feel like you are doing all that you can.

  • Cover all the bases: change baby’s diaper, feed baby, check that baby is not too warm or too cold, does baby have a fever?
  • Swaddle your baby.
  • Hold your baby.
  • Reduce stimulation: keep the lights low, use a white noise app, try to be in a calm space like the nursery
  • As suggested above, use white noise.
  • Soothe your baby with motion. You can try rocking, putting baby is a swing or going for a car ride.
  • Try a warm bath.
  • Use a pacifier or your clean finger and allow baby to be soothed by sucking.
  • Remember that your baby’s crying is not your fault.
  • Never shake your baby.

If you feel particularly stressed out and unable to remain calm (which is normal when your baby has been crying a lot), put your baby down in a safe place such as their crib or let someone else care for your baby. Medications and remedies for colic should be discussed with your family doctor or pediatrician before use.

It’s Normal to Need Help     

Caring for a baby is hard! Pregnancy and birth drained you not too long ago, you're probably not getting the sleep you need, and your baby has needs around the clock.

Ask for and accept help whenever you can. Whether you have family or friends assist you, or you choose to hire a postpartum doula, real help can make a big difference. A postpartum doula can assist you with your baby, care for older children and help around the house, and even offers overnight care so that you can get the rest you need.

When your baby cries for long periods of time, and you are unable to help them settle, it is extremely stressful. This time will pass but until them, remember to make time to care for yourself.











Postpartum Support: That Mythical Creature

There are millions of words written about mythical creatures. Sphinx, Minotaur, Cyclops…

But what if there were creatures that could come help once you were home from the hospital with your baby?

Mythical creatures devoted to helping families with the transition into parenting and life with a newborn. Mythical creatures like…

The elusive laundry fairy… Washfolder!

The fairy, who instead of trading teeth for coins, trades dirty piles of laundry for neat, orderly, clean ones. Not only has the laundry fairy been known to take care of the piles that are in the baskets and hampers, but she swoop up sweaty sheets, breast-milk-soaked nursing tanks, and baby onesies saturated with various liquid explosions.

Or the mythical house elf… DoItalla!

The helper devoted to food preparation. Magically food appears, and disappears when meals are needed, regardless of the time, and devoid of the lingering mess that goes with them.

Or a phoenix

The creature that when at the end of it’s life, would rejuvenate and be born with new energy from the ashes of its old self.

For many new families, the only mythical creatures that make an appearance are zombies and vampires. Tired new moms and dads slowly take on the pale complexion and dark tired eyes. And a new baby can sometimes feel like a sort of vampire – a being not really understood but that requires incredible amounts of energy from others to keep thriving.

Well, there is good news. Even though we don’t live in a world where these magical creatures are available to help, there is someone who can take on the wonderful abilities listed above.  She’s a postpartum doula!

The ins- and outs- of life at home with a new baby can be made easier with the extra hands of a professionally trained postpartum doula. A postpartum doula will come to your home, help you rest, help nourish you, help take care of tasks, AND help understand the new baby that has come home too.

A postpartum doula gives encouragement, energy, and attention to the matters of your recovery you most want help with, all the while acting as another sort of mythical being – a muse for parenting.

A muse: a person who helps you see clearer, come up with ideas that make the most sense for you, and a person who you feel better simply by being around.

Ottawa Family Doula does not need magic to help you feel your best. Ottawa Family Doula is happy to help in all the ways you can easily identify, and all the ways you can’t.

Ottawa Family Doula is a birth and postpartum doula supporting families in Ottawa. Exceptional and confident care for your pregnancy to have your birth and your baby, your way. Specializing in all types of birth at all hospitals and birth centres in Ottawa.