Colic, Sleep and Your Baby
My first child, a daughter, should be listed in the Guinness Book of World Records for longest bout of colic suffered by a human infant. She screamed nonstop for nine months. My library of parenting books all seemed to concur that colic was often caused by a nervous, first time mother. So, in addition to sleep deprivation (both the baby's and my own), recovering from birth, sore nipples, post partum blues, and trying to keep up with the laundry, I had to deal with a tremendous sense of guilt: I was the reason for my baby's suffering.
I was a very young first time mother, only 19 years old, and I was determined to prove that I was up to the task of caring for my baby and my home; that I was a mature adult. In a sense, this was a good attitude, because it made me strong in the face of a difficult situation. I soldiered on doing the best I could. I wore my baby in a front pack as if this accessory was as necessary as my socks, because this was the only way she could sleep, for many, many, long months.
Life After Colic…
When my little girl turned 10 months and the colic had decided leave us alone and go and bother someone else's child, I dug out the stroller and took stock. The stroller had sat unused since my daughter was born. It was a bit dusty, so I washed the cover and dusted the frame. The sun was out. It was time to lose the front pack and try the stroller.
It was a strange feeling: the baby and I were now two separate people. She was no longer attached to my chest. I stretched my back, savoring the sense of lightness and freedom. I passed a friend and she said, "Oh. She's so cute! Do you know that this is the first time I was able to see what she looks like? She's always strapped to your chest."
I beamed with pride. I had entered a new phase of mothering. I had won.