Tag Archives: colic

I’m just going to go with wikipedia for the basic definition on this one because there is so much info on colic out there.. I don’t know where to start!

In short, a colicy baby is a healthy baby that cries often for no apparent reason. Colic usually appears after two weeks of age and lasts until about four months, but can last longer (let’s hope not!). The cause of colic is unknown but many people seem to attribute it to tummy discomforts. It often appears or is worse at a specific time of day – typically the evening.

Colic can be very stressful for the baby and equally, if not more, stressful for the parents. Colic can lead to a strained relationship, breast feeding troubles, shaken baby syndrome, unnecessary medical treatments for reflux, and more. Links have even been found between baby colic and a mother’s likelihood to smoke.

Olive has colic.

While this has not been “diagnosed” by her pediatrician (we haven’t been to an appointment since it appeared) I can say so myself, with complete certainty. After all, if colic is such a mysterious thing, how can a pediatrician diagnose it in an office visit? Probably simply based on parent report. And I report that she has colic. So there.

Why do I think Olive has colic?

At approximately 5:30 or 6:30 nearly every evening Olive gets u p s e t until 10 or 11. I will change her and find a dry diaper. I will feed her which results and a few hurried gulps, pushing away, and more crying. I will hold her and she will cry. If we do 2-3 of the following things we are occasionally able to calm her down – sometimes for the rest of the night and sometimes for mere minutes – turning on the vacuum, swaddling her, putting her in the swing, putting in the sling, turning on the hair drying, walking around with her, patting her bottom rather hard, turning on radio static (which is how I ate my lunch today), putting her in a vibrating seat, running around the house with her, giving her one teaspoon of gripe water, etc.

Occasionally, much like yesterday and today, Olive hops on the fuss buss about 9 hours too early and our entire day is filled with the aforementioned activities. This sometimes makes me a little hesitant to have visitors or to bring Olive to work to meet my coworkers. It also makes me nervous for my midwife appointment and trip to the grocery and fabric stores tomorrow.

What is colic?

Based on what I see in Olive and what I learned from wikipedia and probably 30 other websites a few weeks ago, I don’t think Colic has much to do with the state of a baby’s tummy, as some say. I think that is sometimes the issue and maybe it is the issue all the time for some babies. But why would Olive’s tummy get upset at the same time every day regardless of what I ate, what I ate, and when she ate? I’ve played around with removing the things that I eat nearly every day and I get the same result so I’ve ruled that out. And she doesn’t seem to have an issue passing gas anyhow.

Last week I stumbled upon this article by Harvey Karp, M.D. that seemed a little out there to me but had a few good points. This article claimed that there should be a fourth trimester (ha), that babies just aren’t ready when they’re born. The author said that the things that are soothing to babies with colic are the things that cause them to be calm in the womb and for a good reason. We don’t want babies moving around too often near the end of pregnancy – once they’re head down we want them to stay that way – we don’t want them to knot or kink the cord – we want them to stay put, for the most part. Movement, the loud sound associated with being in the womb, and the increased pressure as they grow bigger trigger calming mechanisms. So it makes perfect sense that babies with colic crave sounds, pressure, and movement – it triggers calming!

That doesn’t help me much but it does make it easier to understand and sympathize with Olive. It also helps to know that it’s not anything that we’re doing wrong. And I wasn’t really buying the who upset tummy thing anyway.

So if your baby is colicy, take heart, it’ll end and it’s not your fault. If you haven’t already try some of the strategies I’ve listed above. Nothing works 100% of the time for Olive but when I’m prepared with that list I can easily access another strategy when one fails and I don’t feel quite at a loss like I did about three weeks ago.

Is your baby colicy? What do you do? What do you think causes your baby’s colic?

Check out this video featuring Harvey Karp, M.D. or his book, Happiest Baby on the Block (I don’t own this book nor have I read it).


Last week I received my package of products to review from Swanson Health Products. I was happy to have been able to choose, with a $25 budget, what I was going to review. For the most part I found Swanson’s website easy to navigate and found a decent amount of information about each product. I did my best to rearrange my shopping cart multiple times in an attempt to get the price to approximately $25 – that was rough.. I wanted so many things! I was impressed with the great prices, too!

I ended up with the following:
Lemon Glycerin Liquid Hand Soap
JASON Natural Aloe Body Lotion
Crème de Mint Toothpaste
Jojoba Revitalizing Shampoo
Jojoba Revitalizing Conditioner
Baby’s Bliss Gripe Water

The package arrived quickly and I was impressed by the care taken to pack the individual products. Most were sealed in plastic and had tape over the top to prevent having a box full of globs of lotion and shampoo sitting at my doorstep. The two items in cardboard boxes, however, were a little banged up (Baby’s Bliss Gripe Water & Creme de Mint Toothpaste). This would be a major downside if I happened to be ordering these items to give to someone (gripe water could be a potential baby shower gift I suppose.. a gift of toothpaste might be kind of rude) but I immediately took both out of their cardboard boxes and proceeded to recycle the boxes so it was no biggie.

