We gave you 10+ helpful ways to support your BFF when they have a baby with colic. But you might be wondering… “Is [insert your idea or advice] OK to say?”
We don't want to harp on the negative or start on a sour note. But we did promise to keep it real at the ByeByeCry™ Club.
And these are real quotes or pieces of “advice” that I’ve received or heard as a mom of two colicky babies. We want to share the love and pass on some helpful tips. It’ll be most helpful to just leave these snippets out of your conversations with a friend who just had a baby with colic.
Colic is hard enough.
Add in unhelpful advice or remarks, and a mom can really feel at an all-time low. All new moms need support and no judgment as they navigate their brand-new life. Here are a few important things to be aware of when a new mom is going through colic.
General Comments Not to Say When a Friend Has a Colicky Baby
1. "All babies cry."
This is not helpful to say to a friend with a colicky baby.
All babies do cry, but colic is more than a cry. A colic “cry” is better described as a scream. Colicky babies wail for more than 3 hours at a time, often for no known reason.
2. "All babies get fussy."
If you haven’t dealt with colic fussy, you don’t know how heavy colic can be. Colic is next-level fussy. With “fussy” being an understatement.
3. "You'll get through it."
This one sounds like a positive thing you might say to a friend who just had a new baby. But in actuality, the days can be long as a new mom – colic or no colic. Giving no helpful guidance as to how to get through it just reminds them that they’re “in it.”
4. "It's your first baby, you'll figure it out."
This comment to a new mom seems helpful at first. But in reality, it diminishes the feeling that your friend is experiencing NOW. It might be her first baby, but she probably doesn’t know how on earth she’s going to “figure it out.”
I’ve also met moms whose third child had colic, and they were struggling. Colic isn’t about being an experienced mom. It’s about being experienced with colic.
If you’d like to offer concrete and helpful tips on how she can soothe her colicky baby, check out our blog post here.
5. "Cherish this time - it goes SO FAST."
Oh boy… Just don’t say this one. If your friend is in the thick of colic, I can guarantee you that it’s not all rainbows and butterflies. One day of colic can feel like months or years when you’re the person in it. And asking someone to live in that moment shows a lack of empathy.
Telling someone to cherish a time that is so difficult can also put unnecessary pressure on a new mom to force herself to feel a way she might not be feeling.
And remember, her feelings are valid. Raw, authentic, and valid.
6. "It can't be that bad."
Say this if you want your friend to be lighting you on fire in their mind. You should assume that it really is as bad as she’s describing.
Instead, read up on some ways to help.
Judgments to Avoid When Talking to a New Mom with a Colicky Baby
7. "He/She is crying AGAIN?"
This puts a silent judgment on the mother. She may walk away feeling like it’s her fault that her little one is crying “again.”
8. "It's your energy - the baby feels it."
This is a myth about colic and one that puts the blame on the mother. While humans definitely can feel the energy from one another, it’s not the reason that her baby is crying for hours and hours at a time.
My mom would come over with her super calm, sweet energy, and even she could do nothing to comfort my colicky babies. FACTS!
9. "If you stop stressing, your baby will feel it. Try to relax so your baby can relax."
Telling a person to relax often has the opposite effect. So just avoid this at all costs. If you’d like to help your friend relax, check out our list of 10+ Ways to Help When Your Friend Has a Colicky Baby. There are many ways you can support her. You can also send them the ByeByeCry™ sound machine for colic as a thoughtful gift.
10. "He/She never smiles. Omg! He/she is so serious! I have never seen a more miserable baby in my entire life."
Remember, try not to pass judgment on a tiny human… or any human, for that matter!
Odds are that the mom knows her baby is miserable. A reminder from an outsider is like pouring salt on a wound. It hurts.
Comparisons NOT to Make When Talking With a Friend Who Has a Colicky Baby
11. "My baby slept through the night right away."
Good for your baby. Parenthood is not a race. Childhood is certainly not a race. It’s never helpful for a new mom struggling with constant crying and sleep deprivation to hear about other babies sleeping perfectly.
12. "My baby is/was super affectionate/cuddly."
Avoid talking about the amazing connection you felt or feel. This may not be helpful or sensitive to what your friend is going through with their baby. Again, refrain from comparing situations.
Questions NOT to Ask Your Friend Who Has a Colicky Baby
13. "Why don't you try XXXXX?"
Also seemingly helpful. However, if you want to offer a solution, preface it with, “I know you’ve probably tried everything, but I’m wondering if you’ve tried…? A little empathy goes a long way.
Remember to tread lightly. Your friend has most likely been trying every technique and trick in the book… and her little one is still screaming.
14. "Isn't she hungry? You need to feed her more."
Colicky babies often cry due to many reasons for discomfort. Trust in the mother that she’s both (1) already thought about this possibility – probably many times, and (2) already fed her baby.
If you’re concerned about someone’s hunger, you could offer a snack to the baby’s mom. I bet she could use a little pick-me-up.
15. "Why don't you put some alcohol on his gums?"
Let’s leave the old wives’ tales where they belong… buried somewhere deep, deep down, and far away from babies.
Please DO NOT put alcohol on a baby’s gums. There can be potentially harmful ingredients involved that could hurt the child. Do not offer this as advice to any parent – especially one who’s dealing with colic.
Instead, you can support the caregiver by encouraging them to continue seeking medical advice from their doctor.
Disclaimer: The information on this website and statements related to the ByeByeCry sound machine are not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Please seek the advice of a medical professional before making any decisions regarding your baby’s health or medical treatment.
16. Asking a Baby, "What is your mother doing to you?"
Don’t make a joke out of colic. You’re actually aiming this at a new mom who needs support; not shame.
Now for Our Final Thing NOT to Say to a New Mom Who’s Going Through Colic:
17. "This is the easy party. Just wait until they grow up and talk back."
Just don’t. NOT HELPFUL.
So what can you do? How can you help your friend who just had a baby and it turns out they have colic? Maybe you are chatting on the phone. Perhaps you’re talking face-to-face. Whatever the circumstance, I guarantee she can use a supportive friend to get her through this time.
Let her know all about the ByeByeCry™ sound machine for colic. It’s an essential, helpful tool to get their family through this tough time.
Better yet – surprise her with the ByeByeCry™ sound machine as a gift!
If you and your friend overhear one of these comments being made, pull her aside and remind her of her strength. Let these comments roll off her back because some people just won't ever understand.
If your friend vents to you about someone else making a comment like this,
Validate her feelings.
Tell her you can understand why these comments are frustrating and hurtful.
Remind her that she has every right to feel those feelings.
Reiterate that parenting isn't a race. It's a marathon for sure, but it’s not about who gets to the finish line first. Spoiler alert: there’s no finish line in parenthood because you’re never done parenting!
There will be many chapters in everyone's journey, and this is just one of hers.
While it feels like it is never-ending, encourage her to talk to other moms who have overcome colic and made it to the giggles and snuggles on the other side. Leaning on someone who has gone through it was one of the most inspiring and helpful things that got me through colic. It’s a huge part of our mission here in the ByeByeCry community: to spread hope, love, and inspiration to each other.
Please share this list with friends. And friends of friends. And don’t forget to follow us on social media for more posts and colic information!