Parenthood is a wonderful thing, and a new baby is always a blessing – but it can also be stressful and frankly, terrifying. When your baby has colic and seems to be screaming all night, it can really affect you and your relationships with those around you.
Did you know that colic affects over 140,000 newborns each year? That’s a lot of screaming!
September 26th is apparently the nation’s most popular birthday – so thousands of mums-to-be will be expecting to welcome a baby to their lives. We prepare throughout our pregnancies with nappies and creams and babygros, but research shows that a third of us were not aware of infant colic before our child was born.
The general popular wisdom is “yeah, babies cry” – people make jokes when a baby is born that “you won’t sleep again for 18 years, lol” and we all joke about sleepless nights. The thing is, there’s a difference between a small baby who wakes up to feed during the night and eventually settles down – and a baby who has colic and is distressed and crying for most of the evening and night.
One in five babies are affected by colic, with it usually beginning when the infant is just a few weeks old. Signs and symptoms include:
- Bouts of intense crying
- Crying in the late afternoon and evening that lasts several hours
- The baby’s face appears red and flushed when they cry
- The baby clenches their fists, draws their knees up or arches their back while crying
Infant colic is not harmful in and of itself, but the sleepless nights can have an effect on parents. Research recently published by Infacol shows that 56% of British mums say a lack of sleep has affected their relationship with their partner. 38% of British mums say it has affected their relationship with their children. I speak from experience when I say that sleep deprivation can have a massive impact on a person’s mood and concentration! (here’s a post about sleep)
Infacol is Britain’s number one Colic remedy, and they’ve teamed up with Cry-sis the only parenting charity dedicated to supporting mums through excessive crying. Together they have launched Infant Colic Awareness Month this month (September 2017), with the aim of educating and supporting parents.