Like all things baby, we ended up giving a cute nickname to a relatively distressing phenomenon in our parenting life- colic, or should I say ‘Colic the Monster’?
For stressed-out dads like me, colic is when your otherwise healthy champ is bawling his eyes out for more than 3 hours a day and 3 days in a week. It started as little crying fits, and we weren’t fussed about it because babies love to cry, right? So, we soothed our colicky baby and generally displayed our ‘A’ parenting skills but it got worse. Soon he was crying for most of the day and we were exhausted.
One day we discovered ‘tummy time’. In non-cutesy terms, it means letting your baby lie on their stomach instead of their back as usual. Tummy time helps to strengthen your baby’s head and neck, as well as gives them upper body strength. He or she won’t be thrilled about it but persevere because tummy time also prevents your baby from getting a flat head.
Tummy time for colic is a savior. Letting our colicky baby lie on his tummy helped to release all that pent-up gas (which was great for him but not so fun for me if you get my drift ;-)).
We started tummy time when our son was in his colicky phase, but you can begin sometime soon after birth. It’s good to start with a 1-2-minute lay-down on your lap which you can gradually increase to 5 minutes on a mat or the floor.
Tips for colicky babies– do tummy time after your baby is fed and his nappy changed so you can take advantage of their happy mood and interest in life. They resist at first but rocking them gently, or to a tune if you’re like me, might help.
We figured out which tummy time tricks suited our little guy. Cue the funny names. If you thought ‘Colic the Monster’ was amusing, you’re going to get a kick out of this one:
Baseball bat hold tummy time: This trick helped relieve gas build-up and make my little boy less colicky than he was.
Tummy time on daddy’s tummy: Ah yes, one of my favorite tricks because it allows me to keep him close and inhale all the baby smells. As he lays on my tummy, I massage his foot, his hands and entertain him while also tackling the colic.
Tummy time on daddy’s lap: Also one of my favorites. I keep my son on his tummy on my lap and sit like that until he’s happy.
Tummy time by propping on the pillow: As he grows older, we will let him lay on his tummy on a pillow instead of our laps or bellies. As always, we will keep a watchful eye on him for safety (and in case of superhuman powers, but nothing yet)!