Our first 10 months. Nolly Wolly and me! (Growing pains – Colic, teething, and colds).

10 months have gone by like 10 days. After I had Nolly Wolly, weeks sometimes seemed like hours, especially after he developed some tummy issues between the age of 8weeks and 4 months. I’ve read that a small percentage of babies develop bad tummy gas, or a set of symptoms commonly referred to as “Colic”. My little guy was displaying many of these symptoms and would sometimes cry for hours on end, especially between 3pm and 6pm in the evening. I tried Infacol and gripe water but the thing that seemed to work best for me was a product called “Bonnisan”, given 3 times a day. When the gas pain got really bad I would also give some gripe water and then try the ‘bicycle’ move – laying him flat on his back and moving his legs in a pedaling motion up and against his belly. Here are a few other things to try if your baby suffers from this problem.

1. Keep baby in an upright position when feeding

2. When bottle feeding, try not to shake the bottle too much and then immediately give it to the baby. If possible, mix the milk in another container and then transfer it into the feeding bottle.

3. Use “colic-friendly” feeding bottles like the ones by Gerber and Tom Brown.

4. Burp the baby regularly and halfway between feedings to prevent build-up. If your baby eats fast, this might cause a quick build-up of gas bubbles.

5.Try to keep baby upright  for at least 30 minutes after feeding.

6. Give baby a warm bath. Fill a small tub or bowl and let baby sit while you gently rub and massage baby’s back and belly. The warmth will help to expel gas.

Tummy massages also helped us. If you are having issues with constipation and gas here is a series of massage moves you can do to 1. expel gas and 2. Aid a bowel movement:

Use Coconut oil, Shea butter, Olive oil, or other recommended oil to gently massage baby’s tummy.

1. use both hands and rub downwards from ribcage down to diaper, rib cage down to diaper, alternating hands. Do this for at least 15 seconds.

2. Move baby’s legs in bicycle pedaling motion and gently press knees against belly towards chest. do this for at least 15 seconds.

3. Keeping baby’s tummy well oiled, massage tummy in a circular motion rubbing from out towards the belly button in a spiral motion. Do this for at least 15 seconds

4. repeat bicycle pedaling motion with baby’s legs

5. repeat tummy rub one more time if needed.

By this time your baby has either passed a considerable amount of gas or has had a bowel movement.

I used to do this for Nolly Wolly almost every evening because believe me it was THAT bad! It was such a relief when he started sitting up and burping himself by the time he was 5 months old, then just when I thought the worst was over, another hurdle presented itself – TEETHING!! Some babies go through this without any trouble at all but others have it a little rough. Signs include excessive drooling, rashes, a slight fever or cold, ‘clingy’ behavior and irritability.

Babies produce more ascorbic acid in their saliva when they are teething and  this sometimes irritates their skin when they drool a lot. Have baby wear a bib around the house, and use Shea Butter or Coconut Oil on his/her skin to help create a ‘block’ between skin and saliva. Shea butter or Coconut oil also provide skin conditioning and moisturizing for your baby 🙂

During the day, keep baby entertained with chew toys and cold/frozen washcloths. Keep an onion near your baby’s bed at night and slip some sliced onion into his socks to help bring down a fever. Do not give your baby a cold bath if he has a fever. Rather, give a warm bath with some added drops of Lavender and/or Eucalyptus oil to help baby relax and get some rest. You may also want to consider using a teething mixture to reduce pain and help the baby sleep. I prefer those over teething powders.

Then we had all those annoying COLDS!… We even have one right now as I post this! Most babies will have at least 6 to 10 colds before they turn 1. There is no known cure for a common cold but it is important to keep colds under control so that baby stays comfortable and so that they don’t develop into something else. I use few drops of Eucalyptus oil in Coconut oil or Shea Butter to massage Nolly Wolly’s chest and back. I also give him half a teaspoon of pure virgin coconut oil orally in the morning and at night. Keep baby dry, not too warm and not too cold, and if you have a vaporizer you can run it in the bedroom with a few drops of Eucalyptus oil in there. If you don’t have a vaporizer, simply standing in the bathroom while running a hot shower will help to clear baby’s airways. Another alternative is to place a pot of water on the stove in your kitchen (with a few drops of eucalyptus if you have any) and let it boil. Stand a safe distance away but still in the kitchen, holding your baby and helping him/her to clear their airways. Propping up baby’s pillow or headrest to a 45 degree or so angle will also help your baby to breathe while he/she is sleeping.

Nolly Wolly is almost 10 months old now! He is standing up with the aid of anything he can find to support himself. He’s getting into everything, trying to climb everything..he is one bundle of energy! We’re trying all sorts of foods, and I’m letting him guide me to know what he likes and what he doesn’t. So far I’m pretty sure he loves bread, tomatoes, oranges, bananas, potatoes, biscuits, and a local Ghanaian dish called ‘banku’! 🙂 I’ll be sharing more about baby-led weaning soon. Stay beautiful, be blessed!

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