Any parent who has even had a baby with colic will tell you that it’s one of the toughest things in the world. Here are some strategies for how to sleep train a colicky baby.
Colic is a tough and frustrating situation for any new parent to deal with. It usually peaks around four weeks old and can last anywhere from 7-12 months.
When you have a baby with colic, you have to do whatever works. You might try co-sleeping, nursing while falling asleep, or even sleeping on the swing.
But once the colic subsides, the time will come to establish some healthier sleep patterns.
If you’re wondering how to sleep train a colicky baby, you’ve come to the right place!
Here are some ways to help your colicky baby sleep at night so you can get some much-needed rest too!
What is colic?
Colic is an infantile condition that affects babies, typically those under 6 months old. The word “colic” comes from the Greek word “kolikos,” which means rolling or cramping.
Colic is the medical term for a baby’s constant, sometimes inconsolable crying for prolonged periods of time.
It’s common around four weeks of age, and it tends to ease off at around six months old. There isn’t any single cause of colic.
It’s defined as symptoms that can be associated with any of the many types of infant distress, including reflux and ear infections, but only if the child’s crying interferes with the parent’s ability to manage their own stress.
To be diagnosed with colic, the crying must happen for three or more hours a day, three or more days a week, for three or more weeks.
Why is my baby colicky?
The exact cause of colic is not known. Researchers believe that there are many contributing factors. Some of the possible contributing factors include:
- Undeveloped digestive system
- Imbalance of healthy bacteria in the digestive tract
- Food allergies/intolerances
- Overfeeding or underfeeding
- A developing nervous system
- Fear, frustration, or excitement
- An early form of childhood migraine
Why sleep training your colicky baby might be worth the effort
Getting enough sleep is important for health, but it can be difficult when your baby wakes up at all hours of the night. Sleep training is a gentle and effective way to teach your baby healthy sleep habits and help her learn how to put herself back to sleep when she wakes up in the middle of the night.
There are many benefits of sleep training. Here are some of the most common ones:
1) Your baby will be able to get more restful sleep
2) You might be able to get more restful sleep
3) You’ll have more energy during the day
4) Your baby may have fewer crying spells
How to sleep train a colicky baby
Most cases of colic usually subside around the 3 to the 4-month mark. Once the most challenging days are gone, it’s time to introduce some gentle sleep training strategies. Before you start, please speak to your pediatrician and make sure that your baby is ready for such a significant change.
Here are six proven strategies for making a positive change:
- A soothing bedtime routine: Establishing a sleep routine is crucial for your baby to understand when it is time to sleep and what this means. A good bedtime routine may include a warm bath, massage, and a lullaby.
- Create a sleep-conducive environment: Consider using a white noise machine to cover any outside disturbances like traffic. Get blackout curtains if your nursery gets plenty of light during the daytime.
- Swaddle your baby: Swaddling makes babies calm and more relaxed. Infants who are swaddled have been shown to be able to sleep for longer periods of time with fewer awakenings than infants not being swaddled.
- Drowsy but awake: Avoid putting your little one in the crib fully asleep. The ideal moment is when she gets drowsy but is still awake. If she’s older than four months, then she has to be put to sleep awake and not drowsy.
- Resisting the temptation: The hardest part of sleep training a newborn baby is listening to your child cry in the middle of the night and resisting the temptation to pick her up. If you find yourself in this situation, remember that a disciplined parent is key to teaching your baby to sleep through the night.
- Hire a sleep trainer: Sleep training newborns is a difficult process, and you may need help from an expert to get it done right. An experienced sleep trainer can make the process easier for both parent and child.
To sum up:
- Colic is an infantile condition that affects babies, typically those under 6 months old.
- To be diagnosed with colic, the crying must happen for three or more hours a day, three or more days a week, for three or more weeks.
- The exact cause of colic is not known. Researchers believe that there are many contributing factors.
- Sleep training is a gentle and effective way to teach your baby healthy sleep habits and help her learn how to put herself back to sleep when she wakes up in the middle of the night.
- Some of the best strategies for sleep training a colicky baby include a consistent bedtime routine, putting her down drowsy but awake, and hiring a sleep trainer.
- Before you start, please speak to your pediatrician and make sure that your baby is ready for such a big change.
Sleep training a colicky baby can get challenging for some parents, and you may need help from an expert to get it done right. An experienced sleep trainer can make the process easier for both the parent and the child. Connect with us today and get a personalized plan for your baby. I’ll be there to guide you every step of the way.