Is it “Colic” or not?

I’m sorry that it has been a long time since I have written anything here but I have been trying to run my own business and keep two children alive. Today I thought I would share with you my experiences of colic especially as I now have the benefit of hindsight.

Newborn baby boy asleep on daddy's arm

Child 1

When Beatrice (child 1, the practice one) was born we were obviously pretty clueless about many baby related things despite having worked with babies for many years. A couple of hours fine, but living with one is a whole different ball game. The intention had been to breast feed because that is what the lady at the NCT course said we should do and that is what the midwife said we should do and that is what the hospital encouraged us to do. The intention was also to have a natural birth at the local birth centre in Chipping Norton because it was convenient and the antenatal classes led us to believe that it would be possible. In the end my waters broke, contractions didn’t start and I was given 24 hours before being told to check myself into the John Radcliffe to be induced. I ended up not needing to be induced but instead everything developed rather quickly to the point that we sent for an emergency caesarean because they were worried about her heart rate. Long story short this meant that my milk didn’t come down, she was under weight at 5lb 13oz and so they wanted to put us on a feeding plan with formula so that they knew she was getting enough. And so continued 7 months of mixed feeding as I also never felt that I had enough. 

Baby boy sleeping in miniature bed

About 5 weeks in and the ‘colic’ started. The worst part of the day was the witching hours between 6pm and midnight when she was just unconsolable. We would do everything from singing and swinging and cuddling and swaddling. We bought all of the over counter options which it turns out are just placebos for the parents. Eventually we went to the GP. I think if it had been any other doctor they would have sent us away as neurotic first time parents but this lady had a sister whose child had been diagnosed with a cow’s milk protein intolerance and so she suggested that this could be the problem. As we were mixed feeding this meant me going dairy free and the doctor prescribing special formula. We tried this for about two weeks but it didn’t seem to be doing anything so we gave up. The health visitor always put it down to baby’s digestive system not being fully developed and we just struggled through until eventually she grew out of it.

Baby boy asleep on photographers beanbag wearing sleeping cap

Child 2

Then, when I was pregnant with Violet (child 2) we made the difficult decision that I wasn’t going to breast feed. We had another caesarean planned, she would be going to nursery a lot younger than Beatrice did, and we thought that it could have been the mixed feeding that caused the problem the first time around. Turns out it wasn’t. Very early on it was clear that she wasn’t happy. A lot of crying and the formula would go straight through her with very watery poos. We tried changing teats, bottles but very soon decided to call the GP. Luckily we got the same lady again. She prescribed the Aptamil Pepti and very quickly there was an improvement. (Warning! The milk doesn’t smell very nice and is even worse when it comes out the other end!) Turns out she did have a cows milk protein intolerance and that probably her sister did too and that probably many babies historically have and it was just put down to being ‘colic’.

Soft fluffy blanket with newborn baby sunk into it

Milk Ladder

Thankfully we have now completed the milk ladder and it appears that she can tolerate all types of milk. But we do hear of more severe cases where the babies have rashes and more serious problems. Thankfully there are a number of different formulas available for the GP to prescribe if the first option doesn’t work and these days there are so many different milks that they can have when they are older.

Apologies to child number one. We were trying our best and we love you dearly! xx

Baby boy being photographed asleep in a bucket wearing a flat cap