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Crying and colic

My baby cries every evening

This is normal in the first three months and if you are breastfeeding it may be because you are tired and not producing as much milk as usual.

Plenty of breastfeeding mums give their baby a bottle of formula milk in the evening, or you could just let him comfort suck and give him lots of cuddles. It can get a bit tedious having dinner with your baby balanced on your knee while your partner cuts up your food night after night.

But just remind yourself that he’ll soon be tucked up in his cot in the evenings – usually by 12 weeks. You never know, you may actually miss having your baby asleep on your lap in front of the telly.

Has my baby got colic?

Unexplained crying in babies can sometimes be due to colic – when the gut wall contracts making your baby’s tummy tight and very painful.

Tick the following to see if your baby has colic:

- He is between three weeks and three months old.

- He cries for more than three hours a day at least three days a week.

- He goes rigid when he cries, draws his knees up and seems to be in pain.

- The crying was worse at between six and eight weeks.

- The crying suddenly stopped at about 12 weeks.

If you ticked three or more, your baby probably has colic. Do see your doctor if you are concerned.

Although there’s no easy cure for colic, good burping, plenty of rocking, singing and ssshing, and putting your baby in a sling can all help. Being in the buggy or car will also calm him – so you could time a trip out around a colic attack.

Some people say that Infacol helps release built-up gas (available from chemists) – it’s not a cure but worth a try if you’re desperate. Gently rubbing your baby’s back and tummy can be soothing during an attack.

Some babies find sucking on a dummy or finger soothing, and keeping your baby more upright, rather than flat, during a feed can help reduce wind.

Lying in a darkened room with your baby on his tummy on your chest can help. You can give him a dummy, then gently rub his back during an attack and wait for it to pass.

Do get support because colic is miserable and the constant crying can really get you down. It’s perfectly normal to feel miserable, desperate to get your baby to stop and even to hate your baby for crying so much.

So try to make sure your partner is around to rock the baby for a while. Just having someone else around can make a huge difference. And if you get desperate, put your baby in his cot for five minutes or so and close the door. He won’t come to any harm and you’ll get a break and feel sane again.

You can also contact Cry-sis, www.cry-sis.org.uk tel 08451 228 669 who will help you cope with your crying baby.