Since welcoming her daughter Banks via home birth back in October, Hilary Duff has been open about her experience as a second time mama, and proves that having had one baby doesn't make sleepless nights and unexplained crying any easier.
Duff recently asked her Instagram followers for advice regarding colic—aka excessive and unexplained crying that up to 19% of infants experience. We don't know what exactly causes colic in little babies, but we do know it is not fun for them, or for us, as colic is often defined as crying for a least three hours a day for at least three days a week for at least three weeks. (So much for good things coming in threes.)
Dealing with colic (or the PURPLE period of crying, in which crying may not hit that three-hour mark but is equally frustrating) is so hard, as Duff explains in her Instagram post.
"Calling all parents of colic babies… this ends right?" she wrote. "Can you ever set them down without them screaming OR waking up?"
In her caption Duff noted that this is something she and boyfriend Matthew Koma have looked into extensively, but (like many parents) they haven't found a solution to help soothe little Banks.
"We have read everything the internet has to offer… nothing besides nursing basically every hour or less helps! We have done all the obvious things… please leave magic tricks in comments."
Duff's followers certainly did comment—her post has more than 20, 291 comments as of this writing. We reposted her question on our Instagram, and #TeamMotherly came through with plenty of advice for Duff.
Many commenters recommended talking to a pediatrician to rule out reflux or allergies. Probiotics, bouncing, swaddling and baby-wearing were also frequent recommendations, as were herbal teas and drops and chiropractic adjustment (although research published in the journal Pediatrics suggests these alternative treatments are not supported by enough evidence).
In our Instagram comments, several mamas pointed out that time is the surest remedy.
"Unfortunetly [sic], no tricks," one mama wrote. "It just ends one day for no apparent reason. So sorry you're going through it. But, it isn't forever. Promise."
Another empathetic mother described how colic really took her by surprise with her second. Her advice for Duff? Take care of yourself, too.
"Colic is hard and with multiple children and work obligations/lack of sleep, it can be really overwhelming. [Take] warm baths, massages, a glass of wine or tea and any help you can get," she suggested.
Experts agree with #TeamMotherly: It is important for parents to take care of themselves during this period, and to know that having a baby who cries so much doesn't mean there is anything wrong with your parenting.
According to Emily Willingham, Ph.D. co-author of The Informed Parent: A Science-Based Resource for Your Child's First Four Years, this kind of crying "can be exhausting and alarming, but it's fairly common."
Willingham notes that it is okay to give yourself a time out when the crying is just too much. This may mean leaving the baby in the care of a co-parent (or helpful grandparent or babysitter) as our IG commenter suggested, but in the shorter term, it may mean just taking a temporary moment for yourself if you find your frustration level getting high.
"Putting the baby down and just walking away for a break is okay," Willingham previously explained for Motherly.
Remember this, mama:
This kind of crying usually peaks between 2 weeks and 4 months, and tapers off around 5 months.
This will pass.
You're doing great.