The first item I was eager to try was the Lemon Glycerin Liquid Hand Soap from Avalon Organics which I placed in our kitchen. I ordered it to replace the harsh and extremely unpleasant commercial grade soap we had in there (which has now moved to the basement utility sink). I have only good things to say about this soap – it is so silky smooth between your fingers when you’re washing your hands, it lathers nicely, and you’re left with a wonderful lemon scent. My husband also commented on how much he enjoyed the lemon scent after trying the soap. Lemon Glycerin Liquid Hand Soap contains organic lemon essential oil – not artificial fragrance. It also contains aloe and vitamin E, among many other (good!) things, is 70% organic, and does not contain parabens. I highly recommend Lemon Glycerin Liquid Hand Soap!

The second item I tried was JASON Natural Aloe Body Lotion which I was extremely excited for. I didn’t have any decent lotion and was hesitant to use any with parabens or fragrances since I touch Olive so often and she tries to eat my hands and arms so often. This lotion is a nice big bottle with a pump top. I like pump tops for lotion so you can grab it in when in a hurry (such as when you have a tiny crying baby waiting impatiently for you) and you don’t have to fool around with a bottle and a lid and get everything all greasy. JASON Natural Aloe Body Lotion is 70% aloe vera, and paraben free. Wonderful! So far it’s been working well – I have used it on my hands multiple times, my face a few times, and on my body this morning after taking a shower. My skin was not irritated by the lotion and I have not needed to reapply it throughout the day as I do with some lotions. I recommend JASON Natural Aloe Body Lotion as well.

Next I tried Crème de Mint Toothpaste from Nature’s Gate. My husband was just about out of his somewhat natural toothpaste from Trader Joes and I was eager to try something other than the Rembrandt Canker Sore tooth paste I’ve been using for years. I get canker sores frequently and most toothpaste has an ingredient that can cause them or make them worse! This toothpaste is fluoride free and made with baking soda and spearmint oil. I’ve found many recipes for homemade toothpaste that also contain baking soda and an oil but have not gotten around to making them. For less than $3 this is a decent alternative to homemade! The ingredient list is simple and easy to understand which I like when it’s something I’m going to be putting in my mouth. Crème de Mint Toothpaste is minty but not overpowering and it gets pretty foamy when you brush. Overall my teeth feel clean after brushing which is what I expect from a toothpaste and I don’t feel bad taking a drink of water or swallowing, for that matter, after brushing my teeth. Recommended!

Next up are Jojoba Revitalizing Shampoo and Jojoba Revitalizing Conditioner, both from Nature’s Gate. I believe there are three Nature’s Gate Shampoo & Conditioners to choose from and, based on the descriptions of what hair type they are for, I choose Jojoba as I typically look for a little pick me up for my hair but not too much volume or I turn into a poof. I personally like this shampoo & conditioner thus far (I have only used it once). It smells nice and my hair didn’t come out frizzy but it has good volume and shine. On the negative side the shampoo did not lather well and this usually leads me to use too much shampoo because I don’t feel like it’s working unless I get a good pile of bubbles. I refrained from getting more and found my hair to be squeaky clean upon rinsing despite the little lather. Also on the negative, my husband was not as pleased with shampoo & conditioner. He found it to cause his hair to be frizzy. The effectiveness of these two products probably depend on your hair type. My hair is thin, long, and gets oily easily. My husband’s hair is more coarse and has less volume than mine. I recommend Jojoba Revitalizing Shampoo and Jojoba Revitalizing Conditioner – my husband does not.

Lastly is a product for little Olive – I couldn’t leave her out! We tried Baby’s Bliss Gripe Water in an effort to ease her evening colic. From what I’ve read, the way that Olive acts, and what eases her colic, I don’t feel that colic is tummy related, at least 100% of the time. Gripe water works sometimes and sometimes it doesn’t. It has calmed her rather quickly more than 50% of the time. When she begins to get fussy, typically in the evenings, we try to the usual circuit – nursing, changing, snuggling, carrying, etc. When those fail we fill up a tiny bottle with one teaspoon of gripe water and she sucks it down surprisingly well. Despite having tasted only breast milk previous to her first bit of gripe water Olive latched on to the bottle and sucked away! It didn’t take long for her to calm. Like I said – this does not work 100% of the time but it is a useful tool for a fussy baby. It is easy to use, Olive likes the taste, and the ingredients are simple and natural – more acceptable to us than most gripe waters that we researched. If you have a fussy or colicy baby I suggest you add Baby’s Bliss Gripe Water to your bag of tricks!

I will be buying from Swanson Health Products in the future!

** Swanson Health Products sent me these products for free in exchange for my honest review **

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