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Colic: Living With It

There is no specific medicine for colic so don’t run through over-the-counter remedies. Only give medicine your pediatrician prescribes.

Nothing you can do for your baby will end a colic attack until it is ready to let up anyway, but everything you do will help a little bit, and that means you’ll be busy trying everything you can think of! He’ll probably suck eagerly for a minute, so you’ll think he is hungry, but then he’ll stop and the screaming will start again. He may burp and seem better, but not for long.

He may seem comforted when you rub his tummy, when you put him over your shoulder, when you wrap or rock or bounce him, or lie him on his front. Trying everything when nothing works is a tough way to end a long day. But it’s better than trying to ignore a baby’s screams. And it must be better for him to feel you’re trying to help, not just abandoning him.

Do try to share the burden. If your partner can’t be around, call on relatives, friends, neighbors — anyone who’ll visit and help you pass the time until the colic lets up and your beloved baby is miraculously back to normal.

O.K. — you’ve probably got it all to do again tomorrow! But with everyday that passes, your baby is growing through it!

Penelope Leach, Ph.D., is one of the world’s most respected (and best-loved) developmental child psychologists. She is most widely known for her best-selling books on child development and parenting. They include Babyhood, Children First: What Society Must Do — and Is Not Doing — for Our Children Today, the classic Your Baby & Child: From Birth to Age Five (now in a new edition for a new generation), and Your Growing Child: From Babyhood Through Adolescence.



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