Is colic our fall back reason for unsettled babies?
Colic: Baby crying for hours at a time, many days in a row for multiple weeks.
I don't know if my #2 had colic. I know she cried a lot for many days in a row for weeks, starting from 5 weeks to about 3 months old. She used to hysterically cry in the evenings at about 5 pm, and would stop at 7ish. I did the math, it's just under 3 hours of crying each day. Does that make it colic? Slight colic?
She was gaining weight and seemed fine after a feed. Her poo was the typical runny yellow breastmilk poo, and her spit ups were normal. She was a healthy growing baby.
Then why was it that when it came to 5 pm (aka the witching hour), she would be in such obvious distress like she was in piercing pain? My daytime routine was already in 2-hour blocks of feeding (takes an hour), burping, changing, soothing her cries and bouncing to sleep, only for her to wake up after every 30 minutes.
But when it comes to 5 pm, it's a different league. Unsoothable crying. It sounded painfully sad. No amount of boob, milk, cuddles soothed her. In fact, it made the crying even more hysterical.
"Why are you shoving your boob at my face? Get it off my face"
"I hate this position. I want your boobs back"
"Why is it taking you so long to understand what I want? This is horrible. AAHHHHH"
I understand babies cry. But I feel like there should be a reason. Maybe hunger, tired, wind, overstimulation, etc. I was desperate for answers. Colic, maybe?
Is it really colic?
The thing is there is no test, so you can’t know for sure, but the “rule of threes” is often used to diagnose colic: an otherwise healthy infant, generally between 3 and 14 weeks old, who cries for 3 or more hours a day, 3 or more days a week.
I started thinking, could there be another reason?
Am I too quick to blame colic for baby's crying?
Could it be that she was just too tired by evening because of her short sleep cycles in the day?
Or maybe my husband and I weren't good enough at recognising those extremely confusing newborn cues, and it became impossible to intervene baby's crying state. Crying babies swallow air, and by the end of the day, the amount of air swallowed from crying, feeding and less than effective burping cause wind pains?
Possibly. It might not have been colic.
But, colic or not, the most important thing is:
Have I done my best? Yes.
In retrospect, I wish I'd had more patience, but I had truly done my best here. Colic or not, crying baby is tough.