Posted in Parenting

The Dreaded ‘C’ Word

‘Oh gosh, does my son have colic?’, I asked myself not long ago.

For a third day in a row, my son was being the king of cranky; he’d wake up (around two o’clock) from a nap crying, would stop crying momentarily when I picked him up, only to wail out again moments later.  He would keep on going even as I ‘Ssssushed’ him, kissed him, whispered to him, rocked him.  It seemed that the only way to stop the cries momentarily was when he was taking a breath or when I tried different holds.  He didn’t care for the rocking chair and even spat out his pacifier.

The first time, I was able to calm him by holding him tummy down on my forearm and walking around with him as I rubbed his back.  He stopped crying immediately (oh yeah!).  Of course, startled and pleased by my success I decided (since I figured holding an over-nine-pound baby like that would likely become tiring for my arm in the short run) to switch him back to the cradle hold.  Yeah, bad idea…  I ended up putting him back like he was and pacing back and forth around the house.  Eventually, when my arm felt like it was going to fall off, I was able to bring him up against my chest and support him with both arms.  After roughly an hour of this, he had calmed down enough for me to be able to cradle him and even put him down in his moses basket.

Now, I had read on colic before as I’d heard the word thrown around quite a bit.  I knew that it was defined as uncontrollable and inconsolable crying.  So why then, do you ask, did I think it was colic even though he was consolable?  Well, it is because it is – right after ‘breastfeeding’ – the word on everyone’s lips when you have a newborn.  Furthermore, I knew that one of the theories surrounding colic was that it was caused by trapped gas in the tummy (my son seems to be rather gassy).  Also, as I’ve mentioned in a previous  post, I hate hearing my boy cry and have trouble calming him down.  Finally, by that time, I was just plain tired and rather annoyed at my son (yup, that would be the hormones kicking in).  So I did another google search.  This time, I came upon an article that was a revelation for me.

The author, a doctor, starts off by painting a very vivid picture of what colic looks like.  He then talks of the light bulb moment that gave him a new outlook on the subject.  Finally, he makes a point of differentiating a colicky baby, which he calls a ‘hurting baby’, from an attention-seeking baby, which he calls a ‘high needs baby’.  Needless to say, after reading the article, I figured out that my son was ‘high needs’ rather than colicky.

You know what?  Now that I’ve read the article and have come to terms with the fact that my son is just a needy-attention-seeking little boy, I find that when he gets into high needs mode, I am much more patient about it.