You Can Cry If You Want to: 10 Ways to Survive Colic


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There are hundreds of tips – thousands, even – about how to soothe your colicky baby, from advice from random strangers at the grocery store to your pediatrician’s expert tips. This is not that kind of advice. You get enough solicited (and even more unsolicited) advice when you’ve got a wee babe screaming in your arms. No, these tips are just for you: a random assortment of advice about how you, the parents, can survive a colicky baby.


Photo: Nathan Walker via Flickr

1. Walk. Walk outside. Walk inside. Walk knowing that all this walking is giving you great calves, and (with any luck) soothing your wee babe. Walk until you just can’t walk anymore.

2. Revisit antiquated colic remedies, like this one: dip your kiddo’s pacifier in brandy. Obviously you’re not really going to try that or give any liquor to a baby, but our grandmothers were on to something. A sip for all the over 21 members of your household might make it all a teeny tiny bit better.

3. Soothe yourself. Lots of recommendations for soothing your kiddo will work to comfort you – massage, a warm bath, and a grown-up sized cozy swaddle blanket and a bottle when it all becomes too much to bear.

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Photo: Beth via Flickr

4. Sleep whenever and wherever you can. In the car (passenger seat only, of course), on the comfy couch in the nursing room at a fancy department store, in the church, in a movie theater when you venture out for your first date night, in front of the TV, in the glider when your baby finally falls asleep on your shoulder.

5. Put your pride aside. This is not a time to cling to deeply-held principles about the evils of pacifiers, or refuse to try something because it might look weird. You are waging a war against colic: it’s you and your baby against the evil dreaded fussiness. There’s no trick too dirty, no survival strategy too embarrassing to leave untried. Bounce on an exercise ball, turn on the dishwasher and sit next to it, hum the theme song to Sesame Street until you’re blue in the face, run the faucet to create white noise without a second’s thought for all that water you’re wasting. Just do it.

6. Speaking of TV: ignore all that advice about the dangers of screen time. One-month-olds are too young to be scarred by the screen, so now’s the time to binge watch The OC. If you’re stuck in a chair nursing your babe for hours on end, because it’s the only thing that stops the poor thing’s screeching, you deserve a little entertainment. Or listen to all the explicit-language podcasts you want, because your kid won’t pick up F bombs for at least a year or two.


Photo: David Quitoriano via Flickr

7. Take help wherever you can get it. Let anyone who wants to hold the baby and rock the baby. Your partner, your mother, your sister, your brother, your cousin, your uncle. The friend you haven’t seen since high school. The mailman. The sweet 9th grader from your building, in the knowledge that you are offering a public service for hormonal teenagers – colicky babies are fantastic for birth control.

8. Drown out the noise. Try some music – maybe it’ll soothe your baby, or you. Or see who can cry the loudest. Baby wins again! Give that baby a medal.


Photo: Morgan via Flickr

9. Consider all the great qualities colic just might show in a two-month old: advocating for herself, tenacity, a strong will, a massive set of lungs. It’s hard to say if that’s what’s underlying all that colic, but they will serve your baby well in life. They may also make lend major drama in about 13 years.

10. Block it out. If all else fails, there’s always noise-cancelling headphones. Put on a pair and slog through the hours (and hours and hours) of late afternoon crying.

How did you get through colic? Share you stories in a Comment.

–Oz Spies

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