There's no comprehensive handbook for parenting—you learn as much as you can and then learn to roll with the punches. If you have a list of questions a mile long about babies, you're in good company. You'll have a different experience than every other parent out there, which means you'll have different questions.
As parents who run a business focused on helping other parents raise healthy, happy (aka well-rested) children, we get a lot of questions about babies. We thought we'd take the time to answer some of the most common ones, like "How long does colic last?" and "When will my baby sleep through the night?"
Remember that every situation is different and if something feels off, follow your gut. But if you're experiencing some of these common challenges, here are answers to your questions and things that might help.
How Long Does Colic Last?
Colic is a term used to describe intense and seemingly endless bouts of crying in an otherwise healthy baby. According to Mayo Clinic, it can typically begin when your baby is about two weeks old and peak when they reach 6 weeks. Most babies outgrow colic by the time they reach four months, but it may be longer for some.
To help manage this stressful time, focus on providing a soothing environment with plenty of quiet snuggles, gentle rocking, white noise, and warm baths. You may also want to talk to your pediatrician about ways to manage the crying or if there are any underlying medical issues you should consider.
For your sanity, find as much help as you can. This will depend on your environment, but don't feel bad about asking for help from family members and trusted friends so you can take a break or get a few hours of sleep.
When Will My Baby Sleep Through the Night?
Stanford Children's Health states that most babies won't sleep through the night until they're around 3 months old. Many children could be sleeping through the night by 6 months because they usually won’t be getting hungry during those hours.
There are so many different strategies you could use to help your baby sleep through the night, but here are our favorite tips:
- Follow your baby's wake windows and sleep readiness signs
- Create a soothing environment with a safe sleeping area, white noise, and the right sleepwear
How Do I Store Breastmilk?
The CDC states that if you're storing your breast milk, it's important to make sure you label the container with the date and time it was expressed. You'll also need to remember that breast milk should not be stored at room temperature for more than four hours.
You can store your expressed breast milk in the refrigerator for up to four days and in the freezer for up to 12 months.
Why is My Baby's Poop a Weird Color?
If your baby's poop is a different color than normal, chances are they've just eaten something that affected the hue of their bowel movement. Babies digest foods differently than adults do so something that doesn't affect you could affect their digestive system. Just like adults, babies may experience constipation, and this could cause the poop to be a dark color or even have tiny flecks of undigested food in it.
But if you're ever worried about your baby's poop being an unusual color or consistency, it never hurts to speak with your doctor. They'll be able to help you determine if there's a more serious issue at hand or just a dietary change that caused the color shift.
For a breakdown by color, check out this blog from the Cleveland Clinic.
How Do I Get My Baby to Sleep Better?
Good baby sleep starts in the morning! Plan simple activities throughout the day to make sure your baby is getting enough stimulation and movement. Here are 3 daytime activities to promote better sleep:
- Get some sunshine
- Stimulate their brains and bodies with a walk in the park or playing with their arms and legs
- Tummy time
Creating and following a consistent nighttime routine can help your baby to get better sleep. Start by setting a regular bedtime for your baby, and make sure to stick to it each night so your baby's body learns when it is time for sleep. Include calming activities such as taking a warm bath, reading stories, singing lullabies, or cuddling.
Make sure the room is dark and quiet, and avoid any stimulating activities or bright screens before bed. White noise mimics a womb-like environment and can help get your baby to sleep. Finally, consider swaddling or using a sleepsuit so they don't wake themselves up with their own movements!
These strategies may take time to put in place, but have patience and stick with them—your baby's restful sleep is worth it!
Baby Merlin: Products Developed by Parents for Parents
When it comes to helping your baby sleep, there are few solutions more trusted than Baby Merlin’s Magic Sleepsuit. The Magic Sleepsuit is designed to help babies transition from swaddling and provide a comforting feeling of security during sleep. It makes babies comfortable and helps them to fall asleep in a safe and cozy environment.
With a zipper for easy diaper changes and cozy fabric, it’s comfortable enough for babies of all ages. Sleep is essential for your baby's development, so having the right tools in place can make a big difference—and this product was designed with parents in mind. Check out Baby Merlin’s full line of products for more solutions that can help you and your baby get a better night's rest.