How to Put a Colicky Baby to Sleep

By Kendra Dahlstrom

A colicky baby can be very difficult to handle for new parents. Colic is defined as crying for 3 hours or more, 3 days a week, for at least 3 weeks. Unfortunately, colic can last much longer than 3 hours a day and 3 days a week. For some new parents, colic lasts all day, every day, for 3 or more months. This constant crying is terrible. Sometimes you just want your baby to fall asleep, but she won't. The colic and crying can keep your baby up for hours on end. Some babies with colic don't even take naps like other newborns do. If you find yourself with a colicky newborn baby, here are some tips you can use to put her to sleep.

Embrace your child in an upright hold. Many times, colic is caused by an excess of gas in the tummy. A baby in an upright position can rid of gas much easier than a baby in a reclined position.

Lightly bounce while you firmly, but gently pat him back. This will help him get rid of the air bubbles that remain in his tummy. Some babies like back massages, while others like patting. You will learn what works best for your baby.

Swaddle him in a receiving blanket. Lay the blanket on the floor and fold 1/4 of one of the corners over towards the middle. Lay your baby down on the blanket with her shoulder at the fold. Fold one of the side corners over and wrap around her body. Take the blanket corner closest to her feet and tightly place it snuggly where you placed the other corner. Take the remaining blanket corner and wrap it around her body the opposite way.

Put your lips together and make a "Shh" sound with your mouth. Place your mouth relatively close to your baby's ears. This noise mimics the white noise heard in the uterus.

Take your baby outside in a cradle hold. Twist your body left and right, so your baby rocks from head to toe. Not only do colicky babies like to be outdoors, they also like constant movement.

Hold her in a cradle hold. Stand with your feet slightly wider than shoulder width apart and bend your knees. Come back up and repeat this movement over and over again. If the rocking doesn't work, an up and down movement typically does.