Coping and support

By Mayo Clinic Staff

Caring for an infant who has colic can be exhausting and stressful, even for experienced parents. Remember to take care of yourself too. These suggestions may help:

  • Take a break. When you've done what you can, ask your spouse or partner or another loved one to take over for a while. Take advantage of baby-sitting offers from friends or neighbors. Even an hour on your own can help refresh you.
  • Express your feelings. It's normal for parents in this situation to feel helpless, depressed, guilty or angry. Confide in your spouse, partner or other good listener.
  • Try to stay positive. Don't measure your success as a parent by how much your baby cries. Colic isn't a result of poor parenting.
  • Take care of yourself too. Eat healthy foods. Make time for exercise, such as a brisk daily walk. If you can, sleep when the baby sleeps — even during the day. Avoid alcohol and other drugs.
  • Remember that it's temporary. Colic episodes often improve by age 3 months.

It's also important to recognize your limits. If your baby's crying is causing you to lose control, put the baby in a safe place — such as a crib — and go to another room to collect yourself. If necessary, contact your doctor, a local crisis intervention service or a mental health help line for additional support. Never shake your baby. These suggestions apply not only to parents but also to any other person who cares for your child.

May 14, 2014